Eikev Aug 4, 2023

One of the primary goals of the Torah is the inducement of fear of heaven. “Now what does Hashem, your G-d ask of you? Only to fear Hashem your G-d,…

Tu B'Av Aug 3, 2023

Our holidays form natural units, as none truly stand alone. The 49 days of the omer link Pesach to Shavuot. We begin the holiday cycle by celebrating…

Va'etchanan Jul 28, 2023

“Moses summoned all the Israelites and said to them: Hear, O Israel, the laws and rules that I proclaim to you this day! Study them and observe them…

Tisha B'Av Jul 25, 2023

“Rav Yochanan said: Jerusalem was destroyed only because they followed the laws of the Torah” (Bava Metzia 30b). The Talmud is incredulous at such an…

Devarim Jul 21, 2023

“Moshe said to the Lord, "I beseech You, O Lord. Lo ish devarim anochi, I am not a man of words, neither from yesterday nor from the day before…

Mattot Jul 14, 2023

“And a lot of livestock did the children of the Reuven and Gad have and they saw the Ya’azer, and Gilead areas that were good for livestock” (…

Pinchas Jul 7, 2023

While it is undoubtedly true that people get the leaders they deserve, it is also true that great leaders are often—though not always—able to inspire…

Chukat Jun 30, 2023

This week's devar Torah is dedicated in honour of the bat mitzvah of Temira Koenig. Mazal tov to her parents, Tali and Jason, and to the entire…

Korach Jun 27, 2023

“Im Bryiah Yivrah, But if the Lord creates a creation, and the earth opens its mouth, patzta et piha, and swallows them and all that is theirs, and…

Shelach Lecha Jun 16, 2023

One of the most fascinating features of the Torah is the mixing of law and narrative. Nowhere is this more evident than in sefer Bamidbar. Sefer…

Jun 14, 2023

Mid-June on the North American calendar is graduation season. In the Jewish community, hundreds, nay thousands, of graduations will take place,…

Behaalotecha Jun 9, 2023

One can reasonably argue that the primary theme of sefer Bamidbar is that of leadership. How much responsibility must a leader take for the failings…

Naso Jun 2, 2023

It is amazing how two people can look at the exact same thing and yet see things very differently. This is likely the reason that the Torah often…

Shavuot May 26, 2023

It is the omer, a measure of barley, that unites the Biblical holidays of Pesach and Sukkot. With no calenderic date Shavuot occurs on the day after…

Bamidbar May 19, 2023

One of the hallmarks of a strong society is its ability to smoothly effect change. New leaders and policies, crises and confrontations are all dealt…

Behar May 12, 2023

Many a great and historic event took place on a mountain. Noach’s ark rested on Mount Arrarat allowing for the continuation of humanity. Avraham took…

May 5, 2023

Pomp and ceremony are very Jewish ideas. While this may come as a surprise to many, the Torah understood that pageantry has a great impact on people…

Emor May 5, 2023

The major theme of sefer Vayikra is, arguably, that of tumah and taharah, purity and impurity. When one reads the Torah, one senses what seems almost…

Kedoshim Apr 28, 2023

“The majority of the essence of the Torah is dependant upon it”. So asserts Rashi as he begins his commentary to parshat kedoshim. It is because of…

Tazria Apr 21, 2023

There is no aspect of our life that is beyond the purview of Torah. People need its rules and regulations in every area, to keep their natural…

Shemini Apr 14, 2023

At times of crisis, true leaders often emerge, be they political, military or religious. Their ability to effectively provide inspiration, motivation…

Pesach Apr 11, 2023

A legal system by its very nature is detail oriented. While laws represent the values of any given society, a law once established takes on an…

Pesach Apr 4, 2023

“Go out and learn what Lavan the Aramean sought to do to Yaakov, our father. Pharaoh only decreed on the males but Lavan sought to uproot everything…

Tzav Mar 31, 2023

“Do not eat any blood…any person who eats blood shall have his soul cut off from his people” (Vayikra 7:26-27). The prohibition against eating blood…

Vayikra Mar 24, 2023

One of the tragedies of the human condition is the inability to admit our mistakes. Even when faced with compelling arguments to the contrary man has…

