Resource Articles1

Bereshit

Parashat Bereshit

The Creation Narrative:

  • The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (particularly Introduction and Chapter 1). Rabbi Sacks argues that religion and science complement each other, each asking and answering different questions about the origins and nature of the world.
  • The Ideal and the Real, Rabbi Zvi Grumet, Tradition 34:3 (Fall 2000). Rabbi Grumet suggests that the first two chapters of Sefer Bereshit describe the ideal world that God created, followed by an account of the world as it actually existed through the partnership of God and man. He explains that this model can help us understand other dual accounts throughout Sefer Bereshit and other sections of Torah.
  • Bereishit: The Concepts of Creation, the Beginning of Time, and the Big Bang: the Relationship between Faith and Science, Rabbi Yoel Bin-Nun. Rabbi Bin-Nun suggests that the fundamental idea of the creation story is the unity of God.

Creation of Man and Woman:

  • Lonely Man of Faith, Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik. The Rav describes the dual narrative of the creation of man and woman as representative of the dual nature of humanity and the pragmatic and existential ways in which man and woman relate to each other. See also Two Accounts of Creation: Bereshit 1–2.
  • Family Redeemed, Chapter 1, Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik. The Rav describes the “existential community” created by Adam and Chavvah, in response to man’s realization of his existential aloneness through the naming of the animals.
  • Majesty and Humility, Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik. The Rav explores the identity of man as both “cosmic-conscious” and “origin-conscious,” as represented by the dual narrative of man’s creation. These two aspects of man are reflected in two kinds of religious experience: experience of God through majesty and through humility/self-defeat.

The Holiness of Time/Shabbat:

  • Sacred and Profane, Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik. The Rav describes the different experiences of holiness represented by קדושת המקום (the holiness of space) and קדושת הזמן (the holiness of time).
  • Kehunah and Kedushah: The Priestly Role, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. Rabbi Sacks explains the notions of holiness in space and in time and the connection between emptiness/inactivity and holiness.

The Sin of the Tree of Knowledge:

  • Sin-a-Gogue: Sin and Failure in Jewish Thought, Chapter 2, Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin. Rabbi Bashevkin explores the notion of original sin and its relevance to Jewish theology.
  • The Art of Listening, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. Rabbi Sacks suggests that the story of Adam and Chavvah’s sin teaches us that Judaism prescribes a morality that derives from the voice of God and an internal sense of right and wrong. He distinguishes between an ethic of guilt, which focuses on righteousness and on the notion of an inner voice (hearing), and an ethic of shame, which focuses on honor and on appearances (sight).

Kayin and Hevel:

  • Violence in the Name of God, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. Rabbi Sacks suggests that Kayin’s reaction to Hashem’s rejection of his offering teaches that his offering was one of egotism and desire for power, rather than self-effacement in the presence of God. This is a commentary on the connection between religion and violence in history.
  • From Kayin to Korach: The Fellow Founders of Foment, Rabbi Shlomo Zuckier. Rabbi Zuckier compares parallels in the stories of Kayin and Korach, both narratives of destruction of society and the natural order.
  • The dialogue between Hashem and Kayin, and Kayin’s subsequent failure, can be understood as Kayin’s internalization of shame where Hashem wanted him to feel guilt. The psychological difference between shame (debilitating rejection of the self) and guilt (remorse for one’s actions, which can lead to healthy growth) is explored in the following sources:

Lemekh:

  • The Double Helix: From Lemech to Noach, Rabbi Mosheh Lichtenstein. Rav Lichtenstein explores the messages of the story of Lemekh and what it teaches us about man’s purpose and the development of civilization in Parashat Bereshit.

