May 25, 2018 |

Daniel M. Kimmel

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

You may sometimes wonder where the rabbis get the laws that are not explicitly spelled out in the Torah. Much of it is extrapolated from what's already there. This week's Parshah Beha'Alotcha provides an example. Moses is instructed by God to have two silver trumpets made which will be used to...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Naso (2)

Judaism recognizes that even our greatest sages have their flaws. Perfection is reserved for God. Thus we have been given the means to atone for wrongdoing and to do "t'shuvah," literally "turning" onto the right path. In Parshah Naso Moses is told that part of the process when a person realizes...

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

It's easy to figure out why the rabbis selected the special reading from Deuteronomy for the second day of Shavuot. It's right there in the text, "Then you shall observe the Feast of Weeks for the Lord your God, offering your freewill contribution according as the Lord your God has blessed you."...

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

Parshah B'Midbar ends on a strange note: "Do not let the Kohathite clans be cut off from the Levites." (Num. 4:18) This was a group of Levites whose job it was to carry the sacred objects from the Tent of Meeting whenever it was to be moved. Only the priests could collect them and wrap them up,...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - B'har/B'hukotai

In our double Parshah of B'har/B'hukkotai we read, "If your kinsman, being in straits, comes under your authority, and you hold him as though a resident alien, let him live by your side." (Lev. 25:35) From this we glean we are to help our fellow Jews who may have fallen on hard times. These and...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Emor (2)

Woody Allen had a routine in which he was hired by a firm to be their token Jew. He worked very hard at it, writing his memos from right to left but he was eventually fired. Why? He took off too many Jewish holidays. This week's Parshah Emor has another iteration of our calendar. God tells...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Ahahrei Mot/Kedoshim

The prohibition against the consumption of blood is clear and unambiguous, as we see in this week's double portion Aharei Mot/Kedoshim. "Therefore I say to the Israelite people: No person among you shall partake of blood, nor shall the stranger who resides among you partake of blood." (Lev. 17:12)....

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Tazria/Metzora

A major subject in this week's double portion of Tazria/Metzora has to do with ritual impurity. One group of people deemed ritually impure who were required to bring sacrifices were women who had given birth. We're told, "The priest shall make expiation on her behalf; and she shall be pure." (Lev....

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

In many ways Judaism is a religion of moderation. Parshah Sh'mini makes clear we are permitted, even encouraged, to partake of some things, while others are forbidden. We are allowed to eat beef and poultry and fish, but we are not creatures of prey who feast on anything we find. Indeed, such...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Chol Hamoed Pesach

For Chol Hamoed Pesach Shabbat we read of God permitting Moses to see His "back." A question the Midrash asks is what did Moses see when he saw God's back? And the answer given is, the back of His head tefillin. If you look at the An'im Z'mirot one verse reads, "The knot of God's tefillin shown...

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