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 Avraham...

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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...

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Vayakhel: Seeing with the Heart

by: Batya Hefter “Moshe said to the children of Israel, 'See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Yehuda, and he has filled him with the spirit of God - in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and with talent for all...

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Dedications

Sara Jo Ben Zvi’s shiur was dedicated by Esther Minsky, in memory of her father, Reb Bernard Lax z”l
The upcoming Pre-Chanukah shiur with Rav Rafi Kadosh is dedicated in memory of Norma Fund z”l, by her son and daughter-in-law, Aryeh & Yocheved Fund and family

Holiday Thoughts

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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 בדד' ‘ the...

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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...

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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...

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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]...

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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...

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Yom Kippur – God Desires the Heart

By: Batya Hefter “God desires the Heart’; so teaches the Talmud. Where are our hearts, the seat of our desires and yearnings on this day?   Since Rosh Chodesh Elul we have been the saying pasuk in mizmor leDavid, לך אמר לבי, בקשו פני, את פניך אבקש.   On the face of...

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Reflections on Yom Hashoa

By: Rav Herzl Hefter My father was a grown man at the time of World War II and would constantly relive and recount his memories of those terrible years as well as more pleasant times growing up with his family of nine brothers and sisters in Poland before the War....

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Reflections on the Days of Judgment

by Batya Hefter These days of repentance and forgiveness intensify the ongoing struggle between judgement and unconditional love.  On the personal plane, this translates into a struggle between holding ourselves accountable as opposed to being forgiving of ourselves....

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Yom Kippur: Why Aharon?

By: Rav Herzl Hefter And Moshe said to Aharon, “What did this people do to you, that you brought so great a sin upon them?” (Shmot 32:21) The temple service of Yom Kippur is only valid if performed by the High Priest. (Yoma 32b) Aharon is the one who led the people to...

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Dedications

Sara Jo Ben Zvi’s shiur was dedicated by Esther Minsky, in memory of her father, Reb Bernard Lax z”l
The upcoming Pre-Chanukah shiur with Rav Rafi Kadosh is dedicated in memory of Norma Fund z”l, by her son and daughter-in-law, Aryeh & Yocheved Fund and family