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Ki Tisa: Use Your Head

February 16, 2019 – 9:46 pm | 61 views

Use your head is an idiom that means think things through carefully. Don’t just jump on the bandwagon. Use your head. Think about it, figure out the ramifications and avoid making a mistake.
The Torah says, “When you list the heads of the children of Israel according to their numbers.”[1] What …

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Tetzaveh: The Afterlife

February 10, 2019 – 12:14 am |
afterlife-innerstream.ca

Absent
This week we marked the Yahrtzeit of Moses, who passed away on the 7th of Adar, 3488 or 1273 BCE. This was just 33 days before Joshua led the Jews into Israel. We know this because the Jews crossed into Israel on the 13th of Nissan. We also know that G-d instructed Joshua to prepare the people for the crossing, 3 days earlier, on the 10th of Nissan. We further know that this instruction occurred after a 30-day mourning period for Moses. When we subtract 33 days from the 13th of Nissan, we arrive at the 7th of Adar.[1]

This milestone is observed in a startling way. On the Shabbat following Moses’ Yahrtzeit, we read a Torah portion called Tetzaveh. This portion is remarkable in that it is the only portion—from the beginning of the book of Exodus, which describes Moses’ birth, until the last portion of the Torah, which describes Moses’ passing—that omits all mention of Moses’ name.

This omission represents his passing. As Moses’ absence was felt keenly by the people of his generation at this time of year, so do we read a Torah portion in which his name is absent.[2] Read the full story »

Terumah: Vertical Logs

February 2, 2019 – 10:04 pm | 2 Comments | 
vertical_logs_innerstream.ca

Vertical logs are rare in construction. Most log cabins are built with horizontal logs. It is possible to build with vertical logs and there are several advantages to it, for example, vertical logs don’t settle as much as horizontal logs, but there are many disadvantages to building with vertical logs. …

Mishpatim: Finding G-d

January 26, 2019 – 10:39 pm |
finding-g-d-innerstream.ca

Finding G-d in the synagogue is no big deal, that is where you expect Him to be. Finding G-d in your home can be a little trickier, but still not so surprising. Finding G-d at your place of work or at play, in a social setting, at a party, or …

Yitro: Time for Torah

January 19, 2019 – 9:02 pm |
time-for-torah-innerstream.ca

We all must make time for Torah, but how much time is a matter of perspective. When G-d gave us the Torah at Sinai, He gave the same Torah to all Jews. We are all bound by the same laws and we all share the same level of access to …

Beshalach: Shabbat

January 13, 2019 – 2:37 pm |
love-innerstream.ca

When our ancestors traveled through the desert, they were nourished by Manna that fell miraculously from heaven every morning of the week with the exception of Shabbat. There was no Manna on Shabbat; instead two portions fell on Friday, one for Friday, the other for Shabbat.
Nevertheless, the Zohar, the seminal …

Bo: Ordinary Prayer

January 5, 2019 – 10:42 pm |
prayer-innerstream.ca

Does G-d listen to the prayer or ordinary people?
Would you pray for me, is a rather common request that people make of rabbis.
People assume that Rabbis are pious. They also assume that G-d listens to the pious more than He listens to ordinary people. I won’t quibble with the first …

Vaera: The Great Escape

December 26, 2018 – 9:50 am |
escape-innerstream.ca

The entire Jewish ordeal in Egypt was an effort to escape. What were they escaping from?
The minutia of mundane pleasures. The Jewish people were singled out to receive the Torah at Sinai. They were poised to climb to the precipice, to scale the greatest spiritual heights, but they were trapped …

Shemot: A Jew In Exile

December 22, 2018 – 11:33 pm |
in-exile-innerstream.ca

When Moses stood before the burning bush, G-d said to him, “I have seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and I have heard their cry because of their slave drivers.” Two verses later, G-d said: “And now, the cry of the children of Israel has come …

Vayechi: A Cast of Brothers

December 15, 2018 – 9:16 pm |
brothers-innerstream.ca

Joseph and his brothers had a rocky relationship. Over the years there had been some pretty bad times. They resented him and thought he maligned them to their father. For his part, Joseph didn’t help matters when he shared his grandiose dreams that cast him in the role of king …