Episodes
After the Torah delineates the instructions to assemble the materials for the construction of the Tabernacle in Parshas Terumah and the creation of the vestments of the high priest in Parshas Tetzaveh, Parshas Vayakhel outlines the implementation those plans: The massive fundraising efforts, and the actual building of the Tabernacle and its vessels under the auspices of Bezalel. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – DONATE to TORCH: Please consider supporting the podcasts by making a...
Published 03/03/24
The final instructions for the construction of the Tabernacle are conveyed at the beginning of this week's parsha. After Moshe is told to appoint Bezalel as the head overseer of this enormous project, the Torah cautions us against constructing the tabernacle on Shabbos. Although we are required to build the Tabernacle, and we are inclined to be expeditious in the performance of this great mitzvah, nevertheless, we may not do it on Shabbos. When the Torah conveys this to us, the verse seems to...
Published 02/29/24
Our thoughts matter. This is especially true when it comes to sacrifices. The thoughts of those who are processing the sacrifices must be aligned with the protocols of the sacrifices. Or else, they are rejected - they are Piggul. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – This Mitzvah Podcast is dedicated towards the complete and speedy recovery of Tzvi Simcha ben Fruma. May he merit a complete Refuah Sheleimah.  – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – DONATE to TORCH: Please consider...
Published 02/28/24
The golden calf is one of the most inexplicable events in the Torah. What went wrong? Who is to blame? In this special edition of the Parsha Podcast we propose a novel idea that threads throughout the entire Parsha. We emerge from this episode with a greater appreciation of the indivisibility of our nation. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – DONATE to TORCH: Please consider supporting the podcasts by making a donation to help fund our Jewish outreach and educational efforts at...
Published 02/27/24
This week’s parsha contains several instructions related to the Tabernacle, but the majority of the parsha is dedicated to arguably the most shocking and troubling episode in the whole Torah, the Golden Calf. Forty days after the nation reached the pinnacle of human accomplishment – a national revelation at Sinai – the same nation committed what seems on the surface to be idolatry. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – DONATE to TORCH: Please consider supporting the podcasts by making a...
Published 02/25/24
This week's Parsha is dedicated to the priestly class: It begins with the oil that the High Priest kindles; it describes in great detail the special vestments that the priests wore; and it proceeds in outlining the process of inauguration of the priests. In this special edition of the Parsha Podcast we go deep and deeper behind the scenes, beneath the veneer, under the substratum of the Parsha and see what secrets we uncover. In particular, we examine a peculiar and uncharacteristic statement...
Published 02/22/24
There is not an indefinite amount of time to consume a sacrifice. Each sacrifice has its specific protocol and time frame in which it must be eaten. What happens with the leftovers? – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – DONATE to TORCH: Please consider supporting the podcasts by making a donation to help fund our Jewish outreach and educational efforts at https://www.torchweb.org/support.php. Thank you! – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Email me with questions, comments, and...
Published 02/21/24
Our Sages tell us that each one of us is unique and has a unique mission to fulfill. Humans are not fungible, moist, robots that can be swapped for each other. Each one of us is our own world. We must each say: "the world was created for me." But how do we discover our life mission? How do we know what the Almighty expects of us specifically? In this special edition of the Parsha Podcast, we suggest a new approach to determining what it is that you were placed on this Earth to accomplish. – –...
Published 02/20/24
Our nation is at war. Our brothers and sisters are in combat in Gaza, displaced from their homes in the north and the south of Israel, traumatized from the atrocities of October 7th, and of course there are 100 plus hostages still in Gaza. Our nation is experiencing pain and challenge the likes of which we have not seen for a very long time. Although we may be far away in the Diaspora, it is imperative that we not forget the plight of our brethren in Israel. We must each do what we can to...
Published 02/19/24
In a natural continuation to Parshas Terumah, in Parshas Tetzaveh we learn about the instructions to build the Tabernacle. Whereas last week the focus was on the edifice itself and its vessels, this week we will orient primarily on the special garments that the priests wore in the Tabernacle, and of course subsequently in the Temple. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – DONATE to TORCH: Please consider supporting the podcasts by making a donation to help fund our Jewish outreach and...
Published 02/18/24
The Tabernacle was a portable Temple in which the presence of God dwelled. Our Parsha begins with the fundraising effort to be conducted in the Wilderness where the nation was asked to donate the required materials for the construction of the Tabernacle, it's vessels, and the vestments of the high priest. In this enjoyable Parsha podcast we go deep and deeper on three different parts of the Parsha: we discuss the unusual ordering of the materials needed for the tabernacle; we probe the...
Published 02/15/24
The great medieval sage my Maimonides - Rambam - has been guiding us throughout our studies of the 13th principles of faith. This transcendental scholar, who's magisterial writings are authoritatively accepted amongst the entirety of the Jewish people, was one of our people's greatest personalities. His writings are enormously influential and authoritative in matters of philosophy and the foundations of our faith. In this episode we go through Rambam's epistle on Resurrection. In his...