Parashat Noach

  • Parashat Noah: The First World and the Second, Prof. Jonathan Grossman. Prof. Grossman writes that the Flood represented a second creation of man, in which he is no longer as exalted as previously. The permission to eat meat represents that man becomes part of nature rather than its ruler.  See also Undoing and Redoing Creation and Permission to Eat Meat.
  • The Language of Babel: At the Tower with Rashi, Ramban, Netziv and Orwell, Rabbi Jeffrey Saks. Rabbi Saks explores interpretations that Migdal Bavel represented totalitarianism and the suppression of individual thought and communication.  See also Deconstructing Migdal Bavel.
  • Individual and Collective Responsibility, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. Rabbi Sacks argues that the generations of the Flood and of the Tower of Babel represent the extremes of cultures based on individualism and on collectivism, and the failures of both. These lead to the election of Avraham, who represents a fusion of individualism and collectivism.
  • The Spiritual Legacy of Noah and Avraham, Rabbi Michael Rosensweig. Rabbi Rosensweig explores differences in personality and legacy of Noah and Avraham, drawing a connection to the different purposes and legacies of Noahide and Jewish law.
  • Chazal’s Interpretation of Cham’s Sin, Rabbi Chaim Jachter. Rabbi Jachter explores textual supports for Chazal’s interpretation of Cham’s sin, along the way drawing parallels among the various sins of the beginning of Sefer Bereshit.
  • Nefesh HaRav, pp. 272-273, Rabbi Hershel Schachter. Rabbi Schachter explains the Rav’s interpretation that Shem represents ethics whereas Yefet represents etiquette.

Parashat Lech Lecha

  • Finished and Unfinished Journeys, Rabbi Shmuel Goldin. Rabbi Goldin explores the concept that Avraham continued Terach’s journey, and suggests that Avraham’s greatness is rooted in his persistence and perseverance.
  • Grow Up! A Religious Imperative, Rabbi Norman Lamm. Rabbi Lamm characterizes the commandment to Avraham to leave his childhood home as an imperative to develop maturity, and explores the meaning of maturity and its manifestations in Avraham’s story.
  • Gerut, Avdut, and Innuy: The Covenantal Formula in Go Forth and Learn: A Passover Haggadah, Rabbi David Silber. Rabbi Silber interprets the promise of exile and slavery in the Covenant of the Pieces (ברית בין הבתרים) as a prerequisite to becoming a nation of compassion.
  • A Palace in Flames, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. Rabbi Sacks explores the interpretations of Avraham’s search for God, and what they teach us about Avraham’s moral legacy.
  • Perspectives on the Avot and Imahot, Rabbi Avishai David. Rabbi David explores the concept of "מעשה אבות סימן לבנים" and different approaches to understanding the actions of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs.
  • Abraham and the 1960’s: Technocracy and the Journey Inward, Sam Glauber. The author explores Abraham’s identity as a seeker who chafes against a technocractic, progress-oriented society.

Parashat Vayera

  • Lot: Hero or Villain?, Eldad Zamir, Alei Etzion 10 (Tishrei 5761).  The author explores Lot’s personality and evolution over the course of his story.
  • The Binding of Isaac, Rabbi Mois Navon, Hakirah 17 (Summer 2014).  Rabbi Navon offers an interpretation of the meaning of Akeidat Yitzchak in the individual’s service of Hashem. 
  • Theological Issues in Sefer Bereishit: The Akeida, Rabbi Chaim Navon.  Rabbi Navon explores theological and moral issues in understanding the Akeidah. See also Purpose of Akeidat Yitzchak.
  • And Sarah Died, Dr. Yehuda Gellmann, Tradition 32:1 (Fall 1997).  Dr. Gellman explores the different experience of the Akeidah for Avraham and for Sarah, and the root of the difference.
  • The Patron Saint of Rabbis’ Kids, Rabbi Elli Fischer.  Rabbi Fischer explores the meaning of Yitzchak’s experience as the son of Avraham Avinu. 
  • Rebuilding a Future When our World Comes Crashing Down, Dr. Ezra Sivan.  Rabbi Sivan interprets the stories of Lot’s daughters, Tamar, and Rut as a yibbum (levirate marriage) triangle which teaches psychological and religious insight into rebuilding after one’s life narrative has been disrupted. 
  • Lot’s Wife Was Never Salt (and Why That Highlights the Greatness of Abraham), Rabbi Mark Glass. Rabbi Glass explores the story of Sedom’s destruction to understand the moral difference between Lot’s wife and Avraham and their differing concerns for the city of Sedom.  

Parashat Chayyei Sarah

  • Halakhic Morality, pp. 193-207, Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik. In this section, the Rav describes the notion of different religious styles and personalities. This idea connects to Chazal’s concept that Parashat Chayyei Sarah teaches us the importance of learning from the conversations and everyday life of the Patriarchs ("יפה שיחתן של עבדי בתי אבות מתורתן של בנים").
  • A Tribute to the Rebbetzin of Talne, Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik. The Rav describes the concept of "the Torah of your Mother", which represents the legacy of the Matriarch Sarah.
  • Biblical Type-Scenes and the Uses of Convention in The Art of Biblical Narrative, Dr. Robert Alter. Dr. Alter explores Biblical betrothal scenes at wells, analyzing how the use of this type-scene contributes to our understanding of the relationships and personalities described in each narrative.

