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About the Author

Rabbi Ari Kahn

Rabbi Ari Kahn received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University's Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary where he studied with Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik. He graduated Yeshiva University with a BA in psychology and an MS degree in Talmud.

He is Director of Foreign Student Programs at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, where he also is a senior lecturer in Jewish studies.

He is a renowned speaker, and has lectured worldwide. Having authored hundreds of articles on the weekly parasha and holidays with a readership in excess of 10,000, Rabbi Kahn is also the author of Explorations, an in-depth analysis of the weekly Torah reading, and Emanations, an in-depth analysis of the Jewish holidays. A new series - "Echoes of Eden" is currently in progress. This is a projected 5 volume set to be published by the OU and Gefen Publishing. The first three volumes are in print and the fourth is in production.

Drawing upon the vast reservoir of rabbinic literature – from Talmud to Midrash, from Zohar to the chassidic masters – Rabbi Kahn combines the mystical explorations of kabbala and chassidism with a highly-intellectual and broad-minded approach to Torah study. He applies psychology, literature and Jewish history to the understanding of esoteric midrashim and the Zohar. Five volumes of "Explorations" have been published in French. He has lived in Israel since 1984 with his wife Naomi and 5 children.

Rectification

Rectification

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The parasha begins with an ominous frame of reference: "After the deaths of the two sons of Aharon." The deaths of Nadav and Avihu are ...


Feeling Kinship

Feeling Kinship

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As the Torah continues its discussion of spiritual "leprosy," we learn that this strange malady can affect not only one's person, but also ...


Seclusion

Seclusion

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Tum'ah is a word that is not easily defined. While we use the word "impurity" to translate the concept of tum'ah, modern man has very ...


Separations

Separations

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As it becomes operational, the Mishkan (Tabernacle) engenders new responsibilities: Aharon is commanded to abstain from intoxicating beverages as he ...


Impetuosness

Impetuosness

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As the Mishkan (Sanctuary) is about to become operational, one last detail must be addressed: Aharon and his sons must go through a process whereby ...


Intimacy

Intimacy

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The Book of Vayikra opens with a peculiar turn of phrase: "And (He) called out to Moshe, and God spoke to him. " Apparently, as readers, ...


A Happy Ending

A Happy Ending

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The Exodus story is tinged with dashed dreams of what could have been.


Creativity

Creativity

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Parashat Vayakhel finds us in the midst of the construction of the Sanctuary, The Mishkan, and contains precise instructions for the select and ...


The View From Above

The View From Above

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Of all the elements of the sin of the Golden Calf, the most striking is the stark contrast: Moshe stands on the top of the mountain, in the ...


Searching For a Heart of Gold

Searching For a Heart of Gold

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Clothes can do many things; they can express a mood or serve as camouflage, attract attention, even seduce. Clothes can both conceal and reveal who ...


If You Build It, I Will Come

If You Build It, I Will Come

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In five words (which require considerably more to render into discernable English) the Torah commands us to create holiness. "They shall make ...


Minutia

Minutia

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mi·nu·ti·ae (noun) mə'n(y)o͞oSHē,ē,-SHē,ī/ plural noun: minutia 1. the small, precise, or trivial details of something: ...


The Good, the Bad and the Indifferent

The Good, the Bad and the Indifferent

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After the Israelites escape the Egyptians and survive the skirmish with Amalek, word of their adventures reaches Yitro (Jethro), Moshe's ...


The Long Shortcut

The Long Shortcut

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When the Israelites finally leave Egypt, rather than taking them on the shortest, most direct route to their destination, God leads them on a ...


The Dignity of Mitzvot

The Dignity of Mitzvot

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The time for redemption had arrived. The Jews would be leaving Egypt at last - whether because the pre-ordained period of enslavement had come to an ...


Pharaoh's Conundrum

Pharaoh's Conundrum

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As the showdown between God and Pharaoh nears its apex, we are faced with a moral dilemma that has far-reaching ramifications. It may be argued that ...


A New Book, An Old Story

A New Book, An Old Story

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This parashah is the first in a new book. It represents a new beginning, not only of the narrative, but of the nation whose narrative it contains. ...


An Inconclusive Conclusion

An Inconclusive Conclusion

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As the book of Bereishit nears its conclusion, there is some "unfinished" business to be tended to. At first glance the issue is a local ...


A Moment of Truth

A Moment of Truth

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We like to tell lies; little lies. Often we are so convincing that we ourselves believe these lies. They become part of our personal narrative, part ...


Victim No More

Victim No More

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Yosef is one of the most impressive characters in the Torah. Although he faced seemingly insurmountable challenges, he remained strong, focused, ...


A Contentious Coat

A Contentious Coat

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To some it seems to be a story about a coat, a dazzling coat of many colors, but in truth, it was never about the coat; the coat was merely a ...


