Chayei Sara: Haftara, A Second Chance

by Ilana Goldstein Saks  In our haftarah we see David Hamelech at the end of his life (Melachim I 1:1). Sadly, his last chapter does not seem to reflect a reign of greatness and achievement. Instead we see a weak, elderly king wallowing in the results of past...

Vayera: The Symbolism of the Brit Milah

by Rabbi Herzl Hefter In this week’s parasha, Avraham circumcises his son Yitschak. I have always thought it odd that cutting away the foreskin of the male organ should serve as the symbol of the covenant between God and the descendants of Avraham. In order to...

Lech Lecha: Is Faith Certainty?

by Batya Hefter Pinat Ramban – Parshat Lech Lecha God promised Avraham: “All the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars in the sky.” The Ramban asks (Bereishit 15:2) “How could...

Noach: Language & Communication

By Rabbi Herzl Hefter G-d punishes the hubris of humanity by confounding their language and dispersing them to the corners of the Earth. This story calls our attention to the function of communication in the building of human civilization. “And the land was of one...

Ki Tetze: Who is “in” and who is “out”

By: Rav Herzl Hefter This week’s parsha tells of the unique status of four nations; Ammon, Moab, Egypt and Edom. Because of historical acts of cruelty and insensitivity these nations are barred from marrying into the Jewish People. According to our sages this is true...