Shalom mytorah readers,
I apologize again for a late posting. I have been very agitated by the news that Israel is prepared to release 104 terrorists (G-d Forbid!). This is a terrible injustice to the entire Jewish people. We must pray that these brutal beasts get justice once and for all, and that there is a punishment for killing Jews. And may the families of the victims of those beasts be comforted. But I have spoken with my Rabbi and I feel a little better, so I will post the weekly portion thread now.
This week is another mitzvot packed portion. The portion of Re’eh in the book of Devarim (Deuteronomy)is read this Shabbat in synagogues around the world.
We read the statement Hashem makes concerning placing free-will in our hands, we can choose the blessing or the curse, as our heart desires. The portion contains the command to build the Sanctuary for Hashem in the place he has chosen (Jerusalem). Also included are the commandments to appear in Jerusalem during the pilgrimage festivals of Pesach, Shavuot, and Succot.
We are told that Hashem abhors idolatry and all forms of idol worship must be erased from the land which we are about to enter (Israel). We must not listen to false prophets and those who want to break our bond with the Master of the Universe, the one who freed us from bondage in Egypt.
This portion also puts a great amount of emphasis on the idea that every Jew is responsible for every other Jew. We are told we must support the poor Jew, giving Tzedakah (righteousness) to every beggar who asks, and to give with joy… This is tough in todays world but it is a mitzvah of the Torah and we must learn it’s lesson.
“See,” says Moses to the people of Israel, “I place before you today a blessing and a curse”—the blessing that will come when they fulfill G‑d’s commandments, and the curse if they abandon them. These should be proclaimed on Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal when the people cross over into the Holy Land.
A Temple should be established in “the place that G‑d will choose to make dwell His name there,” where the people should bring their sacrifices to Him; it is forbidden to make offerings to G‑d in any other place. It is permitted to slaughter animals elsewhere, not as a sacrifice but to eat their meat; the blood (which in the Temple is poured upon the altar), however, may not be eaten.
A false prophet, or one who entices others to worship idols, should be put to death; an idolatrous city must be destroyed. The identifying signs for kosher animals and fish, and the list of non-kosher birds (first given in Leviticus 11), are repeated.
A tenth of all produce is to be eaten in Jerusalem, or else exchanged for money with which food is purchased and eaten there. On certain years this tithe is given to the poor instead. Firstborn cattle and sheep are to be offered in the Temple, and their meat eaten by the kohanim (priests).
The mitzvah of charity obligates a Jew to aid a needy fellow with a gift or loan. On the Sabbatical year (occurring every seventh year), all loans are to be forgiven. All indentured servants are to be set free after six years of service.
Our Parshah concludes with the laws of the three pilgrimage festivals—Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot—when all should go to “see and be seen” before G‑d in the Holy Temple.
Let us start with the latest video from Rabbi Chaim Richman from the Temple Institute. Rabbi Richman is the English spokesperson for the Temple Institute, an organization which is working to build the vessels for the Temple and the clothing of the Priests.
Rabbi Finkelstein expounds on the true meaning of Tzedakah, and how we must give with a feeling heart to those in need.
Rabbi Machlis in Jerusalem is a true Baal Chesed because he opens his home to all who want to come and enjoy the Shabbat with himself and his family. Here the hospitable Rabbi talks about our portion..
Rabbi Yitzak Ginsburg is a great teacher of mystical aspects of our Torah. Here the Rabbi gives us some of the deeper meanings in the portion.
Rabbi Chaim Miller from TorahInTen and Kol Menachem, gives us the another Chassidic understanding of the portion.
Rabbi Trugman of BeTheIsrael is a great teacher and a student of Rabbi Ginsburg. Here is his 10 minute talk on Re’eh.
From last years lesson on the portion, Rabbi Chaim Richman once again…