Parashat Toledot

  • Rivka: The Enigma Behind the Veil, Dr. Esther Shkop, Tradition 35:3 (Fall 2002). Dr. Shkop offers a new understanding of Rivka’s behavior and motivation in Parashat Toldot.
  • The Importance of Trust, Rabbi Daniel Yolkut. Rabbi Yolkut explores the lack of communication between Rivka and Yitzchak about the prophecy that foretells Yaakov’s and Esav’s destinies, and what it teaches us about trust and fear of stigma.

Parashat Vayetze

  • Yemei Zikkaron, pp. 62-82, Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik. The Rav explores the personalities of Rachel and Leah, and of their descendants, as different paradigms of religious experience and leadership.
  • Biblical Type-Scenes and the Uses of Convention in The Art of Biblical Narrative, Dr. Robert Alter. Dr. Alter explores Biblical betrothal scenes at wells, analyzing how the use of this type-scene contributes to our understanding of the relationships and personalities described in each narrative.
  •  Why Did Isaac Love Esau?, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. Rabbi Sacks suggests that Yitzchak loved Esav not despite Esav’s character, but because of it.
  • Did Yaakov Deal Justly With Lavan?, Rabbi Yaakov Medan. Rav Medan explores the interactions between Yaakov and Lavan to understand whether Yaakov’s actions were justified, and to uncover messages for the reader about the Torah’s standards of fairness between employers and employees.
  • Midrash, Miracles, and Motherhood: The Birth of Dinah and the Definition of Maternity, Tzarich Iyun L’Dinah, Rabbi Edward Reichman. Rabbi Reichman explores how midrashic interpretation of the story of the birth of Dinah can be applied to contemporary halakhic discussion of new forms of reproductive technology.
  • The Dudaim: Friendship Between Sisters, Rabbi David Silverberg. Rabbi Silverberg suggests interpreting the story of the dudaim (mandrakes) as reflecting the closeness of Leah’s and Rachel’s relationship.

Parashat Vayishlach

  • Confrontation, Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik. The Rav interprets Yaakov’s story as representative of the dual identity of a Jew as a member of general society and of the covenantal community.
  • Biblical Narratives and the status of Enemy Civilians in Wartime, Rabbi Yitzchak Blau, Tradition 39:4 (Winter 2006). Rabbi Blau explores Jewish values relating to war and attacks on civilians, based in part on the narrative of Shekhem.
  • Jacob’s Silence and the Rape of Dinah, Rabbi Ari Silbermann. Rabbi Silbermann suggests that Yaakov’s reaction to Dinah’s rape reflects his experience of secondary trauma.

Parashat Vayeshev

  • The Maternal Effects on the Twelve Tribes of Israel, Rabbi Nachman Cohen, Hakirah 13 (Spring 2012). Rabbi Cohen proposes a theory that the personalities of Yaakov’s twelves sons were “determined by the disposition and perspective of their mothers at the time of their birth.”
  • Yemei Zikaron, Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, pp. 66-82. The Rav explores the personalities of the sons of Yaakov, with particular attention to the contrast between the nature and leadership of Yehuda and Yosef.
  • We Will Get Better, We Must Get Better, Rabbanit Rookie Billet. In this powerful, personal reflection, Rabbanit Billet describes the loss of her baby daughter to SIDS and how she found religious and emotional strength and meaning in the wake of her loss. Parashat Vayeshev describes two different reactions to the loss of children, that of Yaakov and that of Yehuda; this article can help students explore the ways in which such devastating loss is transformative in different ways for different people. The article is published in To Mourn a Child, edited by Rabbi Jeffrey Saks and Rabbi Joel B. Wolowelsky.
  • Of Deceptions and Conceptions: Rereading Tamar in Light of Rivkah, Sarah Golubtchik. The author explores the parallels between the stories of Rivka and Tamar in order to better understand Tamar’s character and Yehuda’s transformation.

