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About the Author

Dr. Avigdor Bonchek

"What's Bothering Rashi?" is a production of the "Institute for the Study of Rashi and Early Commentaries".

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He Has No Blood

He Has No Blood

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This week's parsha comes right after the Giving of the Torah at Sinai, and contains numerous mitzvot - 53 to be exact. These are mostly mitzvot ...


Outward Appearances

Outward Appearances

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This parsha tells of the serious sin of the Spies and its fateful consequence – that the nation would wander in the Wilderness for a whole ...


In The First Month

In The First Month

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This week's parsha (and the following two, as well) tells about several incidents that occurred while the Israelites were traveling in the ...


The Guilty Person

The Guilty Person

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This week's parsha is a mixed bag of mitzvos. It starts with the responsibilities of the Tribe of Levi in the Mishkan. Among the other laws it ...


Counted From Birth

Counted From Birth

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This week we start Bamidbar, the fourth book of the Torah. The book contains stories of the events that transpired during the Jews' 40-year trek ...


The Blessing of Peace

The Blessing of Peace

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This parsha deals with the blessing that we merit when we keep the mitzvot and the curse (Tochacha) which will befall Israel if they (we) don't ...


Hashem's Appointed Festivals

Hashem's Appointed Festivals

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Leviticus 23:2 "Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them: Hashem's appointed festivals which you shall designate as callings of ...


Sabbath and Festivals

Sabbath and Festivals

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Chapter 23 in this week's parsha discusses the festivals of the year. Leviticus 23:3 "Six days shall work be performed and on the seventh day ...


Love the Convert

Love the Convert

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This week's parshiyot include Kedoshim, which is a central parsha in the Torah. Rashi, in his first comment on the parsha, notes that most of the ...


Lesson in Modesty

Lesson in Modesty

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The Torah discusses various kinds of "leprous" afflictions which can befall man, his clothing and his home. The whole section is difficult ...


A Fire Came Forth

A Fire Came Forth

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This week's parsha tells of the dedication of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) by Aaron and the tragedy of the sudden death of two of his sons, Nadav and ...


For the Sake of

For the Sake of "This"

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This Shabbat is Shabbat Hagadol, the Shabbat preceding the holiday of Pesach. In that spirit, we offer a Rashi – Ramban dispute regarding the ...


"When," Not "If"

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This week we start the third book of the Torah, Vayikra. The book is referred to as the Laws of the Priests, since it deals to a great extent with ...


Exile and the Mishkan

Exile and the Mishkan

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This week we end the book of Shmot (Exodus). In light of this, I would like to analyze the Ramban's introduction to the book of Shmot and see his ...


They Desired Many Gods

They Desired Many Gods

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Our Parsha tells of the Nation's inconceivable fall from grace and horrendous sin when 3,000 of its members worshipped the Golden Calf, merely days ...


It Was Despicable

It Was Despicable

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This Shabbat, a week before Purim, is Shabbat Zachor, when we remember what Amalek did to our forefathers when they left Egypt. Haman, the villain ...


Never Remove the Rings

Never Remove the Rings

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This week's parsha discusses the Mishkan – the portable House of God - which traveled with the wandering Israelites in the wilderness and in ...


Upon His Staff

Upon His Staff

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After the Ten Commandments in parshat Yitro, the Torah gives us parshat Mishpatim, which deals with many laws. Most, though not all, are civil laws ...


Yitro Went Back

Yitro Went Back

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This week's parsha contains the Ten Commandments, so its significance is quite central. But before that, the Torah tells us of Moses' father-law, ...


Please Speak

Please Speak

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In this week's parsha we have the finale of the ten plagues. Pharaoh at long last breaks under the weight of all the first-born in Egypt dying. He ...


I Appeared to the Forefathers

I Appeared to the Forefathers

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This parsha is central in the events of the redemption from Egypt. The first seven plagues are related. The parsha begins with a very significant ...


He Saw Their Burdens

He Saw Their Burdens

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After completing the Book of the Fathers, the Book of the beginnings (Bereishit), we now begin the second book of the Torah, the Book of Shmot ...


Happened To Meet Us

Happened To Meet Us

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This week we begin the second book of the Torah, the book of Exodus. The book relates the history of the People of Israel from their beginings in ...


Jacob and Shema

Jacob and Shema

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Jacob goes to meet his long-lost son, Joseph. Their meeting is quite emotional, as we would have expected. Genesis 46:29 "Joseph harnessed ...


Go Down

Go Down

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Our parsha continues the drama of Joseph and his brothers. There is famine in the land of Canaan and Jacob realizes that the only way he and his ...