Confronting Your Fears

Confronting Your Fears

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Yaakov's return to Israel would not be simple; the factors that caused him to flee all those years ago had not changed. His mother Rivka, who said ...


A Twice-Told Tale

A Twice-Told Tale

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The story seems strangely familiar: A band of Jews on the run, desperately trying to escape, wanting nothing more than to return to their ancestral ...


Lessons of a Sale

Lessons of a Sale

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Yitzchak and Rivka had two children, Esav and Yakov. As twins, it goes without saying that they were extremely close in age. However, in a society ...


Uncommon Decency

Uncommon Decency

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When the time arrives to find a bride for Yitzchak, Avraham sends his most trusted servant on a quest to find a suitable spouse. Those familiar with ...


Practice What You Preach

Practice What You Preach

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Oh God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son” Abe says, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on” Bob Dylan; Highway 61 ...


Deconstructing and Reconstructing Avraham

Deconstructing and Reconstructing Avraham

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In Jewish tradition, Avraham is seen as the archetype of hesed; he is known not merely as the best example of loving kindness, but as the mortal ...


The Terrible Secret of the Tower

The Terrible Secret of the Tower

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The story of the Tower of Babel is well known: Mankind unites to build an edifice designed to reach the heavens. God descends and frustrates the ...


Mobilizing Jews

Mobilizing Jews

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Heroism, leadership and kinship during Israel's "mini-war."


How To Comfort Mourners

How To Comfort Mourners

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Guidelines for a very delicate mitzvah.


You Didn't Build That

You Didn't Build That

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Judaism's approach to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


Out of the Comfort Zone

Out of the Comfort Zone

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Understanding Sukkot as the pure holiday of joy.


Purim and the Masks We Wear

Purim and the Masks We Wear

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The deeper meaning behind dressing up in costumes on Purim.


Why Kiss the Mezuzah?

Why Kiss the Mezuzah?

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How the mezuzah provides a daily connection to spirituality.


Be Strong -

Be Strong - "Chazak"

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With the parsha of V'Zot HaBracha the Torah reaches its conclusion. While the vast majority of the parsha records Moshe's final blessings to each of ...


Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation

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After taking another man's life, a petty criminal changes the direction of his life.


Listen and Hear:  Heaven and Earth

Listen and Hear: Heaven and Earth

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In Parshat Ha'azinu, Moshe speaks in song. In what may sound like no more than a poetic turn of phrase, Moshe addresses heaven and earth: Listen, ...


Gather the People

Gather the People

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As Moshe's speech draws to an end, he addresses some of the practical, pragmatic issues at hand; one such item is the issue of succession: And ...


An Old Ode to Joy

An Old Ode to Joy

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There is an interesting subtext to this week's parsha, a concept that links what at first glance seem to be independent and unrelated teachings. The ...


Of Love and Hatred

Of Love and Hatred

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Parshat Ki Tetzei is teeming with mitzvot, many of which are concerned with family and relationships. One such mitzvah deals with prioritizing ...


Trees Are People Too (?)

Trees Are People Too (?)

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Every sprout conveys some inner hidden message.


Eat To Your Heart's Desire

Eat To Your Heart's Desire

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As the Jews stand on the east bank of the Jordan River, Moshe again warns them against following pagan practices. The people are instructed to focus ...


The Little Things

The Little Things

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As Moshe continues his soliloquy, after revisiting some of the major catastrophes that befell the people in the desert, he warns the people against ...


Why Couldn't Moshe Enter the Land of Israel?

Why Couldn't Moshe Enter the Land of Israel?

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Parshat Vaetchanan starts with a prayer - Moshe's plea that he be permitted to cross the Jordan and enter the Promised Land: And I pleaded with ...


Og

Og

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To a large extent, the book of Dvarim is a retrospective of events and laws taught in previous sections of the Torah. For this reason, the book is ...


Half of Menashe

Half of Menashe

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As the Book of Bamidbar comes to an end, preparations for the conquest and settlement of the Land of Israel come to the fore. The Land must be ...


Pinchas and Zimri:  The Anatomy of an Argument

Pinchas and Zimri: The Anatomy of an Argument

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Sometimes, biblical stories are complex or densely and intricately woven; other times, the storyline seems straightforward, morally unequivocal, ...


Friends and Family

Friends and Family

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In Parshat Balak, a catastrophe is narrowly averted: A professional hit-man of sorts is hired to curse the People of Israel. In the end, his ...


The Ultimate Battle: Morality

The Ultimate Battle: Morality

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As Parshat Chukat begins, the Jews have moved away from Mount Sinai and begun their trek to the Promised Land. The path would not be a simple one, ...


Perfidy

Perfidy

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While the story of the rebellion of Korach is well known, the very idea of a rebellion against Moshe seems strange to us. Moshe was surely the ...


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