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Weekly Dvar Torah By Rabbi Yitzchak Gettinger 

12/03/2017 08:06:11 PM


Parsha Shemini

04/12/2018 07:04:08 PM


After Nadav and Avihu’s deaths spoiled the Mishan’s festive inaugural festivities, the Torah describes Aron’s reaction to this tragedy in two words- וַיִּדֹּם אַהֲרֹן.  In his commentary to Torah, Onkelos translates the words to mean that Aharon was silent, an interpretation that most Rishonim use in their commentaries.  Simply understood, Aron did not question God or complain about his emotional...Read more...

Parsha Tzav

03/22/2018 08:42:23 PM


Many of the Korbanos offered in the Temple were eaten by the Kohanim, and there seems to be conflicting impressions regarding which specific Kohen would eat the Korban.  On the one hand, the Torah writes about the Korban Asham:” Every male among the Kohanim shall eat it,” indicating that Korbanos are to be divided among the Kohanim.  On the other hand, the Torah writes about the Korban Chatas: “the Kohen who...Read more...

Parsha Vayakhel

03/08/2018 07:17:10 PM


The dynamic duo who built the Mishkan, Betzalel and Ahaliav, come from two opposite extremes.  Betzalel descends from great lineage, from the tribe of Yehuda and specifically the grandson of Chur, while Ahaliav is from the tribe of Dan, who, in the words of Rashi 35:34, is the “lowest of the tribes.”  Citing the Midrash, Rashi explains that God composed a team from the highest of the high and the lowest of the low to fulfill...Read more...

Parsha Ki Sisa

02/27/2018 10:15:54 PM


After Moshe descends from the mountain with the two Tablets in hand, he is met by his loyal student and attendant, Yehoshua.  Evidently, Yehoshua’s very “place” was by his teacher Moshe, and he remained at the foot of mountain for the duration of the time Moshe was away.  Yehoshua was therefore absent from the drama of the Golden Calf, and when the loud sounds of celebration around the Calf reached Yehoshua’s ears, he...Read more...

Parsha Tetzavah

02/25/2018 05:03:55 PM


One of the Kohen Gadol’s garments was the Tzitz, a golden forehead-plate that had the words “Holy to God” inscribed on its face.  In discussion of the Kohen Gadol’s outfit, the Gemara in Eruchin teaches that each one of the eight garments correlated to a specific flaw or sin that it represented and atoned for.  The Tzitz was associated with “Azus Meitzach”- literally brazen facedness- and the Kohen Gadol atoned for this...Read more...

Parsha Mishpatim

02/08/2018 07:44:12 PM


There are different points in the Parsha that emphasize the value of listening, and specifically how listening can have intrinsic value that is not measured by its active outcome.  Although Matan Torah was in last week’s Parsha, it is the end of Parshas Mishpatim that relates the axiomatic phrase of Jewish commitment- “Na’ase V’nishma”- we shall do and we shall listen.  The order of the commitment, we shall do before we...Read more...

Parshas Yisro

02/02/2018 10:43:52 AM


Besides being Moshe Rabbeinu’s father in law, Yisro is famous for being the first outsider to join the Jewish People.  There is a discussion in the Gemara regarding the timing of when Yisro joined the Jews, as the Tannaim disagree whether Yisro came before or after Matan Torah.  In analysis of this dispute, the Gemara says it depends on the interpretation of the opening words of the Parsha, “And Yisro heard,” as one opinion...Read more...

Parshas Beshalach

01/26/2018 10:03:57 AM


The bookends of the Parsha depict battles with two enemies of the Jews, with Pharoh and Mitzrayim pursuing the Jews in the beginning of the Parsha and the insidious attack of Amalek at the end of the Parsha.  Although both sought to expunge the name of the Jews for eternity, we find a tremendous distinction in the way the Torah now mandates us to relate to Mitzrayim and Amalek.  We are taught to relate to Amalek with a no tolerance...Read more...

Parshas Bo

01/18/2018 10:02:54 PM



In preparation for Redemption and leaving Egypt, the Jews are taught a series of new laws for the Holiday of Pesach, and this particular chapter opens with the mitzvah of Kiddush Hachodesh- the laws of establishing a lunar based Jewish calendar and declaring each new month upon the visibility of the new moon.  The opening Rashi in Chumash Bereishis says that the Torah really should have begun with this...Read more...

Parshas Va'eira

01/18/2018 08:16:57 PM


After God appears to Moshe and instructs him to lead the Jews out of Egypt,
The Parsha opens with Moshe encouraging the Jewish nation in their state of slavery, as Moshe proclaims that God will eventually redeem the Jews and bring them into Israel.  Overwhelmed by the physical and emotional burdens of slavery, the Jews do not accept Moshe’s message.  Moshe is then instructed once more by God to approach Pharoh, and the Pasuk...Read more...

Parsha Shemos

01/04/2018 09:02:16 PM


After God appears to Moshe and instructs him to lead the Jews out of Egypt, Moshe is reluctant to accept the position because of his speech impediment.  He tells God to “send the one you usually send”, a reference to his brother Aron.  God becomes angry with Moshe, tells him to lead and that Aron “the Levi” will speak on his behalf.  In the Gemara in Zevachim 102, R’ Yosi says there are always...Read more...

Parshas Vayechei

12/31/2017 03:15:06 PM


Sefer Bereishis concludes with Yaakov leaving distinct and personalized messages for each of the 12 tribes.  Just as Yaakov had specific words for each tribe that spoke to its individual makeup, Moshe Rabbeinu also blessed each tribe with individual focus prior to his death.  Much study has been done in comparing and contrasting Moshe's and Yaakov’s blessings, and the most conspicuous...Read more...

Parashat Vayeshev

12/08/2017 02:48:43 PM


Yosef's "garments" seem to play a crucial role in the narrative of Parshas Vayeishev. It was the special fine robe that Yaakov gave to Yosef that spurred the brother's resentment and jealousy towards Yosef.  In fact, when the brothers decide to act upon their antipathy and throw Yosef into a pit, their first move is to strip him of his special robe and source of their frustrations.  Ironically, Yosef's clothes are highlighted later...Read more...

Parashat Vayishlach

12/01/2017 12:00:43 PM


The night preceding the climactic showdown between Yaakov and Eisav is mysterious and mystical.  It all begins with the Torah saying that Yaakov was "left alone," leaving the reader to wonder why he was not together with his family.  The Gemara in Chulin explains that Yaakov forgot some small jars on the other side of the river he had previously crossed, and when he went unaccompanied to retrieve them, he was met by Eisav's angel in...Read more...

Wed, April 25 2018 10 Iyyar 5778