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Psalm 64: Throughout Generations – Tehillim Themes

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Posted by Rabbi Yosef Tropper
July 15th, 2013
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Throughout Tehillim we find David expressing his total commitment and reliance in Hashem. Generations later, David’s descendant, Daniel, would embody this same trait despite his power and challenges. This psalm prophetically refers to his story (Midrash Socher Tov; Rashi). Darius the Mede took over the rule and appointed 120 satraps to govern his country. They were greedy and corrupt. Daniel was appointed as the head of all of them (along… Continue reading

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Tisha B’av- The Power of Tears

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Posted by Rabbi Yehuda Spitz
July 14th, 2013
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by Rabbi Binyomin Radner

The night of Tisha B’av was enacted to be a night of crying. After the meraglim returned from the land of Israel and spoke evil about the land, the Pasuk states, “The nation cried that night.” That night was Tisha B’av.

Consequently, the night of Tisha B’av was designated to be a night of crying, as the Gemara, Taanis 29a tells that G-d responded.  “They cried for… Continue reading

Psalm 63: Enjoying Life – Tehillim Themes

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Posted by Rabbi Yosef Tropper
July 12th, 2013
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As David ran from his pursuers he found himself stranded in the Judean desert. David was surrounded by Shaul’s army. Suddenly, David was overtaken by a debilitating thirst that terribly distracted him. David conjured up his spiritual strength in order to take the focus off of physically and to concentrate on strengthening his belief in Hashem’s salvation. David’s thirst thus switched into a spiritual awakening in which he felt drawn… Continue reading

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Order- Parshas Devarim 5773

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Posted by Rabbi Yosef Tropper
July 12th, 2013
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Sefer Devarim contains a fascinating recap of the events that transpired to the Jews throughout their journey from Egypt. Moshe told them about their greatest and weakest moments as his last charge and directive before he passed on. Rabbeinu Bechaya comments that it is important for one to reflect upon the order of the five books of the Torah to best understand their message. He writes that a most useful… Continue reading

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A Great Curse – Parshas Balak 5773

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Posted by Rabbi Yosef Tropper
June 20th, 2013
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There is an intriguing Gemara that always comes across my mind when studying this week’s parsha. Taanis (20a) states: “Achiya HaShiloni’s curse which he gave the Jews was better than the blessing that Bilaam tried to give them! Achiya stated that the Jews should be like a swaying reed but Bilaam stated that they should be like the strong cedar tree. The fact is that the reed is soft and… Continue reading

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Psalm 62: Real Strength and Wealth – Tehillim Themes

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Posted by Rabbi Yosef Tropper
June 19th, 2013
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In this psalm David expressed his thoughts against his enemies who had power based on their strength and wealth. David states that these facets are fleeting and absolutely worthless when abused. They have no intrinsic worth or value. One’s might or wealth can never outdo the Will of Hashem. David’s life was fraught with pursuit and danger, leaving David often on the run and in fear for his life. But… Continue reading

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Brush With Death – Parshas Chukas 5773

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Posted by Rabbi Yosef Tropper
June 13th, 2013
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This week’s parsha lays out the laws of the purification process through the parah adumah, red heifer. On who contracted tumah, ritual impurity, through touching a dead body had to be purified via a specific process of heifer ash water being sprinkled on him. There is an ancient custom regarding washing one’s hands when coming out of a cemetery or when having contact with a Jewish corpse. What is this… Continue reading

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Psalm 61: Inextinguishable – Tehillim Themes

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Posted by Rabbi Yosef Tropper
June 12th, 2013
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The love that David had for Hashem was unable to be compromised no matter what befell David. David never questioned Hashem all of the time that he was being unjustly chased by Shaul and tormented by other advocacies. David begged Hashem to save him and to bring him to a place of peace and comfort. Sforno and Metzodos maintain that this specific psalm was composed when David was traveling to… Continue reading

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Feet on the Ground – Parshas Korach 5773

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Posted by Rabbi Yosef Tropper
June 6th, 2013
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After Korach rebelled against Hashem and Moshe, there was a decree from Heaven that Korach, his followers and anyone else in the nation that lent support should be killed. The verse (Bamidbar 16:22) tells us that Moshe and Aharon fell on their faces to annul the decree and prayed before Hashem to please have mercy on the nation. Rabbeinu Bechaya takes the opportunity to discuss prostration and other aspects of… Continue reading

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Psalm 60: World Peace – Tehillim Themes

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Posted by Rabbi Yosef Tropper
June 6th, 2013
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The psalm expresses David’s inner essence and hope for the world. Although David fought vigorously for the protection of the Jewish nation and was willing to go to war as the leader to protect his people, this was not his objective. On the contrary, David longed for world peace and expressed his commitment to truth and peace in this psalm.

Worldview

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