CategoryBamidbar

Matos Masei: Egoism or Altruism

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Just before entering the Land of Israel, a drama unfolds: Two tribes prefer to remain outside. Why? How does Moses respond? And why does he add more people to their group?

Chukas: Moshe Hit the Rock. So What?

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The great leader who took the Jewish people out of Egypt, gave them the Ten Commandments, and led them to the entrance of the Promised Land, was punished to die in the desert just because he hit the rock. How is this fair?

Korach: Leaders Without Borders

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Sometimes going half-way isn’t enough. Whether as a person of faith, or a leader of others, one can’t selectively engage with just the enjoyable ideas or like-minded people. Otherwise, you’re left with nothing.

SHLACH: SOLVING FORGETFULNESS

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There is an old technique to help remember things: to tie a knot.
Jewish tradition says that Pharaoh’s ministers did so, and so did the sages of the Mishnah. Even today, Jews tie knots every day in order to remember.
Why does a knot prevent forgetfulness? And did G-d do so Himself?

Naso: To Be a Mensch

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The Torah gives us 613 commandments, and gives Seven Noahide Laws to society at large.
But one rule applies to everyone equally - and yet it was left unsaid: Be a mensch!

Pinchas: How to Deal with Bias

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How objective are you? How much bias is involved in your decision-making process? And what lesson can we learn from the challenge of Tzelafchad’s five daughters to Moses?

Balak: The Breach in the Wall – A Good Development or a Bad One?

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On which date did the Babylonians invade Jerusalem? Was it the ninth of Tammuz or the seventeenth?
An apparent contradiction in ancient Jewish sources is resolved by examining biblical military strategies — with the insight and awareness that that a bad situation can always be turned into a good one.

Chukat: Dealing With Resentment

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There are times when we are offended by the words or actions of others. We don’t seek revenge, and when asked, we even forgive. But the bitter grudge remains. How can we free our hearts of those negative impulses?

Gimmel Tammuz/Korach: Don’t Abandon Ship

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Why was Moses buried in the desert? Why are the Chabad Rebbes buried in the diaspora?
A fascinating kabbalistic discussion about the responsibilities of Jewish leaders and how they continue to tend to their communities—even after their passing.

Shelach: Statistics and Free Will

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Experts attempt to predict people’s future behavior through statistics. Does that mean you are just a statistic? Do you have the free will to make your own decisions or are you just a cog in the machine?
Join this ancient Jewish debate.

Behaloscha: Is It Really Never Too Late?

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The holiday of Pesach Sheni (Second Passover) famously teaches that it is never too late. Is that also true of the worst sins and crimes?
This is a story of someone who received a message from heaven that it was too late, and yet he still received another chance.

Shavuot: The Anatomy of a Custom

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In the early common era, people were accustomed to greeting each other by invoking G-d’s name. Why did they do so? Why is it no longer customary?
A fascinating look into the Jewish reactions to idolatry, Christianity and Islam.

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