Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Jan20

Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother

“in order that thy days should be long” (Exodus 20:12). Besides Mom and Dad, the "father" and "mother" being referred to here are chokhmah/wisdom and binah/understanding. Chokhmah and binah parent all that we do. They beget our actions, our words and even our thoughts. (If you think what you think about, you might think differently!) Who [...]

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Dvar Torah for Parshat Beshalach
Jan11

Dvar Torah for Parshat Beshalach

Dvar Torah for Parshat Beshalach Based on Likutey Halakhot, Bekhor Beheimah Tehorah 4 “On the six weekdays you will gather [manna], but on the seventh day, Shabbat, there won’t be any” (Exodus 16:26). The holy Zohar (2:88a) asks, “If there is no food to be found on Shabbat, in what way is Shabbat blessed (Genesis [...]

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Parshat HaMan: Today!
Jan11

Parshat HaMan: Today!

The Parsha this week recounts the amazing miracle of the Man (Manna Bread) which began miraculous falling from the sky and nourished the Jewish people for some 40 years in the Midbar. The Great Chassidic Master and Tzaddik Reb Mendel of Riminov famously praised studying these passages especially during the third day of the week that this [...]

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Dvar Torah for Parshat Bo
Jan06

Dvar Torah for Parshat Bo

Dvar Torah for Parshat Bo Based on Likutey Halakhot, Pidyon Bekhor 4 “You will separate for God every first issue of the womb. In addition, every male firstling of [kosher] beasts that you own, will be God’s and every firstling of an ass you shall redeem...and you will redeem every firstborn of your sons” (Exodus [...]

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SHOVaVYM (ToT)
Jan06

SHOVaVYM (ToT)

This is “extra credit,” intended to be informative, not obligatory. This is a slightly updated version of a dvar Torah from many years ago, so if it looks familiar, you know why. The week of the Torah-reading (parshat) Shemot begins the period of Shovavym. SHOVaVYM is an acronym for the first six parshiot found in the [...]

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Dvar Torah for Parshat VaEra 5771
Dec29

Dvar Torah for Parshat VaEra 5771

Dvar Torah for Parshat VaEra Based on Tzaddik #162* and Likutey Halakhot, Devarim Habaim b’Seudah 4:14 “God said to Moshe, ‘Look here! I have installed you as Elokim (a god) to Pharaoh’” (Exodus 7:1). “And I [God] will harden Pharaoh’s heart...and he will not listen to you” (ibid. 3–4). A major theological problem presented in [...]

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Dvar Torah for Parshat Shemot 5571 Body & Soul
Dec23

Dvar Torah for Parshat Shemot 5571 Body & Soul

Dvar Torah for Parshat Shemot Based on Likutey Moharan I, Lesson #22:4–5 “The Egyptians subjugated the Children of Israel with hard labor” (Exodus 1:13). Rashi comments: Hard labor that crushes and breaks the body. Body and soul. We all hear what the body says. It is not at all shy or reticent about expressing what [...]

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Dvar Torah for Post-Chanukah

Dvar Torah for Post-Chanukah Based on Sichot HaRan (Rabbi Nachman’s Wisdom) #1 By Ozer Bergman Multiple-Choice Quiz: Are your Chanukah candles still burning? A) No B) Yes C) Don’t know D) Unable to answer The correct answer is any and all of them. Allow me to explain. Your physical Chanukah candles have certainly burnt out [...]

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Dvar Torah Parshat Vayeishev

Based on Likutey MoHaran II, #108 and #110; Rabbi Nachman’s Wisdom #114 “The wife of Yosef’s employer had her eye on him. She said to him, ‘Sleep with me.’ He refused...She spoke to Yosef daily, but he wouldn’t listen to her...She grabbed him by his clothing saying, ‘Sleep with me.’ He left it with her [...]

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Dvar Torah for Parshat Vayetze

Based on Chayei Moharan (Tzaddik) #349 “...[Yaakov] took stones from the place and placed them at his head and lay down...” (Genesis 28:11). Rashi comments: He arranged them around his head, like a bunker, because he was afraid of wild animals. The stones started to argue with one another, each one saying, “The tzaddik should [...]

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Dvar Torah for Parshat Toldot

Based on Likutey Halakhot, Sefer Torah 4:14–27 In brief, here is the story of why Esav was unfit to be part of the budding Jewish nation. Esav, the firstborn, has a busy morning committing murder, immorality and idolatry, and returns to the family tent exhausted. Avraham Avinu (our patriarch) has passed away and Yaakov Avinu—Esav’s [...]

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Dvar Torah for Parshat Chayei Sarah

Based on Likutey Moharan I, Lesson #14 “The life of Sarah was one hundred years and twenty years and seven years; the years of Sarah’s life” (Genesis 23:1). There’s a lot of humility in this week’s parshah. Avraham Avinu (our Patriarch) twice humbles himself to the locals (Genesis 23: 7, 12); Eliezer bows to God [...]

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Dvar Torah for Parshat VaYera

Based on Sichot Haran (Rabbi Nachman’s Wisdom) #22 “When God destroyed the cities of the plain, God remembered Avraham and sent Lot from amidst the upheaval...” (Genesis 19:29). A Midrash on this verse (Tanchuma, VaYera #9) comments, “Even when the Holy, Blessed One is angry, He has compassion.” It immediately continues, “[On Shabbat] one may [...]

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Dvar Torah for Parshat Lekh Lekha

Based on Likutey Halakhot, Hashkamat HaBoker 1:13 Let me ask you a question? If you had a big fight—I mean a fight so big that the town wasn’t big enough for the both of you—with your nephew, or your brother-in-law, would you care what happened to him? Probably not. But Avraham Avinu (our patriarch) was [...]

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Dvar Torah for Parshat Noach

Based on Likutey Moharan II, Lesson #7 “God said to Noach...‘Build yourself an ark...’” (Genesis 6:13–14). Noach’s Ark is Yom Kippur (Tikkuney Zohar #6, p. 22a). If you live in Eretz Yisrael, you already know that Chanukah is in the air. The local maqolet (grocery store) is already selling sufganiyot (deep-fried jelly donuts)—even though Chanukah [...]

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Dvar Torah for Parshat VaEtchanan

Based on Likutey Moharan II, Lesson #78 “At that time I [Moshe] pleaded with God, saying” (Deuteronomy 3:23). This is the lesson in which Rebbe Nachman makes one of his most famous pronouncements: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS DESPAIR! And how does he know this? From the history of the world. In Likutey Halakhot [...]

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