August 19, 2018 |

Daniel M. Kimmel


My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) -- Lech L'cha (3)

One of the stories about Abram (soon to become Abraham) that isn't dwelt on in Hebrew school appears in Parshah Lech Lecha. There is a famine and Abram takes his family to Egypt. There he tells his wife Sarai, "If the Egyptians see you and think, 'She is his wife,' they will kill me and let you...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Noach (3)

The Etz Hayyim commentary raises an interesting question about Parshah Noach. God tells Noah he is going to destroy the world in a flood, and that Noah should "make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make it an ark with compartments and cover it inside and out with pitch." (Gen. 6:14) The question is...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Bereshit (3)

Bill Maher is a very funny guy but when it comes to religion he not only goes overboard, he sometimes gets it wrong. Last week Maher, an outspoken atheist, joked that God couldn't be too powerful if, after creating the universe in six days, he was "pooped" on the seventh. However, as we see in...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) -- Sh'mini Atzeret 5770

Remember when you and your whole family would get together for Sh'mini Atzeret? It was a festive holiday, with fresh food and a joyous atmosphere, right? Unless you're at least 2000 years old, you probably don't have any such memories. Indeed, in spite of being one of the Yom Tovim mandated in...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) -- Sukkot 5770

This week's Torah reading is related to the festival of Sukkot which commences with Shabbat. We won't be shaking the lulav and etrog until the second day this year, just as we had to wait for the second day of Rosh Hashonah to hear the shofar. Instead we'll be reading about the Jewish calendar which...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) -- Shabbat Shuvah

This Shabbat is Shabbat Shuvah, the Shabbat that falls between Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur. Our tradition teaches that the gates of repentance are always open (well, except for when they close at the end of the Neilah service), and we are constantly reminded that it is never too late to change...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) -- Rosh Hashonah 5770

This year we will hear the Shofar less often than usual. Since the first day of Rosh Hashonah falls on Shabbat, the Shofar blowing - and Tashlich - are both pushed backed to Sunday. It's part of the magic and confusion of the Jewish calendar where holidays are "early" or "late" on the civic...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) -- Nitzavim

This week's double portion of Nitzavim/Vayeleki has one of the most moving answers to those who think being an observant Jew is too complicated, "Surely, this Instruction which I enjoin upon you this day is not too baffling for you, nor is it beyond reach." (Deut. 30:11) The text goes on to say...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) -- Ki Tavo

In Parshah Ki Tavo Moses outlines some of the rituals and ceremonies the Israelites will be performing upon entering the Promised Land. One of the most curious is a listing of curses upon anyone doing certain things (Deut. 27:14-26) such as "Cursed be he who strikes down his fellow countryman in...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) -- Ki Tetze

When is doing nothing a mitzvah? In Parshah KiTetzei among the laws given is this: "When you reap the harvest in your field and overlook a sheaf in the field, do not turn back to get it; it shall go to the stranger, the fatherless and the widow - in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all...


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Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

Joined: August 8, 2007

Shmuel is Rabbi of Ohev Sholom -- The National Synagogue, the oldest Orthodox synagogue in Washington, DC. His communal responsibilities include teaching classes, coordinating adult education, creating programs for the elderly,the youth, and the sick, and ministering to the pastoral needs of the...

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Joined: November 19, 2017

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