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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.

Fallibility

Fallibility

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People make mistakes. Great people make mistakes; not-so-great people make mistakes. Imperfection is part of the human condition. As a species, we ...


The Dangling Conversation

The Dangling Conversation

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Moshe was the greatest teacher the Jewish People ever had, and that was his lasting legacy. He has been known for millennia as "Moshe ...


Holy Vessels

Holy Vessels

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Parashat Tzav includes very detailed instructions for the sacrificial rites of various types of offerings (korbanot). At a certain point in the ...


Divine Dialogue

Divine Dialogue

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As we ended last week's parashah, Moshe had ascended Mount Sinai in order to receive the Tablets of Testimony - which means that we begin this ...


Upwardly Mobile

Upwardly Mobile

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Every society seems to have its "desirables" and "undesirables," mainstreamers versus outliers. Sometimes it is the ...


A Holy Detour

A Holy Detour

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Six weeks after leaving Egypt, the Jews arrived at Mount Sinai. In retrospect, this destination seems obvious. But how obvious was it to those who ...


Songs of Freedom

Songs of Freedom

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The transition from slavery to freedom is sudden. As the parashah begins, the emancipated slaves take up arms (13:18), and brace themselves for the ...


Blessed Be Haman?

Blessed Be Haman?

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The Zionist plan appeared to have failed. God had kept His word; He had fulfilled his part of the covenant forged with the patriarchs. Their ...


No Embarrassment

No Embarrassment

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A deeper look at the meaning of clothes and nakedness.


The Steps to Freedom

The Steps to Freedom

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Leaving Egypt was not a quick fix; it was a slow process, made up of many stages. While each plague made Pharaoh more defiant, more stubborn, the ...


Pointing a Finger

Pointing a Finger

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It begins: As God had promised Avraham hundreds of years earlier, the Jews will be extricated from Egypt - but the exodus will not be instantaneous. ...


Forgetting - And Remembering - Joseph

Forgetting - And Remembering - Joseph

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As we begin a new book, we are introduced to a new king - and to a storyline that seems, to modern Jewish readers, all too familiar. The new Pharaoh ...


Who Is First?

Who Is First?

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In the penultimate scene of Yaakov’s life, Yosef is summoned to his ailing father’s sick bed, and he brings his two sons with him. ...


A Cherished Chalise

A Cherished Chalise

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As a young man, Yosef was a dreamer of dreams. There were those who considered these dreams nothing more than delusions of grandeur, but Yosef knew ...


Limited Leverage: You Can't Force God's Hand

Limited Leverage: You Can't Force God's Hand

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Parashat VaYetze opens as Yaakov runs for his life: He had been told that his brother Esav has murder on his mind, that he intends to take revenge ...


Carry On My Wayward Son

Carry On My Wayward Son

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We can all learn from Yitzchak’s brilliant parenting strategy.


Walking Together

Walking Together

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Yitzchak, our second patriarch, is an elusive character, especially when compared to his father, Avraham, and his son, Yaakov, our other patriarchs. ...


The Chosen

The Chosen

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The concept of "a chosen people" evinces different reactions from different people; in fact, many consider it a double-edged sword. For ...


On a Mission from God

On a Mission from God

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Avraham lived in interesting times.[1] He had to overcome myriad challenges just to survive - but mere survival was never his goal. Avraham had a ...


The Flood and the Abuse of Power

The Flood and the Abuse of Power

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When mankind ignores the inherent equality between the sexes and their mutual responsibility, the flood is not far behind.


By Heaven

By Heaven

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In Ha’azinu, the penultimate parashah of the Torah, Moshe delivers his message in song. Although the parashah is replete with poetic ...


In Hiding

In Hiding

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After the litany of curses articulated in Parashat Ki Tavo, it is hard to believe that any remain, yet one more is mentioned repeatedly in Parashat ...


Nowhere Man

Nowhere Man

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In the final chapters of Devarim, Moshe warns the people of the implications of abandoning the word of God: The Land of Israel has a delicate ...


Dirty Little Secrets

Dirty Little Secrets

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The sins committed behind closed doors cause moral corrosion from within.


