The Message of the Menorah

The connection between this week’s haftarah and Chanukah is both immediately clear and yet strangely cryptic. As we open up the nevuot of Zecharia, we find ourselves transported to the earliest days of the second temple era as a minority of the Jewish people struggle to rebuild the Beit HaMikdash. Zecharia’s visions are a “closed […]

Looking Forward

Our parsha introduces two of the main characters in the Torah – Yaakov and Eisav. Yaakov and Eisav are not simply people of yesteryear but rather go on to serve as prototypes which lead us through Jewish history. The never-ending struggle between the two forces dates back to the common womb which they shared, and […]

Throwing in His Lot

This shiur was written as the war launched by Hamas on Sheminei Azeret/Simchat Torah is about to enter its fifth week. The shiur is dedicated to our brave soldiers and to the hostages who should come home quickly and safely.  This week’s Parsha continues the story of Avraham Avinu and Sara Imainu, beginning with the […]

Lech Lecha: A Journey of Bread and Wine

Shalom. My name is Miriam White and I am honored to be a new teacher and Mashgicha at Midreshet Harova. It is a personal pleasure to share some words of reflection and Torah for this week’s Parshat Lech Lecha. If we look at Parshat Lech Lecha we see that Avraham had his fair share of […]

Our Torah

After almost a month, Moshe finally concludes his farewell speech to Bnei Yisrael on the banks of the Yarden. With the poem of Haazinu finished, Moshe delivers his final charge: דברים לב מו וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֲלֵהֶם֙ שִׂ֣ימוּ לְבַבְכֶ֔ם לְכׇ֨ל־הַדְּבָרִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֧ר אָנֹכִ֛י מֵעִ֥יד בָּכֶ֖ם הַיּ֑וֹם אֲשֶׁ֤ר תְּצַוֻּם֙ אֶת־בְּנֵיכֶ֔ם לִשְׁמֹ֣ר לַעֲשׂ֔וֹת אֶת־כׇּל־דִּבְרֵ֖י הַתּוֹרָ֥ה הַזֹּֽאת׃ מז כִּ֠י לֹֽא־דָבָ֨ר רֵ֥ק […]

It’s All What We Make of It!

The Rosh Hashanah holiday is filled with symbolic imagery, yet few images perhaps have captivated the masses of Jewish People as the simplest of them all: the apple dipped in honey, signifying our hopes and blessings for a sweet new year. While the specific custom of an apple dipped in honey can only be traced […]

The Land of “Milk and Honey”?!

We find in the parsha that Eretz Yisrael is nick-named,”ארץ זבת חלב ודבש””The Land of Milk and Honey”. The idea behind this unusual description will help us understand the essence of the Holy Land, and will hopefully add depth to your time in Israel. Rav Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of Israel, and spiritual father […]

First Fruit of Your Strength

The parsha of Ki Tetzeh describes a situation “when a man has two wives, one whom he loves and one whom he hates, and both the loved and unloved wives have sons, but the first-born is that of the unloved one” (Devarim 21:15). What follows is a rule regarding inheritance, “[Even if] the first-born is […]

Embracing the Transcendent

This week’s parasha begins with the famous mitzvah of the Para Aduma, the red heifer, which is used in the purification process after contact with a corpse. The Torah describes the mitzvah as a “Chok” – which is explained to mean: a type pf mitzvah which is ‘ a decree of the king[1]’ whose reasoning […]

It’s Not What You Are; It’s What You Do

There are three separate and distinct questions found in Parshat Korach; yet, their answers all thread together to relay the fundamental lesson of the entire parshah. The first query is found right in the beginning of the parsha, “ויקח קרח בן יצהר בן קהת בן לוי” – And Korach ben Yitzhar ben Kehat ben Levi […]