Rabbi Ozer Alport
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About the Author

Rabbi Ozer Alport

Ozer Alport was born and raised in Kansas City, a rare third-generation Midwestern Jew. After graduating from Harvard with a degree in economics, he went on to study in the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem for five years. He now lives in Brooklyn, where he teaches weekly Torah classes and authors Aish.com's Parsha Potpourri column, which were released in book form in 2012. To receive his weekly Torah emails, write to oalport@post.harvard.edu .

Ear Ache on Shabbos

Ear Ache on Shabbos

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In the beginning of Parshas Ha'azinu, the Midrash (Devarim Rabbah 10:1) cryptically asks whether it is permissible to treat somebody who is ...


Seven-Year Reading

Seven-Year Reading

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Maimonides writes (Chagigah 3:1) that the purpose of gathering the people together to hear the public reading of the book of Deuteronomy (31:11) is ...


Blueprint of Creation

Blueprint of Creation

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Since the Torah is the blueprint for the entire Creation, it inherently contains within it allusions to everything which will ever exist or occur in ...


Threats and Consolation

Threats and Consolation

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Parshas Ki Savo is commonly referred to as the parsha of tochacha - "rebuke." It is full of frightening threats of unimaginable punishment ...


Strength to Overcome

Strength to Overcome

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The parsha begins by discussing the y'fas toar - woman of beautiful form. The Torah permits a soldier who becomes infatuated with a non-Jewish woman ...


Brotherly Love

Brotherly Love

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In the event that a set of witnesses is found to be lying and conspiring through the testimony of a second set of witnesses who claim that the first ...


The Rewards of Outreach

The Rewards of Outreach

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The Torah is stricter regarding the treatment of the Meisit - inciter - than it is with any other transgression. The Torah specifically instructs us ...


Agricultural Dependence

Agricultural Dependence

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Moshe stressed to the Jewish people that the land of Israel would be different than the land of Egypt from which they were coming (Deut. 11:10-11). ...


Newborn Jews

Newborn Jews

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There is a Talmudic maxim (Yevamos 97b) that "a non-Jew who converts to Judaism is legally considered newly reborn," and is no longer the ...


Avoiding the Head Count

Avoiding the Head Count

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In the middle of his rebuke of the Jewish nation, Moshe blessed them that God should increase their population 1000-fold (Deut. 1:11). The Midrash ...


A Mother's Prayer

A Mother's Prayer

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An accidental murderer is required to flee to a city of refuge and remain there until the death of the Kohen Gadol (Numbers 35:25). The Mishnah ...


The Unknown Revoked Vow

The Unknown Revoked Vow

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The Torah says that in a case where a woman took a vow which her husband subsequently revoked, God will forgive her (Numbers 30:13). This is ...


Calculating the Inheritance

Calculating the Inheritance

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A young man suddenly became ill and found himself on his death bed. He realized that he hadn't yet prepared a will regarding the division of his ...


Getting What You Want

Getting What You Want

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Many times in life we are convinced that we know what we need, and we become upset when circumstances don't work out the way that we had hoped and ...


Release From City of Refuge

Release From City of Refuge

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The Torah requires (Numbers 35:28) a person who accidentally kills another Jew to flee to one of the cities of refuge. In order to be protected from ...


Never Again!

Never Again!

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After Korach's rebellion was quashed and the doubts that he raised about the legitimacy of the leadership of Moshe and Aharon were erased, the Torah ...


One Good Hour

One Good Hour

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In relating that Moshe sent spies to scout out the land of Israel, the Torah refers to the spies using the expression "anashim" (Numbers ...


The Light of Shabbos Food

The Light of Shabbos Food

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During their travels in the wilderness, a group of complainers began to protest the Manna that they were forced to eat day after day (Numbers 11:5). ...


Assigning the Holy Tasks

Assigning the Holy Tasks

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In dividing the tasks among the Levites, why were the most holy tasks - the responsibility for the Ark, Menorah, and Altars - assigned to the ...


The Smallest Tribe

The Smallest Tribe

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The tribe of Levi contained the holiest Divine servants, yet it numbered only 22,000 (Numbers 3:30), substantially less than any of the other ...


Proud To Be a Jew

Proud To Be a Jew

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This week we conclude the book of Leviticus with Parshas Bechukosai, which is commonly referred to as the parsha of "tochacha" - rebuke. ...


Sleeping Soundly

Sleeping Soundly

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In the spring of 1943 Rabbi Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman, known as the Ponovezher Rav, established an orphanage in B'nei B'rak to absorb and care for the ...


Natural Death

Natural Death

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The Torah (Leviticus 21:5) prohibits various extreme forms of mourning the death of loved ones. As the laws of nature require every living thing to ...


