Parsha Ki Teitsei 5771: Kindness, Unity and Collective Responsibility vs Acquiescense to Evil

by Moshe Burt

Parsha Ki Teitsei teaches numerous Mitzvot such as; returning lost items to their rightful owners, loaning money to one’s fellow Jew free from interest, what one is permitted to or prohibited from taking from another Jew as loan security, Shatnes (wool and linen together), Tzitzit, and dealing fairly and truthfully with one’s fellow Jews in business. We also learn of Mitzvot such as sending a mother bird away before taking the young or the eggs and helping one’s fellow Jew load and unload a burden, fencing in a roof area and not harnessing together different species of animals on the same yoke. [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Shoftim 5771: Justice in Judgement Bein Adam L’Chaveiro, or Modern-Day S’dom?

by Moshe Burt

The third posuk of our Parsha reads;

“Tzedek, Tzedek tierdof…” Righteousness, righteousness (also rendered Justice, Justice) you shall pursue that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord, your G’d gives you.” (Sefer Devarim, Perek 16, posuk 20)

This posuk follows immediately after the opening of our Parsha in which Moshe Rabbeinu urges the B’nai Yisrael;

“Judges and officers shall you appoint in all of your cities — which Hashem …gives you — for your tribes; and they shall judge the people with righteous judgement. You shall not pervert judgement, you shall not respect persons, neither take a bribe, for a bribe binds the eyes of the wise, and perverts the words of the righteous.” (Sefer Devarim, Perek 16, p’sukim 18-19) [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha R’ei 5771 — The Kindness and Perceptiveness of Chessed vs the Plight of the Expelled in Year 6

by Moshe Burt

According to Rashi, Moshe Rabbeinu begins our Parsha R’ei by informing the B’nei Yisrael about the blessing and the curse to be pronounced to them upon their entry to Eretz Yisrael from Mount Gerizim and Mount Eval.

Moshe Rabbeinu continues his mussar saying:

“Behold, I set before you … a blessing and a curse; the blessing if you heed the commandments of Hashem, and the curse, if you will not observe his commandments. (Sefer Devarim, Perek 11, posukim 26-27)

Toward the end of the parsha, we are informed: [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Eikev 5771: The Eikev Mitzvot and Self-Centeredness, Conceit and Indifference

by Moshe Burt

Sefer Shem Mishmuel (by R’ Shmuel Bornstein, as translated by R’ Zvi Belovski, pages 386-387) renders translation of the opening posuk of Parsha Eikev:

“And it shall come to pass, if you listen to these mishpatim (ordinances) and you guard them and do them, that Hashem Ke’ilokecha will guard the convenant for you and the kindness which He swore to your forefathers.”

Bearing this in mind, the Stone Chumash (Parsha Eikev Sefer Devarim Perek 7, posuk 12, pages 980-981) equates Eikev: [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Va’etchanan 5771 — Consolation: Maintaining Hope After Expulsion of Jews by Israeli Governance?

by Moshe Burt

The Haftorah for our Parsha begins:

“Nachamu, Nachamu Ami yomar Elokeichem” — “Comfort, comfort my people — says your G’d.” (Yishaiya, 40:1)

This sentiment seems to be silent, but yet a theme of Parsha Va’etchanan.

In the beginning of Parsha, Moshe Rabbeinu recalls for the B’nai Yisrael how he entreated Hashem for permission to cross the Jordan River but that his request was denied. Instead, he was consoled by viewing the Land from Mount Pisgah. (L’lmod Ul’Lamed – Parsha Va’etchanan, page 161) [...]  Click here to read more.