Parashat Miketz

  • Joseph, the Master of Dreams, Dr. Hillel Chiel, Tradition 39:1 (Spring 2005). Dr. Chiel explores the significance of dreams in the narrative of Yosef and the transition from the Patriarchal Period to the national story of Am Yisrael.
  • The Beginning of Wisdom, Dr. Leon Kass, pp. 150-172. Dr. Kass explores the meaning and values represented by Yosef’s ability to interpret dreams.

Parashat Vayigash

  • The Universalism of Particularity, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik. Rabbi Soloveichik interprets the story of Yehuda’s personal transformation and repentance as representative of the need to feel responsible for one’s own family and people as a prerequisite for moral action.

Parashat Vayechi

  • The Pit Revisited, Rabbi Norman Lamm. Rabbi Lamm describes Yosef’s experience as he passed by the pit where he had been trapped by the brothers, and presents it as a metaphor for remembering one’s humble beginnings and maintaining humility.
  • Each Tribe A Blessing, Rabbi Alex Israel. Rabbi Israel explores the unusual nature of Yaakov’s “blessings” to his children, suggesting that they are meant to address the tensions of the past by finding a role for each son. Additionally, he reads this Parashah as an extension of Yaakov’s efforts throughout his life to control his difficult circumstances.
  • Why Ephraim and Manasseh?, Prof. Eli Mertzbach. Prof. Mertzbach suggests five understandings of the significance of the blessing of Ephraim and Menashe.

Shemot

Parashat Shemot

Parashat Vaera

Parashat Bo

Parashat Beshalach

Parashat Yitro

  • The Source of Faith is Faith Itself, Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein. In this powerful, personal essay, Rav Lichtenstein explores the source of belief in God.
  • Forgive Us, Father-in-Law, For We Know Not What to Think: Letter to a Philosophical Dropout from Orthodoxy, Rabbi Shalom Carmy. Rabbi Carmy argues that religious faith, like all important choices in life, should be based not only on reason but on the full range of human faculties.
  • Parental Say in the Life Choices of the Post-Adolescent Child: Some Halakhic Guidelines, Rabbi Shalom Rosenfeld, Tradition 46:2 (Summer 2013). Rabbi Rosenfeld explores the parameters of parents’ and children’s obligations to each other; this article can be a useful resource for discussing the mitzvah of honoring one's parents.
  • The New York Times ran a series on modern-day applications of the Aseret Hadibrot. This one is about avodah zarah.
  • A Case for Chosenness, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik. Rabbi Soloveichik explores the notion of Hashem’s unique love for the Jewish people

Parashat Mishpatim

Parashot Terumah and Tetzvah

  • A Return to the Garden of Eden, Rabbi Amnon Bazak.  Rabbi Bazak explores the parallels between the building of the Mishkan and the creation of the world to interpret the building of the mishkan as a correction for the sin of Adam HaRishon. 
  • Making Space, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.  Rabbi Sacks explores the parallels between the building of the Mishkan and the creation of the world as representing the need to constrict oneself in order to make space for the other.  
  • Thoughts of the Heart, Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein.  Rav Lichtenstein interprets the religious symbolism of the juxtaposition of the sacrifices and description of the priestly garments.
  • The Argument Over the Path to Faith and its Expression in the Parashiot of the Mishkan, Dr. Brachi Elitzur.  Dr. Elitzur explores the reason for the level of detail that the Torah provides about the commandment and execution of the building of the Mishkan. 
  • In the Shadow of God: The Mishkan’s “Constructive” Theology, Ranana Dine.  The author compares Jewish and Christian views on the beauty of the Temple and of places of worship.

Parashat Ki Tisa

  • Rembrandt’s Great Jewish Painting, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, Mosaic Magazine, June 10, 2016.  Rabbi Soloveichik interprets the symbolism and messages of Rembrandt’s depiction of Moshe carrying the Tablets of the Covenant, ("לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית").
  • Chet Ha-Egel Revisited, Rabbanit Dena Rock.  Rabbanit Rock explores the motivation behind the Jewish people’s alarming sin with the golden calf.

Parashot Vayakhel and Pekudei

  • See articles listed under Parashot Terumah and Tetzvah.

Vayikra

Parashot Vayikra, Tzav, Shemini, Tazria, Metzora

Parashat Acharei Mot

  • On Jewish Faith During the Holocaust, Rabbi Yehuda Amital.  Rav Amital explores fear of judgment and the feeling of “אשריכם ישראל” as two motivators to Teshuvah.
  • The Universalism of Particularity, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik.  Rabbi Soloveichik interprets the priestly service as representing the importance of feeling responsible for one’s own family as a prerequisite to feeling responsible for mankind as a whole. 