War and Peace

War and Peace

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From a moral perspective, one of the most difficult laws in the Torah is the law of the captive wife. Matrimony by force with any woman, and even ...


Just Justice

Just Justice

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A healthy society must have a functioning court system; this, to paraphrase popular wisdom, is what keeps people honest. A holy society, on the ...


Show Me the Money

Show Me the Money

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On creating a just society.


In God We Trust

In God We Trust

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Everyone has a price, or so we are told. Though we would love to believe that people of integrity do exist, people who cannot be bought, one of the ...


Listen

Listen

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It is very difficult to reduce a religion into a series of terse statements, particularly when that religion is Judaism. Jews have been called the ...


The Unbearable Heaviness of Being Moshe

The Unbearable Heaviness of Being Moshe

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New books should represent new opportunities, new beginnings. The book of Devarim, however, is not a case in point. It begins with a retrospective, ...


The Holy Lands of Israel

The Holy Lands of Israel

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God spoke to Moshe, telling him to give the Israelites instructions and say to them: 'You are coming to the land known as Canaan; this is the land ...


Word

Word

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The winds of war were blowing; the Israelites were to prepare to fulfill the word of God and take vengeance against the Midianites. The Moav/Midian ...


Like a Princess

Like a Princess

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Last week's parashah ended in chaos: Promiscuity, idolatry, and death had somehow overrun the Israelite camp. To be sure, throughout the forty years ...


A Question of Propriety

A Question of Propriety

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Something had changed. These were not the people who had left Egypt; that generation had already perished. This was a new generation, either born or ...


An Enigma Wrapped in a Riddle

An Enigma Wrapped in a Riddle

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In a sense, the Israelites had been lulled into a false sense of security. As they moved from one disaster to the next, Moshe was always there to ...


You Say You Want a Revolution

You Say You Want a Revolution

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Understanding Korah’s manipulation.


Seeing Through Wine-Colored Lenses

Seeing Through Wine-Colored Lenses

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It was not supposed to happen this way: A group of scouts was sent to see the Promised Land, presumably to bring back a glowing report that would ...


School's Out

School's Out

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Sometimes - unexpectedly, despite the best plans, things go terribly wrong. Parashat B'haalothcha finds the Jews who left Egypt on the way to the ...


Value Judgments

Value Judgments

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The gift of holiness creates a challenge. Holiness has, if not by definition then at least by connotation, an element of "separateness;" ...


A Leap of Love

A Leap of Love

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All new beginnings are charged with hope; the beginning of a new book of the Torah is no exception. As the book of Bamidbar opens, there is hope ...


Irreplaceable Theology

Irreplaceable Theology

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As the book of Vayikra moves towards its finale, several outstanding issues are clarified. A retrospective overview shows us that although it began ...


Seasons in the Sun

Seasons in the Sun

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Shabbat is a day of rest. The Torah teaches us that just as people need to rest one day in seven, so, too, the land of Israel, which is sensitive in ...


Sanctify Life

Sanctify Life

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Sometimes life is simple; sometimes it is terribly complex. Simplicity is when the choices presented are clear; good and bad are easy to identify, ...


Put a Little Love in Your Heart

Put a Little Love in Your Heart

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Perhaps one of the most famous verses in the Torah is, "Love your neighbor as yourself."(Vayikra 19:18) This is not an isolated ...


A Holy, Delicate Land

A Holy, Delicate Land

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There is a price to be paid for holiness.


In Search of Chametz

In Search of Chametz

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I. Pesach and Matzah While the seven day festival commemorated each year in the spring is now known as Chag haPesach (Passover),1 the Torah ...


Ignoring the Signs

Ignoring the Signs

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Perhaps it's human nature: You see something on your skin you hadn't noticed before. Has it always been there? Did it suddenly appear? You could ...


Power of the People

Power of the People

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Life and death: a study in contrasts.


Fixing a Broken World

Fixing a Broken World

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With the completion of the Mishkan, there was much excitement and anticipation in the Israelite camp. On the day the Mishkan was to become ...


Intrigue in Shushan

Intrigue in Shushan

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An in-depth look at the story of Purim.