Roots of Revenge

Roots of Revenge

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Roots of Revenge In explaining the roots of the prohibition against taking revenge Leviticus (19:18), the Sefer HaChinuch (241) writes that a ...


Constant Tzedakah

Constant Tzedakah

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Constant Tzedakah Rabbi Yonason Eibeshutz was once collecting tzedakah for a poverty-stricken family. He approached one of the wealthy men in his ...


Treasure House

Treasure House

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"When you come to the Land of Canaan which I am giving to you for an inheritance, and I will put a plague of tzara'as in the houses of the land ...


The Pungent Aroma

The Pungent Aroma

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When he was six years old, the Vilna Gaon was asked if he could explain the juxtaposition of the end of Parshas Shemini to the beginning of Parshas ...


Aharon's Silence

Aharon's Silence

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Aharon's incredible reaction to the tragic death of his two sons.


Using Up Merits

Using Up Merits

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"V'zot torat zevach hashelamim asher yakriv Lashem im al today yakrivenu." (Lev. 7:11-12) Parshas Tzav contains the laws governing the ...


Voluntary Offerings

Voluntary Offerings

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Many of the offerings described in Parshas Vayikra are completely voluntary in nature. If these mitzvot are so important, why isn't their ...


Changing the Blueprint

Changing the Blueprint

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In his commentary on Exodus 40:21, the Baal HaTurim points out that the Torah emphasizes that every aspect of the construction and assembly of the ...


The Winning Vote

The Winning Vote

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There seems to be an internal inconsistency in Exodus 36:7 with which a number of commentators grapple. The Torah says simultaneously that the ...


Shabbat in the Desert

Shabbat in the Desert

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Exodus 31:16-17 discuss the mitzvah of observing and guarding Shabbos, which is a sign between God and the Jewish people. In commanding the Jewish ...


Wisdom of the Heart

Wisdom of the Heart

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Parshas Tetzaveh introduces us to the unique garments that were worn by the Kohanim during the time that they served in the Temple. Because these ...


Golden Inside and Out

Golden Inside and Out

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The Talmud (Yoma 72b) teaches that just as the Holy Ark was covered with the same gold coverings on the inside and on the outside (Exodus 25:11), so ...


Appreciating the Effort

Appreciating the Effort

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Upon discovering that an animal in his flock or herd has been killed by wild animals, the Torah (Exodus 22:30) specifically requires the owner to ...


Constructive Criticism

Constructive Criticism

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Parshas Yisro begins by relating that Yisro heard about all of the miracles that God performed for the Jewish people. This motivated him to come ...


A Different Unity

A Different Unity

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Rashi notes that when the Jewish people arrived at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:2), they encamped כאיש אחד בלב אחד - like one person with one heart in a ...


Blood on the Door

Blood on the Door

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God instructed Moshe (Ex. 12:13) to command the Jewish people to place the blood from their Passover sacrifices on their doorposts to serve as a ...


Hitting the Frogs

Hitting the Frogs

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In Exodus 8:2, Rashi writes that initially, the dreaded plague of frogs only consisted of one frog. However, the Egyptians apparently didn't like ...


Moshe's Parents

Moshe's Parents

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Why is no mention made of the names of the names of Moshe's parents, who obviously had great merits and holiness and yet are generically referred to ...


Rolling Home

Rolling Home

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Rashi writes (Gen. 47:29) that one of Yaakov's reasons for not wanting to be buried in Egypt was that those buried outside of the land of Israel are ...


Educational Foundation

Educational Foundation

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After a tumultuous roller-coaster of events, Yaakov's sons returned to Canaan and informed him that his beloved son Yosef, whom he had assumed was ...


Ingenious Plan

Ingenious Plan

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The brothers could not have used an impostor for Benyamin.


Whiter Than Milk

Whiter Than Milk

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Rabbi Shalom Schwadron points out that the entire miraculous unfolding of events in the upcoming Torah portions is entirely predicated on one chance ...


Fear of Attack

Fear of Attack

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The Torah relates that upon hearing that Eisav was coming toward him with 400 men, Yaakov became very frightened and it distressed him (Gen. 32:7). ...


Confident Protection

Confident Protection

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Rashi writes (28:11) that before going to sleep, Yaakov placed stones around his head because he was afraid that he may be attacked by wild animals. ...


Self-Made Man

Self-Made Man

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​We are never too old to learn.​


Regretting a Good Deed

Regretting a Good Deed

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Regretting a Good Deed Rashi writes (23:2) that the death of Sarah is juxtaposed to the binding of Yitzhak in order to teach that the shock and ...


Praying For Others

Praying For Others

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Rashi writes that the section recounting Sarah's conception of Yitzhak (Genesis 21:1) is juxtaposed to Avraham's prayers that Avimelech's wife and ...