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The Torah does not provide any specific reason for Abraham’s travels. Consequently, Rabbi David Kimchi, a medieval Biblical commentator posits that Abraham continuously travels in order to dwell in the different parts of the land that Hashem gave to him. By residing in various places, even for short periods of time, Abraham adds his own… Read more »

At the beginning of the Book of I Kings, King David passes away and his son Shlomo takes his place as King of Israel. The above verse states that King Shlomo’s throne is “firmly established”. Unlike his father David, Shlomo ruled a kingdom that was consistently strong and at peace. Under Shlomo’s rule, the Kingdom… Read more »

The Hebrew month of Cheshvan (חשון) is a time where Jews in Israel pray for rain. Not only do we pray for rain, we pray for ‘rains of blessing’ in Hebrew called gishmei bracha (גשמי ברכה). The hope and prayer is that these rains of blessing fall at the right time and in the right… Read more »

The Hebrew name for the Jordan river is Yarden (ירדן), a word formed from the Hebrew words yorayd Dan (יורד דן), which means ‘descends [from] Dan.’ The territory of Dan is the northernmost part of Israel. The Jordan river flows the length of the country from north to south, starting near Dan at the foot… Read more »

In the above verse, King David writes about being a “thriving olive tree in Hashem’s house.” Olive trees are one of the stronger species of tree with the ability to survive droughts, diseases and fires. Comparing oneself to an olive tree in the house of Hashem connotes feelings of safety, security and being in the… Read more »

One of the promises that God makes to Abram at the onset of his journey to the Land of Israel is that He will remain by Abram’s side by blessing those who bless Abram and cursing those who curse him. God continues on to promise that Abram and his descendants will become a source of… Read more »

One of the promises that God makes to Abram at the onset of his journey to the Land of Israel is that He will remain by Abram’s side by blessing those who bless Abram and cursing those who curse him. God continues on to promise that Abram and his descendants will become a source of… Read more »

One of the roles with which God tasked the Prophet Isaiah was to shift the people of Israel’s focus from politics to morality. Having witnessed the fall of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, Isaiah must explain these tragedies to the people of Israel. More importantly, Isaiah must instruct the people on how to improve… Read more »

When Jacob arrives in Beit El, the city near which his grandfather Abraham called out to God for the first time in the Land of Israel (Genesis 12:8), he recognizes it’s unique spiritual character. Beit El, which means, “the house of the Lord,” appears throughout the Bible as a special location for prayer. Just as… Read more »

We read the Torah portion of Lech L’cha in which Abram is commanded by God to leave everything behind and head to the Holy Land. According to Jewish Sages, the journey that God commands Abram is for Abram’s own benefit. God vows that if Abram follows His commands, He will protect and safeguard Abram and… Read more »

Leviticus 22:23 outlines the imperative to sanctify the name of God. According to the Talmud, the best way to sanctify God’s name is by ensuring that one’s behavior and speech reflects positively upon God. One must act in accordance with His commandments and treat others with kindness, consideration, and honesty. In Hebrew, the term for… Read more »

The Book of Job poses the difficult question of why bad things happen to good people. The book begins with the narrative of a righteous man named Job, who is tormented by God through a series of horrific events, including the death of his children, the loss of his property and his contraction of a… Read more »

In the above verse, the Prophet Amos concludes his prophecy with a message of hope for the people of Israel. Amos proclaims that the day will come when the people of Israel will return from exile to the Land of Israel, build homes, plant vineyards and trees, and enjoy their fruits. Just as a sapling… Read more »

Throughout Talmudic literature, the Jewish people are compared to a dove. Once a dove meets her mate, she never leaves him for another, and a dove, even when her offspring are taken, will never abandon her nest. In a similar fashion, the Children of Israel are faithful to God. The Sages comment that the dove… Read more »

The above verse is taken from the Book of Leviticus. Although most of the Book of Leviticus discusses the ancient priestly rituals of the past, many verses and chapters of Leviticus are eternal and remain significant and practical in our daily lives. While Leviticus deals with the detailed ins-and-outs of rituals and offerings, it is… Read more »

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