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Avodah Zara 31-32: The Psychology of Ritual

The SD loves this tractate Avoda Zara,  because it explores the  relationship between our emotion and motivation to ritual observance.   The Mishna states that we may not do business with an idol worshipper on his way to idol worship. However we may … Continue reading

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Avoda Zara 22: Old Fashion-Kind hearted Rabbis

The SD remembers as a kid having some old sweet Rabbis as teachers and role models.   They were gentle, kind and soft spoken. They held themselves to high standards while understanding other human beings.  In Avoda Zara we see a … Continue reading

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Avoda Zara 20-21: The Good Earth

One of the SD’s favorite books as a kid was the Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck.  The book is about a poor farmer in China who amasses tremendous amounts of land.  At the end of the book when he … Continue reading

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Yitro: When Rashi Falls Silent

It is interesting to see what Rashi chooses to comment on. Conventional wisdom as explained to SD is that when there is a problem, uncertainty or lack of clarity of a word or pasuk, Rashi will comment. If there is … Continue reading

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Beshallach: Lessons in Life is Not Fair

Their are two instances in this week’s parsha where good people suffer or are accused along with the wicked.  Sometimes one is caught in the crowd, amidst circumstances beyond one’s control and then takes the hit. In Chapter 15 verse … Continue reading

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Bo: Locusts, Shabbos: I dont Swarm on Shabbos

In Chapter 10, pasuk 14 the Torah tells us that Locusts ascended on Egypt and “Vaynach” or rested on the border of Egypt.  The Bal Haturim picks up on the word “Vayanach” and notices that it is similar to the … Continue reading

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Bo: Schaudenfreud

In parshat Bo, we are told that even the first born captives of the Egyptians dies in the plague of the first born.  Rashi questions, why did Gd have to include “captives” or wretched non Egyptians in the plague.  Rashi … Continue reading

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