Friday, August 06, 2021

Divrei Torah - JewishLink

Personal Growth: Not So Personal

Looking into the story of Korach, one might view Korach and his 250-man crew in disbelief. How could they have tried to oppose Moshe to overthrow his leadership? However, looking a little deeper into it, Korach and his men were not childishly trying to gain control or power, but perhaps were driven by pure intent to advance in spiritual


By the Mouth

The punishment dealt to Korach is one of several puzzling aspects of Parshat Korach. Pirkei Avot teaches that the Mouth of the Earth was one of the things Hashem created on the eve of the first Sabbath. Why was the Mouth of the Earth chosen as the means of punishing Korach? Another rather strange aspect of the parsha is the odd response by


The Secret of Chabad

One day, my phone rang.

“Is this Chabad?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“My name is ___ from Monsey. A friend of mine is in Hackensack and her car won’t start.”

I have to admit: this was a


Parshat Korach

Layla and Zahava rushed to the school gym, where the whole school would be, to find out who would be elected school president. Both of them were on the ballot. Becoming president was a big deal and everybody who ran got really annoyed if they didn’t win.

The principal came into the room and tried to


Life Steady and Whole

We would think that Torah is so vast that no one individual mitzvah can symbolize all the 613 “components.” Surprisingly, the Torah designates one mitzvah as an icon for the entire system of commandments. The mitzvah of tzitzit activates our imagination and attunes us to the entire system of mitzvot. Somehow, a glance at the


You Need to Be True Blue and True to the Blue

In reading Parshat Shelach, not only should we be puzzled by Bnei Yisrael yet again doubting Hashem, but we should be puzzled by Hashem’s reaction. Back in Bereishit, Avraham posed to Hashem the rhetorical question: “Will You remove the righteous with the wicked?” (Bereishit 18:13.) Hashem, so to speak, concedes this argument.


‘Seeing’ Through The Lens of Emunah

I remember learning about optical illusions in school. We were shown a picture that looked like an old lady, but if turned upside down, it looked like a young girl. Another page had an image with multiple boxes and colors, yet when the light in the room was dimmed, numbers seemed to pop out from the page. Optical illusions manipulate the


A Few Blind, Frightened Zionists

“There’s none so blind as they that won’t see.”

—Jonathan Swift

Moses sends 12 men, 12 princes, representatives of each of the tribes of Israel to spy out the land of Canaan. He charges them with bringing a report regarding the land. Though Moses had God’s


Shabbat HaTekhelet: A Q&A With Founder Baruch Sterman

This week’s Torah portion is Shelach, where the mitzvah of tzitzit—and the blue string of Tekhelet that hangs from them—is recorded. The nonprofit organization Ptil Tekhelet is running a Shabbat campaign in which numerous rabbis and educators from around the world will be giving classes and sermons. We met with Dr. Baruch Sterman,


Recalculating the Route

In this week’s parsha of Shelach we notice an interesting contrast. There were the scouts from the parsha that Moshe sent out and then there were the scouts in the haftarah that Joshua sent out. They both saw the same Land of Israel, the same challenges and the same opportunities. The original meraglim/scouts had a doom and gloom


Now You See It; Now You Do

Our parsha begins with the story of the meraglim, those who went to spy out Eretz Yisrael and who ultimately came back delivering a negative report about the land. Rashi (8:2) picks up on the fact that last week’s parsha ended off with the story of Miriam who spoke negatively about her brother Moshe, and thus explains the connection:


Parshat Shelach

Danny and his friend Moshe rushed into school. They ran up the steps to the lunchroom to see the list of the winners of the art contest that Danny had entered. “I bet you won!” Moshe said with a smile. “Now everyone’s gonna know how amazing you draw.” Danny nodded with a weak smile as he got closer and closer to the

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