Published 02/14/24
This week's Parsha marks the beginning of the Torah's detailing of the Tabernacle and its vessels and operations. This subject makes up the bulk of the remaining narrative of Exodus, and Leviticus contains much of the laws related to the Tabernacle. We have never witnessed the Tabernacle, nor it's successor, the Temple in Jerusalem. The whole notion of a dwelling house for God is somewhat strange to us. What can we take out of these sections? In this special edition of the Parsha Podcast we...
Published 02/13/24
One of the fundamental principles of Jewish philosophy is the idea of “Kedushah”, holiness. Holiness, according to the Jewish definition, is when the physical and spiritual worlds meet. In no location in the world is holiness more present than the Temple, and its predecessor, the “Mishkan”, the Tabernacle. In this week’s parsha we read about the instructions to raise the materials and to construct the Tabernacle and most of its vessels. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – DONATE to...
Published 02/11/24
Immediately after the Sinai Revelation, the Torah begins telling us many of the laws. In this Parsha podcast we focus on two of the laws: the famous verse of "an eye for an eye", and the requirement to aid your enemy when his donkey is struggling under its load. As is our mandate in year 8 of the Parsha Podcast, we go deep and deeper beneath the surface, trying to find insights and secrets beyond the text. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – DONATE to TORCH: Please consider supporting...
Published 02/08/24
There are many different types of sacrifices brought in the temple. Each sacrifice follows the prescribed protocol. There is zero tolerance for deviation from the protocol. In this podcast, we learn about the requirement for the priests to follow the protocol to a t, and we end with an important perspective that makes this entire subject more salient and meaningful to us. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – DONATE to TORCH: Please consider supporting the podcasts by making a donation...
Published 02/07/24
The Sinai Revelation was the most significant event in all of human history, certainly in all of Jewish history. Our nation experienced what no other people has experienced: we heard God speaking the Ten Commandments from amidst the fire and thick cloud on the mountain, and survived to tell the tale. This event - as told in last week's Parsha - is the foundation of our religion. This week we begin with a very obscure and strange law: we read about a Jewish bondsman who voluntarily choses to...
Published 02/06/24
We love Torah. Torah study is our national pastime and obsession. It is enjoyable; it is fun; it is interesting -- but to acquire it – we have to now that it is imperative: It is as indispensable as water, oxygen and bread. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – DONATE to TORCH: Please consider supporting the podcasts by making a donation to help fund our Jewish outreach and educational efforts at https://www.torchweb.org/support.php. Thank you! – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –...
Published 02/05/24
Parshas Mishpatim marks a stark change in the rhythm and pace of the Torah narrative. The preceding 17 Parshas contained a total of 41 mitzvos; this week we begin learning the Torah laws en masse. In this single parsha alone we have 53 mitzvos (only three parshas have more mitzvos). Beyond the varied laws, this parsha contains a prophetic promise and guidance regarding the conquest of Canaan, and the completion of the Sinai narrative that began in last week’s parsha. – – – – – – – – – – – – –...
Published 02/04/24
The arrival of Jethro, the preparation for Sinai, and the nature of the Sinai revelation - these are some of the subjects featured in our parsha. In this very special and atypically extemporaneous Parsha podcast, we offer four interesting ideas: one on the unique route that Jethro took to the truth; one on the particular form of pleasure that Torah bestows upon those who learn it; a supremely clever idea on the boundaries placed around Mount Sinai; and a fascinating observation on the...
Published 02/01/24
The eponymous protagonist of our Parsha - Moshe's father-in-law, Jethro - makes three appearances in the Torah. His story, at first glance, seems wholly unremarkable. His greatest claim to fame was the fact that Moshe married his daughter. But the Torah revisits this interesting and compelling character again and again, and his narrative is positioned as an introduction to the Revelation at Sinai and the giving of the Torah. What is the secret of Jethro? This is the third year in a row that...
Published 01/30/24
In our pursuit of understanding of the subject of resurrection, many questions remain. In the previous episode we talked about the two types of resurrection, there is still a lack of clarity in the similarities and the differences between the two types of resurrection. Furthermore, the Talmud says that the righteous are alive even when they are dead. If they are alive when they are dead, how can they be resurrected? In addition, Rambam - our guide to studying the 13 principles - says some...
Published 01/29/24
The most significant event in all of human history is the Revelation at Sinai, which occurs in Parshas Yisro. Prior to that monumental experience and the conveyance of the Ten Commandments, Moshe’s father in law, Jethro, arrived at the camp and makes an important suggestion for improving the efficiency of the judicial process. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – DONATE to TORCH: Please consider supporting the podcasts by making a donation to help fund our Jewish outreach and...
Published 01/28/24
The Exodus is finally here. After 210 years in Egypt - enslaved, tormented, and oppressed - the nation is leaving with great pomp and ceremony. There is an apparently curious factoid about the Exodus: in the third verse of our Parsha, the Torah tells us that Moshe secured the bones of Joseph, and transported them with the nation.  What is the significance of the bones of Joseph? Why was it so important to bring these bones of Joseph with the people? In this Parsha podcast we go deep and...
Published 01/25/24