Parsha Vayeira 5772: Prayer and Stark Contrasts Between Actions of Avraham, Sodom, and Israel in 5772

by Moshe Burt

Our Parsha opens with Hashem, as we understand, visiting Avraham Aveinu on the 3rd day after Bris Milah, when Avraham was at the height of his pain following the circumcision, as Rashi indicates, “to inquire about his welfare.” (Metsuda Linear Chumash rendering of Rashi on Perek 18, posuk 1)

It’s not like Hashem needed to pay a visit to ascertain Avraham’s actual condition. Hashem is the Creator, The Master, The Ruler over the world who knows and is aware of everything. And so, as Hashem visited to inquire as to Avraham’s wellbeing, Avraham pardoned himself from Hashem when he spotted 3 travellers inviting them into his tent.  [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Lech Lecha 5772: Avraham Avinu, Jonathan Pollard and Selfless Chesed L’Shem Shemayim

by Moshe Burt

This author was once on a roll in a friend’s Succah the night of the Yom Tov. During the seven days of Succot, we speak each day about one of the Seven Holy Men (Ushpizin) commemorated — Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Moshe, Aaron, Yosef and King David. In honor of Parshat Lech Lecha, an effort to recreate the off-the-cuff vort said on Avraham Avinu with a few embellishments, is made.

On the first night of Succot we commemorate, to parody Rowan and Martin’s ‘Laugh-In’ in the late 60s and early 70s, “The Man without whom the Jews wouldn’t be the Jews without the Jew — Avraham Avinu.” [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Noach 5772: “Chamas” and Compromised Principles, Perceived “Larger Cheshbonot”

by Moshe Burt

There is a Midrash Says at the end of Parsha Breish’t (pages 78-80) which is prelude to No’ach and the Mabul. It speaks about Hashem, as it were, Bemoaning His Making of man. The Melachim say to Hashem that they would do far better than man and would sanctify Hashem’s Name. So they came down and were more evil than man.

The Midrash Says notes that these Melachim were referred to in Torah as “the sons of judges”, “the lofty ones” for “they took for themselves wives from whomever they chose.” And so Gilui Aroyot (coveting illicit intimacies) became the “right of passage” expected by the “lofty ones” — the powers to be of the era such that this evil became institutionalized,what they wanted expecting and institutionalizing this usurpation. Therefore, common man, ever more victimized, sunk further and further into evil.  [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshiyot V’zot HaBracha – Breish’t 5772: Completion and New Beginnings; The Torah Continuim

by Moshe Burt

Somehow, not being rabbinic or a Talmud Chacham, it has always seemed difficult to put a true and deep meaning of Hashem’s creation to words to express the continuim of the end and the beginning of Torah.

Shem Mishmuel concludes a vort on V’zos HaBracha this way;

Let us propose that these brachot are eternal, that they were not just pronounced by Moshe to Klal Yisrael on his last day on earth, but like the rest of Torah, their influence is everlasting. Indeed, the beautiful blessings which Moshe bestowed upon us are still with us, as if he were standing and blessing every one of us today. Of course, as with their inception, the quality of the brachot will depend upon the ability of each of us to successfully receive them. [...]  Click here to read more.

Succot 5772: Revisited: Moshiach, Redemption — Are We Systemically Programmed for Personal, Collective Success or Failure?

by Moshe Burt

Having emerged from Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur and, hopefully we have all been inscribed and sealed for a happy, healthy, successful and meaningful year and years ahead, we find ourselves in the midst of Succot.

During Succot, the B’nai Yisrael, as an Am Segula (a nation apart and unique from the other nations), as Hashem’s special, chosen people, visit, bond, and celebrate our special and unique relationship with HaKodosh Borchu.

Prominent in our thoughts during Succot are the Haftorahs which the prophecy of the War of Gog and Magog, Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima (the Redemption) and the rebuilding of the Beit HaMikdash are pronounced. Or, as the expression goes among baseball fans each springtime — right down to the fans of the most hapless MLB team; “Hope springs eternal.” [...]  Click here to read more.