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The Essence of the Temple

The Haftarah of the portion of Pekudai can be divided into two sections. In the first section, which is read by Sephardim and Yemenites (Kings I 7:40-50), the making of the vessels in the Temple is described as the work of two people: Hiram and Solomon. Even though they evidently did not perform the physical operation of making the vessels ... Read More »

Why perform Maintenance in the Temple?

The maintenance in the Temple which was carried out by Jehoash, the King of Judah, in the twenty-third year of his reign (Kings II 12:7-16) took place in the year that Jehu, King of Yisrael, died (as is clear from verse 13:1). Evidently this was not a mere coincidence. The reign of Jehu was a time of renovation such as ... Read More »

Ideal Synthesis

  In this week’s Haftarah, the Prophet Ezekiel shows us the plan of the Temple which will be built in the future (43:10-27). The design differs in many details from that of the First and Second Temples. Even though the mitzvot of the Torah are inflexible, the Temple changes form as generations pass, because it is a reflection of the ... Read More »

The New Calf

The Haftarah of this week’s Torah portion of Mishpatim is from the prophecy of Jeremiah (34:8-22, 33:25-26). It discusses the pact that Zedekiah, the last King of Judah, made with the leaders of the nation during the last days before Jerusalem was conquered. In the pact, the entire nation agreed to free their Jewish slaves and maidservants. Evidently the purpose ... Read More »

And Deborah Sang

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There is a lot to be learned from the poem of praise which Deborah wrote (Judges Chapter 5). Like every victory song, it teaches us that we should rejoice about a victory over the enemies of Israel. In addition, we should also be happy about the suffering of our enemies: “By the window she sat looking, and weeping, Sisera’s mother… ... Read More »

Kingdoms at War

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The main message of the Haftarah for this week’s portion (Ezekiel 28:25-29:21), aside from the discussion of the punishment that will befall Egypt which is similar to the plagues in the Torah portion, is the lesson it teaches us about international struggles. This includes the story of the rise and fall of various empires. In ancient times, the status of ... Read More »

Are we dreaming???

Replies to Some Comments about our Basic Video Shalom to all, Now that for the past few years we have been presenting to our readers the basic principles of the Noahide covenant between humanity and the Creator of the World, we would like to respond to several important comments that you have sent us. (1) Some people have complained about ... Read More »

Final Instructions

In this Haftarah (Kings I Chapter 2), King David teaches his son Solomon the essentials of how to manage a kingdom, as the ultimate example of the ideal government. There are six basic principles: Adopting good practices, the foundations of morality: “Be strong, and act like a man” [2:2]. The desired trait that is emphasized for a king is courage. ... Read More »

Testimony for the Entire World

This week’s Haftarah begins with the return to Zion and the ramifications of this event for all of humanity: “Be happy and joyful, daughter of Zion, for I am coming, and I will dwell within you – that is the declaration of G-d. And many nations will join together and come to G-d that day…” [Zechariah 2:14-15]. The end of ... Read More »