What does the Haggadah mean when it states that Yaakov went down to Egypt ‘forced by the speech’? An exploration of the power of speech as learned from this statement.
How can we understand the custom of dipping maror, the traditional bitter herbs, into charoset, a sweet mixture of apples, wine, and nuts?
This class explores the connection between Havdala and Purim, as expressed in the passuk from the megilla which is included in the weekly havdaa, “layehudim haysa orah v’simcha v’sasson viykar’, ‘and the Jews had light, joy, rejoicing, and honor’.
Why is there a custom to dress up in costume on Purim?
The Mishkan as a manifestation of Creation.
The Midrash explains that Moshe Rabbenu was shown a half-shekel of fire as part of the commandment for the Jewish people to be counted with the Machatzit Hashekel. This shiur on Parshat shekalim expores the deeper significance of the fiery coin.
In Parshat Beshalach, in the aftermath of the Splitting of the Sea, as the Egyptians entered the Yam Suf, each on received exacting punishment for their evil deeds. An exploration of why Hashem waits before punishing people for their misdeeds, and the level of exactness in all Divine retribution.
In Parshat Bo, the Jews leave Mitzrayim. This shiur explores the unique promises of geula and its relevance to each of us today.
Parshat Vaeira begins with Hashem’s declaration of His intent to redeem the Jewish people from Egypt. What was the ultimate purpose of the redemption from Egypt?
In Parshat Vayechi, Yaakov Avinu blesses Menashe and Efraim, Yosef’s children. Why is this considered Yosef’s blessing, and what is the true purpose of blessing someone?
This fascinating shiur on Parshat Shemot explores the episode of Aharon Hakoehn’s joy for his brother Moshe’s appointment as the leader of the jewish people, and epands the topic of joy and passion in fulfilling mitzvot. The feeling that is put into the mitzva makes both the mitzva and its reward so much more valuable.
In Parshas Vayigash, the emotional confrontation between
The importance of praise and thanksgiving in the celebration of Chanuka.
An in-depth exploration of the purpose and message of Yosef’s dreams in Parshat Vayeshev.
In Parshat Vayishlach, Yaakov Avinu turns down Eisav’s offer to accompany him in peace as they continue on their life’s journey. Why?
The connection between Yaakov Avinu, tefilla, and the Beit Hamikdash is explored within the context of the episode in Parshat Vayeitzei when Yaakov awakens on Har Hamoriah and calls the place ‘the House of Hashem’.
This shiur on Parshat Toldot attempts to explain the seeming contradiction between Yaakov Avinu’s essence, which was the embodiment of Truth, with his actions in taking the brachot fro Yitzchak, which seemed to be the ultimate deception.
Parshat Chayei Sara begins with the sale of the Mearat Hamachpela, the Cave of Machpela, from Efron to Avraham Avinu, for the burial of his wife Sarah. An exploration of this episode.
We compare and contrast the intention of the residents of Sodom in Parshas Vayeira to harm Lot’s visitors, with the terrible episode of Pilegesh Bigiva found in Sefer Shoftim.
In this shiur of Parshat Lech Lecha, we exploring Avraham Avinu’s impact on his many disciples.
An exploration of the episode of Shem and Yafet’s act of respect for their father Noach after he planted a vineyard and was affected by the wine he drank, and their subsequent reward for their ‘kibud av’.
An explanation of the Midrash describing the complaint of the moon and the shrinking of its size during the world’s Creation.
An in-depth exploration of the ‘al chet’ recited during Yom Kippur, ‘b’siach siftotenu’, ‘with our endless prattling’.
Exploring the brit, the covenant, between G-d and the Jewish People, at Har Sinai and in Arvot Moav at the end of 40 years in the Desert.
Understanding the ‘Briti Shalom’, ‘Covenant of peace’, which Pinchas was blessed with as reward for his actions in ending the plague through the killing of Zimri.
Why did Bilam wish for a death like the ‘death of the upright’ while he blessed the Jewish people?
Understanding the power of the Nachash Hanechoshet, the Copper Serpent, to heal the people afflicted by plague in Parshat Chukat.
An explication of the episode of Aharon Hakohen’s staff blossoming with almond blossoms overnight after the failed rebellion of Korach.
Rebbetzin Smiles explores one of the questions that Moshe Rabbenu asked the Meraglim, the spies, about the Land of Israel: Does it have trees? What is the deeper message behind this question? What does it mean for our daily life?
Why is Aharon the Kohen Gadol praised when he did not deviate from the exact instructions for lighting the menorah daily?