Hide and Seek – Parshat Hazinu

“When we keep the Torah, we see G-d more clearly in our lives. If we don’t keep it, then G-d becomes more and more difficult to see.

It says in the Torah, ‘I have surely hidden my face’… [The way this is written in Hebrew], the word ‘hide’ is used twice.

Sefat Emet Series on Parshat Nitzavim

“The Sfas Emes…tells us that access to Torah depends on one’s ye’gia (input of time, effort, and strain). Hence, if a person truly longs for the Torah, he/she will make the effort to attain it. For such a person…the Torah will not be distant.

A Nation of Storytellers (Ki Tavo 5781)

“The great questions – ‘Who are we?’, ‘What is our task?’ – are best answered by telling a story…

Jews were the first people to find God in history [and] to think in historical terms – of time as an arena of change as opposed to cyclical time in which…nothing really changes… the first people to write history… Yet biblical Hebrew has no word that means ‘history’… Instead, it uses the root zachor, meaning ‘memory.’

Or HaChaim Retrieves Hidden Message from Mitzvah of Returning Lost Objects

“You shall not see the ox of your brother or his lamb wandering and hide yourself from them; you shall surely return them to your brother.’ [Devorim 22:1].

The Biblical commandment to return lost objects (haShavas aviedah) is derived from this pasuk… The Shalo”h HaKadosh comments that the use of ‘hashev teshivem’ [rather than ‘hachzer tachzirem’] connotes the idea of teshuvah [repentance]. The Torah is discussing returning a person’s lost [object], but at the same time, the Torah is eluding a situation where the person himself is lost… the Torah is urging us to bring ‘lost souls’ back to the Master of the Universe.

This mitzvah is certainly relevant in our times when great masses of our fellow brethren have become estranged and ‘lost’ from the ways of Torah and the ways of the Master of the Universe. We must make whatever effort possible towards Hashev Teshivem – to bring them back to do Teshuvah.”

Parashat Shofetim: The Knock on the Door

“Rain [which] is formed by the evaporation of water on the earth… is symbolic of the ‘Hit’oreruta De’le’tata’ – the awakening from down below.

When we take the initiative of performing Misvot, we ‘awaken’ blessing from the heavens. Our initiative is like the water’s evaporation, as our good deeds ascend to the heavens and then return to us in the form of divine blessing.

How To Give to G-d (Parshat Reeh)

“The Torah considers someone who verts his eyes from the needy as though he worshiped idols…

Really every mitzvah that involves giving to our fellow beings is a reflection of our relationship with G-d… We have nothing to give except the giving itself. Everything else belongs to G-d.

Why Civilisations Fail

“Moses was saying: …It will be when all your physical needs are met – when you have land and sovereignty and rich harvests and safe homes ­– that your spiritual trial will commence.

The Truth about Zionism – Parshat Va’etchanan

“Moshe Rabbenu is associated with the quality of Netzach – eternity. Everything he did was for eternity. Indeed G-d gave the Torah through Moshe because the Torah is eternal.

Parshat Devarim

“The Sfas Emes [said] that the Ge’ula will come as the result of a cumulative process, in which the spiritual achievements of each generation will be added to those of all preceding generations until finally, we reach the ‘target level.’ Thus, every generation that adds spirituality to the world, by bringing light to where darkness had previously reigned, participates in building the Beis Hamikdash.

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony – Parshas Haazinu

“‘Remember bygone days’… the importance of having an appreciation for history… to understand the changes from one generation to the next… each generation has its own set of problems and own set of rules and own set of circumstances.