Parashat Kedoshim

Parashat Emor

  • Holy Times, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.  Rabbi Sacks discusses the uniqueness of the description of the holidays that appears in Parashat Emor, and the purpose of sanctified times.
  • One Upon A Time: The Story Told by the Chagim, Rabbanit Dena Rock.  Rabbanit Rock explores the narrative process represented by the cycle of the Jewish year.

Parashat Behar

  • Orthodox Approaches to Biblical Slavery, Rabbi Gamliel Shmalo.  Rabbi Shmalo explores different halakhic understandings of the Biblical institution of slavery. 
  • Jewish Philanthropy - Whither?, Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein.  Rav Lichtenstein explores priorities in Tzedakah and the values of giving to Jewish and non-Jewish causes. 
  • The Singer Solution to World Poverty, Dr. Peter Singer.  This is a thought-provoking, controversial perspective on the allocation of charity, written by a philosophy professor.  It is a great resource for stimulating discussion about the values underlying charity and the morality of charity allocation.

Parashat Bechukotai

  • Nothing Happens by Chance, Rabbi Mosheh Lichtenstein.  Rav Lichtenstein describes the haftarah’s emphasis on trust in Hashem during times of trouble, as described in the Parashah.  

Bemidbar

Parashat Bemidbar

Parashat Naso

  • Visions of Peace: Over Idealization and Under Realization, Rabbi Norman Lamm. Rabbi Lamm describes the Jewish notions of peace (as referred to in the priestly benediction) as they relate to the world and to personal life, and how these two dimensions of human experience relate to each other.

Parashat Behaalotekha

Parashat Shelach

  • The Singularity of the Land of Israel, Rabbi Yosef B. Soloveitchik
  • The Stick-Gatherer, Rabbanit Sharon Rimon.  Rabbanit Rimon interprets the story of the stick-gatherer as a reflection of Israel’s repentance and spiritual progress.

Parashat Korach

Parashat Chukkat

  • What is a Hok?, Rabbi Menachem Schrader, Tradition 51:2 (Spring 2019).  Rabbi Schrader considers if the identification of a mitzvah as a "חק" or as a "משפט" may change over time. 
  • Losing Miriam, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.  Rabbi Sacks suggests that Moshe’s behavior at Mei Meriva was impacted by the recent loss of his sister. 
  • Parshat Chukat: Did Moshe Really Sin?, Rabbi Menachem Leibtag.  Rabbi Leibtag proposes an innovative understanding of Moshe’s sin at Mei Meriva.
  • The Sin of Moshe and Aharon: A Sicha of Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, summarized by Matan Glidai and translated by Kaeren Fisch.  Rav Lichtenstein finds several lessons for the individual’s Avodat Hashem in the story of Moshe’s and Aharon’s sin. 

Parashat Balak

Parashat Pinechas

Parashat Mattot

Parashat Masei

  • The Sorrow and the Shame of the Accidental Killer, Alice Gregory. This incredibly powerful article from The New Yorker about the emotional experiences of people who accidentally killed others is connected to the notion of ערי מקלט (cities of refuge) and even mentions the concept explicitly.

Devarim

Parashat Devarim

  • Deuteronomy: Covenant Society, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Tradition 51:3 (Summer 2019).  Rabbi Sacks explores the purpose of Sefer Devarim and how it represents the culmination of all of Torah. 
  • The Unique Nature of Sefer Devarim, Rabbi David Ettengoff.  Rabbi Ettengoff defines the nature of Sefer Devarim as the bridge between תורה שבכתב ותורה שבעל פה (the Written and Oral Law).
  • The Torah of Man, Rabbi Yoel bin-Nun.  Rabbi Bin-Nun reads Sefer Devarim as a book that takes place entirely within Eretz Yisrael and marks the start of the Nation of Israel's experience of non-miraculous national life. 

