Reflections on Moshe and Rebuke- Tisha B’Av 5777

Batya Hefter – Rosh Beit Midrash “And these are the words”(Dvarim 1:1)  says Rashi, ‘these are words of rebuke’ Parshat Dvarim is always read the Shabbat before Tisha B’av. The linguistic parallel between Moshe words “איכהאשא לבדי טרחכם” and  איכה ישבה...

The Celestial and Earthly Jerusalem

by Rav Herzl Hefter Rabbi Yohanan said: the Holy One Blessed Be He said, “I shall not dwell in the Celestial Jerusalem (Yerushalayim shel ma’alah) until I dwell in the Earthly Jerusalem (Yerushalyim shel matah) ”There is a well-known dispute between Maimonides and...

The Exodus from Egypt: The Never-Ending Story

By Batya Hefter Stories in the Torah are powerful because they resonate within us on multiple levels. On the face of it, the redemption from Egypt is a narrative of national emancipation from slavery. However, if we look carefully, we will learn that the story is...

Pesach: Seize the Moment

By: Batya Hefter At the crux of Pesach is ‘haste’, as the children of Israel flee Egypt in haste.  Strikingly, Lot and his family flee the doomed Sdom in similar haste.   The story of Lot includes the intriguing detail that “he [Lot] baked for them [the angels]...

Reflections on Purim

By: Batya Hefter When Mordechai hears the edict to annihilate the Jews, he rends his clothes as a mourner, dons sackcloth, and cries out bitterly from the depths of his being. Rav Zadok teaches that this is the experience of hester panim; Mordechai has lost all hope...