Rabbi Avi Billet
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The Torah gives three examples of “Your brother becoming impoverished.” (V’khi yamukh achikha). The first has to do with selling family property, and how it returns to the … more
In these weeks between Pesach and Shavuot, there is a widely practiced custom to study Pirkei Avot (the Chapters or Ethics of the Fathers). Some even extend this practice until Rosh Hashana; instead … more
Due to their not (yet) having been translated by the Jewish publishing houses, much of the midrashic library is a treasure-trove of untouched gemstone mines. It is particularly fertile ground for … more
The concept of “going up in holiness” is one that gains prominence around Chanukah, as we light candles, adding one each night. But the opinion of Beit Shammai is that we start with eight … more
Ask anyone, “What are the commandments one fulfills on the night of the seder?” The numerous negative commandments related to lack of chametz in the home apply all week long. As for the … more
The calendar this year has us reading “Parshat Parah” (Bamidbar 19, which speaks of the Red Heifer) in the week following our reading of the tale of the Golden Calf (in Ki Tissa). Is … more
At the very beginning of his instructions about the construction of the Mishkan, Moshe says to the people regarding their terumah (donations), “Take from yourselves terumah to G-d, all those … more
Aheteronym in the Torah appears in three contexts which have too many parallels to be ignored. The prophetess Miriam (M-R-Y-M) appears on the scene to sing about the splitting of the sea, and then we … more
With a small push, yet surprisingly little creativity, we can easily notice that the Exodus from Egypt mirrors the events that surround the last evening of the existence of Sodom. In Egypt, the … more
How old was Moshe when he fled from Egypt in Chapter 2? Depending which midrash you follow, he was either a teenager, 20, or 40. No matter which approach we follow, he spent at least 40 years in … more
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