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About the Author

Rabbi Zev Leff

Rabbi Zev Leff is Rav of Moshav Matisyahu, and a renowned lecturer and educator. He is the author of Shiurei Bina - Outlooks & Insights on the Weekly Torah Portion, and most recently, Shemoneh Esrei: The Depth and Beauty of Our Daily Tefillah, published by Targum Press. Visit his website online at www.rabbileff.net.

In the Eyes of Man and God

In the Eyes of Man and God

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The impact of our actions on others.


Fences of Holiness

Fences of Holiness

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Without implementing safety measures, we could fall to the lowest levels.


Two Aspects of the Mishkan

Two Aspects of the Mishkan

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Rabbi Shmuel bar Nachmani said in the name of Rabbi Yonasan: The name Betzalel indicates his wisdom, for when God told Moses to tell Betzalel to ...


The Blessing of Self Knowledge

The Blessing of Self Knowledge

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"...Each according to his own blessing." (Genesis 49 28) The Sages tell us that Jacob wished to reveal the keitz, the time of the final redemption, ...


Four Free Days

Four Free Days

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The Midrash (Yalkut Emor 651) comments on the verse, "You should take for you on the first day," that Sukkot is the first day for the accounting of ...


Yom Kippur: Confession and Redemption

Yom Kippur: Confession and Redemption

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Beset by many evils and troubles, they will say, "It is because God is no longer with me that these evil things have befallen me." On that day I ...


Do not separate From the community

Do not separate From the community

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Today you are all standing before the Lord your God.(Deut. 29:9) After the 98 curses that the Jewish people heard at the end of Parshas Ki Tavo, ...


First and Foremost

First and Foremost

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"You shall take of every fruit of the ground produced by the land that the Lord your God is giving you. You must place it in a basket, and go to the ...


Fundamentals of Education

Fundamentals of Education

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"When a man has a wayward, rebellious son, who does not obey his father and mother, they shall have him flogged. If he still does not listen to ...


A Perspective on Fear

A Perspective on Fear

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"When you go out to war against your enemy and you see horses and chariots, an army greater than you, do not fear them, for the Lord your God, Who ...


The Love of Kindness

The Love of Kindness

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"Grant truth to Jacob, kindness to Abraham, as you swore to our forefathers from ancient times."(Micha 7:20) In the first, second, fourth, and ...


Loving the Convert

Loving the Convert

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"...[God] loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. You must also show love toward the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of ...


Double Sin, Double Comfort

Double Sin, Double Comfort

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They sinned doubly, as it says, "Jerusalem has sinned a sin." And they were stricken doubly, as it says, "She has received double for her sins." And ...


Torah as the Totality of God's Will

Torah as the Totality of God's Will

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"Who is the wise man that may understand this, and who is he to whom the mouth of the Lord has spoken that he may declare it? Why has the land ...


In the Eyes of Man and God

In the Eyes of Man and God

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The children of God and the children of Reuben came and spoke to Elazar the Kohen, and to the leaders of the assembly, saying, "Ataroth, Dibon, ...


The Function of a Leader

The Function of a Leader

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When Moses entreated God to appoint a leader to succeed him, God answered, "Before you command Me concerning My children, command My children ...


The Essence of the Jewish People

The Essence of the Jewish People

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God said to Balaam, "You shall not go with them! You shall not curse the people, for it is blessed." (Numbers 22:12) Ibn Ezra asks why God did not ...


Reasons and Tastes

Reasons and Tastes

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The Midrash (Kohelles Rabba 7:23) relates that King Solomon made a special effort to understand the reasons for para adumah (red heifer). In the end ...


Peace and Strife

Peace and Strife

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Any dispute that is for the sake of Heaven will have a constructive outcome; but one that is not for the sake of Heaven will not have a constructive ...


Sin of the Spies - Who's in Charge?

Sin of the Spies - Who's in Charge?

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Living in a material world.


Consistency and Faithfulness

Consistency and Faithfulness

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"When the Ark would travel, Moses would say, 'Arise God, and let Your foes be scattered, let those who hate You flee from before You.' And when ...


The Nazir: a Holy Sinner

The Nazir: a Holy Sinner

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"All the days of his abstinence, he is holy to God." (Numbers 6:8) "The Kohen shall make one as a sin-offering and one as an elevation-offering, ...


