Rabbi Avi Billet
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The “Binding of Isaac” is a defining chapter in the story of the Jewish people, inspiring much of our liturgy. In some respects it represents what it means to sacrifice for … more
An interesting cast of characters have parshas named for them: Noach, Yisro, Korach, Balak, Pinchas (Chayei Sarah includes a name, which comes after her death). Each has his own story of … more
One of the most difficult things for people to say is “I was wrong.” It is even harder to really mean, “I have sinned.” Generally, our confessions are to G-d, though there … more
What significant moment from Jewish history is celebrated on Shavuot? The giving of the Torah, right? Wrong. Unlike other holidays such as Pesach and Sukkot, the Torah does not assign a … more
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan z”l divided his Chumash translation, “The Living Torah,” by topics, in addition to the standard divisions by chapter and parsha. For verses 25:35-38, in this … more
The opening instruction in Parsha Emor — And G-d said to Moshe, “Say to the Kohanim, the sons of Aharon, and say to them, they should not become ‘tameh’ to people of the … more
Media pundits and missionaries are famous for taking quotations out of context. Before judging any statement you read or hear, it is important to know in what context it was expressed. Was the … more
The primary topic of our double parsha, Tazria-Metzora, focuses on the affliction of tzara’at, its diagnosis and prognosis. The attention is primarily on the kohen, who is given detailed … more
The King of Egypt discovers that the woman he brought into his chambers is married to Avraham. “What have you done to me?” he demands of Avraham. “Why didn’t you tell … more
Reading the story of the dispersion at the beginning of chapter 11, it is hard to see where the people went wrong. In the words of Targum Yonatan, they … more
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