13 Petals

poor and rich

Parashat Ki Tavo – materialism and egoism

“When you enter the Land that God is giving you…you shall take from the first of all the fruit of the ground” (Dt 26:1-2).   From these words we learn that everything that is for God’s sake should be of the best and most beautiful (cf. Rambam), as the Torah says: “Kol Khelev leHaShem” – Read More

nest

Ki Tetzei: The Bird’s Nest

  “If you come across a bird’s nest in the way… Do not take the mother bird together with the children” (Deut 22:6)   A RATIONAL APPROACH Like most commands in the Bible, God doesn’t tell us his reasons for this command. It is up to us to obey first and then understand, as stated Read More

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Parashat Shoftim – I See Men Like Trees

“Is perhaps the tree of the field a man, to go into the siege before you?” (Dt 20:19). “Ki haAdam Etz haShade labo miPaneikha beMatzor”   Rashi says this is a question; he interprets the word “Ki” as meaning: ‘perhaps’. However, this Hebrew particle indicates casual relations of all kinds. It can also be translated Read More

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Parashat Ekev – the Heel and Messiah

“It will come to pass, because (eikev) you will listen to these judgments… God will safeguard unto you the covenant and the kindness he swore to your fathers” (Dt7:12).   One expects this to be conditional: “If you’d listen to these judgments” (Im tiShmeun et hamishpatim haEleh), but it says: “Because you will listen to these Read More

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Soul Chart

This chart presents a number of ideas from Torah in a fashion that shows a relationship between them based on the Four-letter Name of G-d. There are actually five parts to this Name when the top part of the first letter (called the “cusp” or “apex” of the Yod) is included. The information on this Read More

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Emor – Unifying God’s Name

“Say to Aaron… None of your descendants who has a defect may come near… No man who has any defect may… come near the curtain or approach the altar and so desecrate my sanctuary” (Lv 21:16-21). The congregation of Israel is called whole (heb. shalem); as it’s written: “Malki-Tzedek king of wholeness (Shalem)” (Gn 14:18). Read More