Ki Tetze. Why do Mitzvot?

Prof Shalom Rosenberg compared mitzvot to one of two different laws: Are they akin to the ‎requirement to wear an army beret or a seat belt?

Ekev. The Lessons of Rain

In Israel, it doesn’t rain at all during the summer. The first time our family travelled abroad during the summer, we told our kids that we needed to take clothes for rain. They thought we were joking. “It can’t be!” they told us, “There can’t be rain in the Summertime!” This week then, let’s talk about the peculiar rainfall of the Land of Israel. Our Parsha presents a contrast between irrigation in Egypt and in Eretz Yisrael: "For the land that you are about to enter and possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come. There, the grain you sowed had to be watered by your foot, like a vegetable garden, but the land you are about to cross into and possess, a land of hills and v

Re'eh. Open Hearts - Open Hands

The Torah repeatedly uses the term “brother” to depict the recipient of welfare. If we viewed a ‎needy person as a sibling, would we not be

VaEtchanan. Spirit of the Law

People have been known to criticize Judaism for being too legal, too “letter of the law” and not enough ethics, values and “spirit of the law”. In this regard, Nachmanides (Ramban) makes a monumental remark in this week’s Parsha. He is commenting on the verse: “Be sure to keep the commandments, decrees, and laws that the Lord your God has enjoined upon you. Do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord” (Deut 6:17-18) This verse begs the question. Once one is doing the “commandments, decrees, and laws” of God, why add that one should “do what is right and good”? What additional observance could be indicated here? Nachmanides answers From the beginning God said to keep God's commandments

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