Vayakhel Mar 17, 2023

"Moshe said to the Jewish people: See that G-d called in the name of Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Chur, of the tribe of Judah" (Shemot 35:30…

Ki Tisa Mar 10, 2023

Why did Moshe break the luchot habreet, the tablets of testimony,  that were written by G-d himself? While one might be tempted to answer that it was…

Purim Mar 7, 2023

One of the (many) strange features of Purim is the fact that we do not recite Hallel. “The Prophets among them established [Hallel] for the Jewish…

Tetzaveh Mar 3, 2023

For many, when the Torah reading reaches the parshiot of Terumah and Tezaveh interest in the parsha wanes just a bit (or maybe more). It is hard to…

Terumah Feb 24, 2023

In his introduction to Pirkei Avot, the Rambam distinguishes between those mitzvot which we are to observe because we want to and those we should…

Feb 17, 2023

Like many Torontonians, I was shocked and saddened to hear that our mayor, John Tory was resigning after having had an affair with a former staff…

Yitro Feb 10, 2023

Famine, exile, dissent, descent, slavery, persecution, death and at last redemption. The Jewish people have crossed the sea – finally believing “in G…

Beshalach Feb 3, 2023

The story of the attack by Amalek upon the newly freed slaves from Egypt appears twice in the Torah, once in our parsha and once 40 years later in …

Bo Jan 27, 2023

The Torah is full contradictions[1]. So much so that interpreting these contradictions is one of the most fundamental principles of Biblical exegesis…

Vaera Jan 20, 2023

One of the amazing features of man is his ability to adapt to practically any and all situations. When facing tragedy, we often feel that we can no…

Shemot Jan 13, 2023

“And a new king arose who did not know Yosef” (Shemot 1:6). What a difference a few years can make. In the 59 years between the death of Yosef and…

Vayechi Jan 6, 2023

"And they said, should they make our sister like a harlot?" (Breisheet 34:31). So ends round one of the debate between Yaakov on one side, and Shimon…

Vayigash Dec 30, 2022

One of the tests of the character of a person is seeing how they react to adversity. Do they try to make the best of the situation, taking advantage…

Miketz Dec 23, 2022

One of the central motifs of the biblical narrative is food. Matzah, manna, mei merivah highlight the crucial role of food in shaping the course of…

Chanukah Dec 19, 2022

Ask any child – or adult for that matter – how we celebrate Chanukah and chances are beyond pretty good that the answer will be by lighting the…

Vayeshev Dec 16, 2022

Brotherly love is something that appears to be missing throughout Sefer Breisheet. Starting with Cain and Hevel, to Yitzchak and Yishmael, Yaakov and…

Vayishlach Dec 9, 2022

“The messengers returned to Yaakov with the report: We came to your brother Eisav and he is also heading towards you. He has 400 men with him” (…

Vayetze Dec 2, 2022

“And Yaakov left Be'er Sheva and headed towards Charan (Breisheet 28:10).” Yaakov is sixty-three, has not married and is literally running for his…

Toldot Nov 25, 2022

Our Torah is a Torah of truth. As a description of G-d, with each mitzvah representing a different aspect of the Divine, it can be no other way.…

Chayei Sarah Nov 18, 2022

Man has an innate desire to make a name for himself. The fear of being forgotten is a fear that grips us all. For many, this serves as a key stimulus…

Vayeira Nov 11, 2022

“And Avraham awoke in the morning” (Breisheet 22:3). It is from this verse that the Sages (Pesachim 4a) derive the principle zerezim makdimim…

Lech Lecha Nov 4, 2022

“G-d said to Avram, go away from your county, your birthplace and your father’s home, to the land that I will show you” (Breisheet 12:1). While it…

Noach Oct 24, 2022

Noach was, in the words of the Bible, “righteous and pure”. Twice in the space of few verses the Torah tells us that “Noach did all that G-d…

Breisheet Oct 20, 2022

"G-d said: What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is screaming to Me from the ground" (Breisheet 4:10). G-d approached Cain after the…

Simchat Torah Oct 16, 2022

Holidays are a most opportune time to instill in our children the values and character traits that personify a Jewish lifestyle. At first glance…