Like a Desert

Like a Desert

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Why was the Torah given to the Jewish nation in a desert?


Toiling in Torah

Toiling in Torah

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"If you walk in My statutes..." (Leviticus 26:3) Walking in God's statutes, say the Sages, refers to toiling in Torah. Upon that toil, God's ...


Adapting to imperfection

Adapting to imperfection

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God relates to us the way we relate to Him.


Striving For Perfection

Striving For Perfection

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Sforno explains that even though there are blemishes that actually increase the strength and value of an animal, they nevertheless render the animal ...


The Individual and the Group

The Individual and the Group

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The Talmud (Sotah 14a) instructs us in the Mitzvah of imitating God in all His ways. Just as God clothes the naked, visits the sick, comforts ...


Correcting Selfishness

Correcting Selfishness

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When you arrive in the land of Canaan that I give you as a possession, I will place a tzora'as affliction upon a house in the land of your ...


Life and Death in the Hands of the Tongue

Life and Death in the Hands of the Tongue

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Why do we make a point to remember Miriam speaking badly about Moses?


Divine Service: Law and Ecstasy

Divine Service: Law and Ecstasy

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"The sons of Aaron, Nadav and Avihu, each took his fire pan. They put fire in them and placed incense upon it, and they brought before God an alien ...


Four Aspects of Thanksgiving

Four Aspects of Thanksgiving

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Insights into the nature of gratitude.


The Gates of Prayer

The Gates of Prayer

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"And God called to Moses..." (Leviticus 1:1) Rosh in his commentary to the Torah explains that the aleph in the word vayikra, with which the third ...


Two Aspects of the Mishkan

Two Aspects of the Mishkan

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Rabbi Shmuel bar Nachmani said in the name of Rabbi Yonasan: The name Betzalel indicates his wisdom, for when God told Moses to tell Betzalel to ...


Invoking the Thirteen Attributes

Invoking the Thirteen Attributes

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Following God's promise not to destroy the Jewish people, after the sin of the Golden Calf, Moses requested that God make known to him the qualities ...


The Missing Moses

The Missing Moses

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Now, if you would, please forgive their sin. If not, You can blot me out from the book that you have written. (Exodus 32:32) Moses' name is not ...


Supporting the Supporter

Supporting the Supporter

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Does God need our contributions?


Ascent or Descent

Ascent or Descent

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The path to spiritual growth.


The Art of Listening

The Art of Listening

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Attuning our ears to hear the reverberations of Sinai.


Three Days in the Desert

Three Days in the Desert

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"I declare that I will bring you out of the wretchedness of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizites, Hivites and ...


Light Unto the Nations

Light Unto the Nations

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"The Israelites [also] did as Moses had said. They requested silver and gold articles and clothing from the Egyptians. God made the Egyptians ...


Torah, Nature and Love of God

Torah, Nature and Love of God

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"The Nile will swarm with frogs, and when they emerge, they will be in your palace, in your bedroom, and [even] in your bed. [They will also be in] ...


Living to Work

Living to Work

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"The Egyptians started to make the Israelites do labor designated to break their bodies." (Exodus 1:13) In order to keep the Israelites ...


Joseph's

Joseph's "sweet revenge"

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"...And they said, 'Perhaps Joseph will nurse hatred against us...' " (Genesis 50:15) Upon returning from burying Jacob, Joseph's brothers sensed ...


The Wagons of Assimilation

The Wagons of Assimilation

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Transferring the holiness of Israel to Egyptian soil.


Thanking God for Misfortune and Deliverance

Thanking God for Misfortune and Deliverance

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Rabbeinu Yona writes in Sha'arei Teshuva: When one receives God's chastisement and as a consequence improves his ways, it is proper for him to ...


Yosef and His Brothers: The Anatomy of a Sale

Yosef and His Brothers: The Anatomy of a Sale

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"...and Joseph would bring evil reports about them to their father." (Genesis 37:2) Just as the Halachic sections of the written Torah were meant ...


Its ways are ways of pleasantness

Its ways are ways of pleasantness

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"And Yaakov was very frightened and distressed." (Genesis 32:7) Rashi comments that Yaakov was frightened lest he or members of his family be ...


The Jewish Home

The Jewish Home

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Not like Avraham who called [the Temple] "mountain," and not like Yitzhak who called it "field," but rather like Yaakov who called it "house"... ...


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