Friday, December 1, 2017

Vayishlach - Shimon and Levi

This week's podcast is dedicated in memory of Eliyahu ben Aharon and Pinchos Ben Yakov by Arthur Shisman. Why are Shimon and Levi referred to as the 'sons of Yaakov?' Why are they called the 'brothers of Dinah?' What is the true concept of a brother or sister? How were they so sure they would conquer the city of Shechem? What is the meaning of the Yaakov capturing the city with his sword and bow? Why do the nations of the world threaten to take away any gains the Jewish people make in the land of Israel?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 25:06

Friday, November 24, 2017

Vayetzei - Purifying Challenges

Why does Yaakov face the challenge of Esav, his brother who wants to kill him, then run off to Lavan's house and face the new challenge of another difficult character? Why do the matriarchs have such difficulties - both with each other and with Yaakov? Why does Leah stop being able to conceive when Yehuda is born? Why does the Torah (and history) abound with descriptions of suffering on the part of the Jewish people?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 24:57

Friday, November 17, 2017

Toldos - Chamber of Exchanges

Why does Yaakov have to trick Esav to give him the spiritual firstborn rights? Why does he have to trick his father Yitzchak to get the blessings? Why didn't Hashem just cause Yaakov to be born first? Why was Yosef a younger brother when he, too, could have been born earlier and avoided the trouble? How could justify 'stealing' the blessings? What is the concept of the 'chamber of exchanges?'

Find out in this week's parsha podcast

Running time: 24:06

Friday, November 10, 2017

Chayei Sarah - Surrender and Sacrifice

Why is the description of the Akeida (Binding of Isaac) and Rivka's birth juxtaposed to Sarah's death? Why is it so hard for Avraham to purchase the location for Sarah's burial? Why must he pay top dollar? Why does Eliezer have to go so far to find a wife for Yitzchak? Why is it that in the merit of Avraham overcoming his mercy, he is able to ask Hashem to overcome His judgment?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 21:48

Friday, November 3, 2017

Vayera - Avraham and Sodom

What is the idea behind Avraham’s unique relationship with Sodom? How does it parallel the descent of the Jewish people into Egypt, and really of the many exiles we’ve experienced? What is the idea behind Avraham's middah (trait) of Chessed-kindness, in contrast with Sarah's trait of Gevurah-boundary? What is the unique relationship that the Jewish people has with the nations of the world?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 22:10

Friday, October 27, 2017

Lech Lecha - Kingdom of Kindness

What is the unique mission of Avraham Avinu? Why does the Torah deem it important to tell us of his wealth and great stature? Why does the Torah teach us about his conquest of the four and five kings? Why were the wise men of Nimrod so fearful when Avraham was born, such that they said to kill him? What was the meaning of the celestial sign that occurred when Avraham was born? What is the difference between all of the kingdoms of the world and the kingdom of Avraham and the Jewish people?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 27:08

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Noach - Times of Transition

Why does the Torah go into so much detail in describing the generation of the flood, and then the dispersion before bringing Abraham onto the scene? What was the difference between the sin of the generation of the flood and that of the dispersion? Why is the name Elokim (judgment) used in the flood and the name of mercy in regards to the dispersion? What is the significance of the 10 generations from Adam to Noach and then from Noach to Avraham, as well as the fact that Noach died when Avraham was 58 years old?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 28:29

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Vzos Habracha/Breishis - Ending and Beginning

Why do we read the final portion of the Torah on Shmini Atzeres, not on Shabbos? What is the difference between Atzeres (stop) and Shabbos (stop)? Why do we complete the Torah and then start it again immediately? Why does the torah conclude with blessings and the death of Moshe? What is Hashem's name which characterizes creation, and how does it compare to the name that denotes redemption? How is the name of redemption hinted to in the first verse of the Torah? What is the meaning of the Sefer Yetzirah's statment that 'the end is embedded in the beginning' and vice versa?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 27:18

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Succos - Joy of Submission

What does the midrash mean when it says that we leave our homes and enter the Succah to atone for the deserved punishment of exile? How does the mitzvah of Succah relate to the command to do teshuva (repent)? What does going into exile accomplish? What is the special joy of Succos? Why do we use the 'leftovers of the granary and the winery' to create our succah?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 28:07

Monday, September 18, 2017

Haazinu-Rosh Hashana - Affirming Commitment

Why do we always read the parshios related to the transition when we are standing at the new year? Why does Moshe call the Heaven and Earth as witnesses to Hashem's covenant with the Jewish people? How does Hashem express the covenant? How do we express that covenant? How does this relate to our crowning Hashem our King on Rosh Hashana? What are the different types of motivations for our actions?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 21:05