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Parshiyot Chukat Balak: Balak's Legacy

07/03/2020 09:49:48 AM

Jul3

Rabbi Yosef Weinstock

The Talmud in Sanhedrin teaches that before Balak took Bilam each time to curse the Jewish people, Balak would offer sacrifices to Hashem (perhaps in the hopes that it would help his cause with Hashem). The Gemara says that Balak was rewarded for offering these sacrifices: in that his descendant was Ruth, the ancestor of King David/ Solomon. The obvious question is: why should Balak be rewarded for doing something that although may...Read more...

Parshat Korach:  Lessons from the "Ketoret Standoff"

06/26/2020 10:15:34 AM

Jun26

Rabbi Yosef Weinstock

The showdown between Korach and Moshe reaches its climax with the “ketoret standoff.” Moshe suggests that the disagreement be settled by everyone offering incense to Hashem. So Aharon, Korach and 250 Korach-followers offer incense on fire pans. In response, Hashem shows His displeasure with the 250 men by sending a fire to consume them (16:35). 

The next chapter opens with God commanding Moshe to tell his nephew Elazar...Read more...

Parshat Shelach: Appearances Can Be Deceiving

06/18/2020 03:03:01 PM

Jun18

Rabbi Yosef Weinstock 

As the spies embark upon their mission Moshe gives them some advice about what to look for. He says to check and see if the inhabitants are strong or weak. Rashi quotes the Midrash that Moshe gave them a trick: if the people lived in open cities this means that they are strong and can rely on their strength alone to protect themselves. If the city is heavily fortified, then you can be sure that the inhabitants are weak and they need outside...Read more...

Fri, July 3 2020 11 Tammuz 5780