Many Days

Many Days

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This week's parsha tells of the trials and tribulations of the sons of Jacob and how their anger towards Joseph brought them to sell him into ...


The Muzzled Camels

The Muzzled Camels

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The parsha relates two main stories. The first: Sarah's death and burial. The second: Abraham's searching for, and finding, a wife for his son, ...


And Hashem Remembered

And Hashem Remembered

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Bereishit is the Book of the Forefathers. There is much that we can learn from them and Abraham is our greatest teacher. The first incident recorded ...


Hagar's Outcry

Hagar's Outcry

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This parsha tells us of the origins of Am Yisrael - the experiences and travails of Avram and Sarai, the founding parents of Nation Israel. We will ...


The End of All Flesh

The End of All Flesh

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Man was banished from the Garden of Eden after Adam's sin and was made to live in this world with all its temptations. The ten generations between ...


Where Is Your Brother?

Where Is Your Brother?

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We begin a new Torah reading cycle this week (immediately after Simchas Torah) and with it new opportunities to discover the wonders of God's ...


Worshipping Foreign Gods

Worshipping Foreign Gods

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Making sense of the Targum gives us a better understanding of the verse. Deuteronomy 4:28 "And you will serve there (in exile) gods, the ...


A Kiss of Hashem

A Kiss of Hashem

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We are nearing the end, unfortunately, of the Holy Day season. The final days are Sh'mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. These are celebrated as two ...


Sukkot 5771

Sukkot 5771

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On the week of Sukkot we are commanded to live (eat our meals, spend our free time and sleep) in the Sukkah for seven days. We also take the four ...


Yom Kippur 5772

Yom Kippur 5772

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Yom Kippur is considered by all Jews as the solemnest day of the year. It is the day we stand before God all day long in prayer; we appeal for ...


Rosh Hashanah 5770

Rosh Hashanah 5770

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This year Rosh Hashanah falls out on Shabbat and Sunday. We celebrate two days of Rosh Hashanah, the second day being a Rabbinical enactment ...


And Moses Went

And Moses Went

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This week we have two short parshiyot as a double portion, Nitzavim-Vayelech. These parshiyot were spoken by Moses on the last day of his life. In ...


Misleading the Blind

Misleading the Blind

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The parsha begins with the mitzvah of the offering of first fruits and ends with the blessing and the curse that will befall Israel if they follow ...


The Escaped Slave

The Escaped Slave

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This week's parsha contains more mitzvot (74) than any parsha in the Torah. Among them are various mitzvot that pertain to Jewish conduct in ...


We, the Elders

We, the Elders

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This week's parsha details many laws between Man and Man. At the end of the parsha we are taught the strange ceremony that is performed by the ...


Laws of Slaughtering

Laws of Slaughtering

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This week's parsha speaks of laws pertaining to coming into Eretz Yisrael, destroying the pagan idols and establishing the House of God; the laws of ...


For You Were Strangers

For You Were Strangers

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This week's parsha continues Moses' talk to the People, preparing them for entrance into the Land of Israel. It is full of encouragement to trust in ...


In The Eyes Of The Nations

In The Eyes Of The Nations

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This week's parsha as part of Deuteronomy, which is the Mishneh Torah (the Repetition of the Torah), has the Ten Commandments repeated as well as ...


The Ox Knows

The Ox Knows

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We now begin the fifth and last book of the Five Books of the Torah. Parshat Devarim always comes on the Shabbat preceding the Fast of Tisha B'Av. ...


The Woman's Vow

The Woman's Vow

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Matot begins with the topic of vows. We learn the laws of a woman who makes a vow and either her father (if unmarried) or her husband annul ...


Let Hashem Appoint

Let Hashem Appoint

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This week's parsha tells of Pinchas' reward for taking the initiative to blot out the shame of Israel when one of its leaders took a Midianite woman ...


Moses' Forgiveness

Moses' Forgiveness

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This week we have a double parsha reading, Chukat/Balak, outside of Israel. (In Israel we read Chukat one week and Balak the next.) The first parsha ...


He Will Not Be As Korach

He Will Not Be As Korach

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This week's parsha tells us of the first major organized rebellion against Moses and Aaron from within the Jewish camp. It also teaches us about the ...


Shavuot 5766

Shavuot 5766

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Shavuot is the time of the Giving of the Torah. The revelation at Sinai was certainly the most momentous event in the history of mankind. God speaks ...


First Fruits

First Fruits

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The Yom Tov of Pesach is dominated by the Seder night and learning the Haggadah. The following is from the Haggadah and its parallel source in ...


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