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Divrei Torah

Parshat Chukat

The Kohen shall take a piece of cedar wood, hyssop, and crimson thread, and cast them into the burning of the cow — Numbers 19:6 And Jephthah vowed … “If You will indeed deliver the children of Ammon into my hand, whatever comes forth from the doors of my house towards me … I will [...]

Parshat Korach

A young woman is going door to door collecting information for a census. As she reaches the front door of one particular house she hesitates before knocking. Emanating from the house are strange noises, shouts and screams and the sounds of smashing glass. Eventually she plucks up the courage and knocks on the door. The [...]

Parshat Shelach

Calev alone went (to Hebron) to prostrate himself at the graves of the Patriarchs — Rashi, Num 13:22 The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it — Woodrow T. Wilson The Torah reading this week contains one of the most pivotal events in the Exodus narrative. The original itinerary of [...]

Parshat Behaalotecha

“And the man Moshe was very humble, more than any man on the face of the earth!” — Numbers 12:3 You may have heard about the rabbi who was so humble that his members presented him with a solid gold lapel pin that said “World’s most humble rabbi.” The next Shabbat he wore it to [...]


… But in the seventh year, the land shall have a complete rest – Leviticus25: 3-6  At the beginning of this week’s double Torah portion we read about the mitzvah of shemitta. Shemitta literally means to release or let go, and the mitzvah entails “letting go” of all fields and leaving them to lie fallow, uncultivated and open to the [...]

Acharei – Kedoshim

Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few — George Bernard Shaw “Daddy,” a little girl asked her father, “do all fairy tales begin with Once upon a time?” “No, sweetheart,” he answered. “Some begin with If I am elected!”  Well it seems that most of the world is busy with elections, some more [...]


This shall be the law of the person afflicted with tzara’at, on the day of his cleansing, he shall be brought to the Kohen — Lev. 14:2 I don’t at all like knowing what people say of me behind my back. It makes me far too conceited — Oscar Wilde This week’s Torah reading (outside [...]

Parshat Shemini

Rabbi Goldberg has had a secret longing all his life to taste a forbidden food … pork. Finally, after many years of internal struggle, he can no longer control himself and decides to give in to his desires. He travels to Europe, far from his hometown and takes a seat in a Michelin starred restaurant. [...]

Parshat Ki Tissa

וְעָשִׂיתָ כִּיּוֹר נְחֹשֶׁת וְכַנּוֹ נְחֹשֶׁת לְרָחְצָה וְנָתַתָּ אֹתוֹ בֵּין אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וּבֵין הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְנָתַתָּ שָׁמָּה מָיִם. “You shall make a washstand of copper … for washing, and … Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and feet… when they enter the Tent of  Meeting” – Exodus 30:18-20 The copper washstand used by the Kohanim (Priests) to wash their [...]

Parshat Tetzaveh

וְעָשִׂיתָ אֶת מְעִיל הָאֵפוֹד כְּלִיל תְּכֵלֶת: וְעָשִׂיתָ עַל שׁוּלָיו רִמֹּנֵי תְּכֵלֶת וְאַרְגָּמָן וְתוֹלַעַת שָׁנִי עַל שׁוּלָיו סָבִיב וּפַעֲמֹנֵי זָהָב בְּתוֹכָם סָבִיב … וְנִשְׁמַע קוֹלוֹ בְּבֹאוֹ אֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ “And you shall make the robe of the ephod entirely out of blue wool … And you shall make on its hem pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet wool … and gold [...]

Parshat Terumah

וְעָשׂוּ לִי מִקְדָּשׁ וְשָׁכַנְתִּי בְּתוֹכָם And they shall make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell in their midst — Ex 25:8   Four surgeons are discussing who their favourite patients are. The first surgeon says, “I like to see accountants on my operating table, because when you open them up, everything inside is numbered.”     [...]

Parshat Mishpatim

An architect, an electrician and a lawyer are discussing whose profession came first. “Well, look at the Bible,” says the architect – “hills, valleys and seas were all designed and created at the very beginning of the world.” “Yes,” replied the electrician, “but before that G-d created light!” “You are both wrong,” answered the lawyer. [...]

Parshat Yitro

וַיִּחַדְּ  יִתְרוֹ  עַל  כָּל  הַטּוֹבָה  אֲשֶׁר  עָשָׂה  ה’  לְיִשְׂרָאֵל  אֲשֶׁר  הִצִּילוֹ  מִיַּד  מִצְרָיִם Jethro  was  happy  about  all  the  good  that  G-d  had  done  for  Israel, that  He  had  rescued  them  from  the  hands  of  the  Egyptians  —  Ex 18:9 After  many  years  of  doubt  and  disillusion  with  his  heritage,  Abe  decides  to  leave  the [...]

Torah Study With An iPad

Davka in cooperation with Moshe Berman (developer) has released its a new iPhone | iPad app called Torah Notebook. Torah Notebook is the ideal tool for creating and managing Torah content on on the go. Torah Notebook includes: – 1200 Divrei Torah, drawn from both classical and modern sources. Selections can can be tagged, edited, printed [...]

Parshat Beshalach

וַתַּעַל  שִׁכְבַת  הַטָּל  וְהִנֵּה  עַל  פְּנֵי  הַמִּדְבָּר  דַּק  מְחֻסְפָּס  דַּק  כַּכְּפֹר  עַל הָאָרֶץ The  layer  of  dew  lifted,  and  behold,  on  the  surface of  the  desert, a  fine,  substance  as  fine  as  frost  on  the  ground  —  Exodus 16:14 If  you  had  to  pick  one  item  to  symbolize  Shabbat,  the  day  of  rest,  which  item  would you [...]

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