Parashat Vaetchanan

  • Torat Emet and Torat Chesed: Methodological Reflections, Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein.  Rav Lichtenstein describes the different aspects and experiences of the mitzvah of Talmud Torah, which appears in Parashat Vaetchanan.
  • How to Read the Torah, Rabbi Norman Lamm.  Rabbi Lamm describes the orientation with which one should engage in Talmud Torah in order to uncover the Torah’s lessons.
  • Four Facets of the Love of God, Dr. Yaakov Weinstein, Tradition 52:2 (Spring 2020).  Dr. Weinstein considers approaches to the love of a human being for an infinite God. 
  • The New York Times ran a series on modern-day applications of the Aseret Hadibrot.  This one is about avodah zarah. 
  • The Source of Faith is Faith Itself, Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein.  In this powerful, personal essay, Rav Lichtenstein explores the source of belief in God.  
  • Forgive Us, Father-in-Law, For We Know Not What to Think: Letter to a Philosophical Dropout from Orthodoxy, Rabbi Shalom Carmy.  Rabbi Carmy argues that religious faith, like all important choices in life, should be based not only on reason but on the full range of human faculties. 
  • Parental Say in the Life Choices of the Post-Adolescent Child: Some Halakhic Guidelines, Tradition 46:2 (Summer 2013).  Rabbi Shalom Rosenfeld.  Rabbi Rosenfeld explores the parameters of parents’ and children’s obligations to each other; this article can be a useful resource for discussing the mitzvah of kibbud av ve-em. 
  • Material Wealth and Its Dangers, Rabbi Elchanan Samet.  Rabbi Samet explores the ideas in Sefer Devarim about the dangers of wealth and the message for the modern reader.

Parashat Eikev

  • The Singularity of the Land of Israel, Rabbi Yosef B. Soloveitchik
  • Privilege, Perspective, and Modern Orthodox Youth, Dr. Rivka Press Schwartz.  Dr. Schwartz explores the extent to which the Modern Orthodox community in the US views its successes within historical context versus taking excessive credit for it (כחי ועוצם ידי).

Parashat Reeh

  • The Mound Builders, Rabbi Daniel Yolkut.  Rabbi Yolkut explores the Gemara’s idea that the Nation of Israel built miniature mountains to represent Mount Eival and Mount Gerizim when they entered the land, and suggests that this represents continuing to reach for religious goals even when they are unattainable. 
  • A Case for Chosenness, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik.  Rabbi Soloveichik explores the notion of Hashem’s unique love for the Jewish people.
  • Orthodox Approaches to Biblical Slavery, Rabbi Gamliel Shmalo.  Rabbi Shmalo explores different halakhic understandings of the Biblical institution of slavery.

Parashat Shofetim

Parashat Ki Tetze

Parashat Ki Tavo

  • Mikra Bikkurim at the Seder: A View from Deuteronomy, Rabbi Tzvi Sinensky.  Rabbi Sinensky suggests that מקרא בכורים (the declaration accompanying the bringing of first fruits) is a paradigm for our appreciation and understanding of the trajectory of Jewish history. 
  • Confessions of a Tzaddik, Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman.  Rabbi Feldman suggests that וידוי מעשר (the confession of the tithe) represents the religious importance of recognizing one’s own potential greatness.
  • Sh’hora Ani V’nava, Rabbi Yosef B. Soloveitchik.  The Rav explores וידוי מעשר (the confession of the tithe) as a manifestation of the importance of recognizing one’s own potential, as well as one’s sins, in the process of Teshuvah.  
  • Beautiful Baskets, Mrs. Michal Horowitz.  Mrs. Horowitz interprets a Gemara about baskets of first fruits to teach the importance of sensitivity to others. 
  • Parashat Ki Tavo: The Curse of the Law, Dr. Baruch Sterman.  Dr. Sterman analyzes Ramban’s anti-Christian polemic in his commentary on Parashat Ki Tavo and his interpretation that the curses are a punishment for rejection of the system of mitzvot rather than laxness of observance.

Parashat Nitzavim

Parashat Vayelekh

  • The Experience of Hakhel, Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein. Rav Lichtenstein describes the religious experience and emotions represented by the mitzvah of Hakhel.

Parashat Haazinu

  • Let My Teaching Fall Like Rain, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.  Rabbi Sacks interprets the image of rain as referring to the Torah’s strength to sustain each person individually and uniquely.  This can be connected to the Rav’s perspective in Halakhic Morality, pp. 193-207 about different religious styles and personalities, or his writings about the individual’s mission (as in Days of Deliverance pp. 20-22).

Parashat Vezot HaBerakhah

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