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Dvar Torah

Changing Our Inner Compass

Changing Our Inner Compass

This week’s Torah reading, Parshat Devarim, always precedes Tisha B’Av, the 9th Av, that marks the destruction of the First and Second Temples among other calamities. Why did the the Sages set the Torah reading cycle to have this Parshat Devarim coincide with this most tragic day?

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The True Borders of Israel

The True Borders of Israel

Few people know that what is now the modern country of Jordan was also officially earmarked by the League of Nations in 1922 to be part of a planned Jewish homeland. Why did the League of Nations incorporate that land into their vision for a post-World War I homeland for the Jews?

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The Kiss of God

The Kiss of God

One of the obstacles to learning Chumash, “The Five Books of the Torah,” is that it is written in a very condensed fashion. This week’s Torah portion, Chukat, is a good example. The major topic of last week’s parsha, Korach, dealt with an event that took place in the 2nd year after B’nei Yisrael left Egypt. This week, chapter 20 of Sefer Bamidbar picks up the story of B’nei Yisrael 38 years later with the death of Miriam. What happened during those nearly 4 decades?

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The Nature of Argument in Jewish Law

The Nature of Argument in Jewish Law

This week’s Torah portion, Korach, points to another serious flaw that lurks within human nature. It depicts in dramatic fashion an ugly incident that occurred between Korach and his followers and Moshe. What was at the heart of the matter and why did it turn out as another tragedy within the nation of Israel?

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Joshua’s Conquest

Joshua’s Conquest

This week’s Haftorah reading is from chapter 2 in the Book of Joshua. It relates that 39 years earlier, Moshe, under pressure from the nation, sent out 12 spies to scout the land of Canaan. The mission resulted in tragic consequences, so why is Joshua seemingly making the same mistake by conducting another reconnaissance mission?

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