Length: 50 minutes
Parah Adumah is the quintessential chok, a law which is impossible for us to understand. It is atonement for the chet ha’egel-the mother cow is coming to ‘clean up’ the mess of her child. This is the opposite of Kibbud Av V’em, a mitzvah that is easily understood, and one in which the child is doing for the parents. For the nations of the world, it is very easy to honor one’s parent, as the honor of Hashem does not come into the equation. However, as Bnei Yisroel, we must keep all mitzvos whether we understand them or not, and our ability to honor our parents can be limited because of our necessary deference to Hashem.
Length: 50 minutes
There are two places where the Torah teaches us that the death of tzaddikim atones. One is found in Parshas Chukas where the death of Miriam is discussed immediately following the laws of the Parah Adumah, which purifies the impure. The other case is the description of the death of Aharon Hakohein’s sons, which precedes the laws of Yom Kippur. Each of these tzaddikim taught us different ways to connect with Hashem throughout their lives. The life that Miriam led, and the be’er (well) that she endowed, is symbolic of the bond between Hashem and Bnei Yisrael that is quiet, simple, and yet incredibly powerful.
Length: 45 minutes
At the end of Parshas Korach, we are instructed to give tithes to the Leviim. The Leviim were chosen by Hashem to serve the Kohanim in the Beis Hamikdash, and they dedicate their lives to teaching Bnei Yisroel. Because of their unique role, we are obligated to support them, recognizing that we need them and what they stand for. This commandment is specifically found after the story of Korach, who did not recognize the special status and necessity of the Leviim.
Length: 55 minutes
In the 4th aliyah of Parshas Chukas, Moshe send messengers to the king of Edom, asking permission for Bnei Yisroel to pass through their land. This exchange begins with Moshe reminding Edom that we are brothers, and references the strength of Yaakov, which is in the voice of tefilah. Edom, a descendant of Esav, responds with reference to the sword of Esav, This happens right after Moshe hits the rock instead of speaking to it, which is as failure of the voice of Yaakov. We need to make sure to use our voice in tefilah, recognizing that what we have comes from Hashem, who responds to our voice.
Length: 1 hour
Moshe davens an unusual tefilah to Hashem, asking that He should not accept the offerings of Korach and his men. Korach was trying to undermine belief in Moshe as the unique prophet of Hashem, and in doing so was breaking down the sense of oneness in the community. Moshe, as the most humble of all men, could say such a tefilah with pure motivation in order to maintain the unity of Klal Yisroel. The bracha of v’lamalshinim that was added into our davening also asks Hashem to remove the slanderes and heretics from among us, and was composed by Shmuel Hakatan, who was humble just like Moshe.
Length: 43 minutes
In the fifth segment of our six part series of emunah, we discuss the fact that Hashem is the only G-d. We connect directly to the source, and recognize that nothing else has an impact on us unless Hashem wills it.
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Money and Contemporary Jewish Life – Part I NEW VIDEO
Money and Contemporary Jewish Life – Part II NEW VIDEO