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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".

Click here to buy the first volume of the series.

Encouraging the Nation

Encouraging the Nation

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This Sedra tells of Israel's escape from Egypt and their miraculous crossing of the Reed Sea. It contains the famous Song of the Sea. Thus this ...


Through You They Bless

Through You They Bless

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The final parsha in the book of Genesis contains Jacob's blessings to his twelve sons. He saves a special place for his beloved son, Joseph. He has ...


Joseph Harnessed His Chariot

Joseph Harnessed His Chariot

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Our parsha reaches the climax of the drama between Joseph and his brothers. Jacob is finally reunited with his long-lost son, Joseph. And Joseph is ...


The Choice of Simon

The Choice of Simon

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This week's parsha takes us into the first stage of the dramatic meeting between Joseph and his brothers. The brothers go down to Egypt to buy food ...


A Man Found Him

A Man Found Him

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The following three parshiyot tell us the ever-fascinating story of Joseph and his brothers. The drama is played out on two planes: the human and ...


The Most Beloved

The Most Beloved

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As Jacob's family gets ready to meet Esau, Jacob arranges them in backward priority – maidservants first, then Leah then Rachel. So that if, ...


The Gateway to Heaven

The Gateway to Heaven

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This week's parsha recounts Jacob's flight from his brother, Esau, to his uncle, Lavan's home. There he marries Leah and Rachel and there they (and ...


Esau Despised the Birthright

Esau Despised the Birthright

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The parsha tells of the birth and development of Isaac's sons, Jacob & Esau, and two pivotal events in their lives: (a) Esau selling the ...


After These Events

After These Events

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This week's parsha records several dramatic events: the birth of Isaac; Abraham's unsuccessful plea to save the evil population of Sodom; the ...


Abraham 'Believed' Hashem

Abraham 'Believed' Hashem

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Genesis 15:6 "And he believed in Hashem and He considered it for him as righteousness." RASHI And he believed in Hashem - RASHI: He ...


In His Generations

In His Generations

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Genesis 6:9 "These are the generations of Noah; Noah was a righteous man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with ...


Sukkot 5772

Sukkot 5772

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The Sukkos holiday is called the "Season of Our Joy." Let us see what Rashi has to say about this. Deuteronomy 16:15 "Seven days ...


The Mighty One

The Mighty One

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Deuteronomy 32:31 "For their mighty one is not like our Almighty, yet our enemies sit in judgement." RASHI For their mighty one is ...


Foreign Gods

Foreign Gods

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This week's parsha brings us to the near final words of Moses to the People on the day of his death. He gives them a final warning and an opening ...


I Have Declared Today

I Have Declared Today

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This week's parsha begins with the blessing the Jew makes when he brings his first fruits to the Temple in Jerusalem. Rashi shows us how behavior ...


Returning Lost Articles

Returning Lost Articles

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Among the many laws we find in this week's parsha are the laws of returning lost articles to their owner. It should be noted here that the civil ...


Do Not Erect An Altar

Do Not Erect An Altar

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This parsha teaches us many laws, both between Man and Man and between Man and God. Much discussion revolves around the laws of Jewish worship of ...


The Blessing

The Blessing

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Deuteronomy 11:27 "The blessing, that you heed the commandments of Hashem, your God, that I command you today." RASHI The blessing - ...


Fear of Heaven

Fear of Heaven

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The following is one of the most basic verses in our Torah regarding man's obligation in life. Tosafot questions a well-known saying of the ...


Egyptians Were Preoccupied

Egyptians Were Preoccupied

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This week's parsha, Masay, is the last parsha in the book of Bamidbar. The parsha begins by listing the various journey stops that the Israelites ...


Moses Brought Their Case

Moses Brought Their Case

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In this week's parsha an unusual case of inheritance arises. Zelaphchad, of the tribe of Menashe, had five daughters but no sons. Inheritance goes ...


Where Are You?

Where Are You?

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Perceiving apparent inconsistencies in Rashi leads to a deeper understanding. Numbers 22:9 "And God came to Bilam and He said 'Who are these ...


The Complete Assembly

The Complete Assembly

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Rashi holds his own as the Ramban levels a criticism against his p'shat. Numbers 20:1 "The Children of Israel, the entire assembly, came to ...


A New Creation

A New Creation

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Numbers 16:30 "If Hashem will create a creation and the earth will open its mouth and swallow them and all that is theirs and they will ...


And Aaron Did So

And Aaron Did So

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The rule for understanding Rashi: Simplify, simplify, simplify. Numbers 8:3 "And Aaron did so. Toward the face of the menorah he kindled its ...


Cleansed of Punishment

Cleansed of Punishment

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Among other new mitzvot mentioned in Parshat Naso, we have the laws of the Sota, the woman whose husband suspects her of having an affair with ...


Designated By Name

Designated By Name

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We now begin the fourth book of the Torah, Sefer Bamidbar. Perhaps it is fitting that we read these parshiyot in the summer because they relate ...


My Covenant With Jacob

My Covenant With Jacob

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After the terrible curses that will befall Israel should they not adhere to God's mitzvot, we are given the silver lining that surrounds the curses. ...


In Front of Your Eyes

In Front of Your Eyes

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The parsha speaks of the laws that will apply when the Children of Israel enter the Land of Israel. These include the seventh year, ...


You Shall Be Holy

You Shall Be Holy

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This week's parsha is one of the central parshiot in the Torah. It describes the mitzvot which make Israel a unique nation. (Its location is ...


Move Forward

Move Forward

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The Torah reading for the seventh day of Pesach is Exodus 13:7-15:26 - the crossing of the Reed Sea. Exodus 14:15 "And Hashem said to Moses ...


The Great Day

The Great Day

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Shabbat HaGadol The Shabbat before Passover is called Shabbat HaGadol, the Great Shabbat. It is called "HaGadol" because the Haftarah ...


Day of Purification

Day of Purification

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We will examine Rashi's "lead word" - in Hebrew, "dibbur hamaschil." Each Rashi comment is introduced by a "lead ...


Who Is the King?

Who Is the King?

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In accordance with the festivities of Purim, I present another Torah thought from Megillat Esther. Esther 1:2 "In those days, as the king ...


He is Achashverosh

He is Achashverosh

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(This week's sedra is Vayikra. I ask your indulgence to allow me to put up a Rashi from Megillat Esther, since we are so near to Purim. It is taken ...


They Did and They Made

They Did and They Made

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After the Torah describes in detail the making of the Tabernacle and its vessels, it makes the following concluding statement. Exodus ...


Bezalel and Ahaliav

Bezalel and Ahaliav

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This week's parsha continues with its discussion of the Mishkan. It describes the work done by Bezalel and his co-workers in constructing the ...


Reasons for Shabbat

Reasons for Shabbat

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This week's parsha's main themes are a repeated command to keep the Shabbat, and the sin of the Golden Calf. We will look at some main aspects of ...


Bells and Pomegranates

Bells and Pomegranates

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Our parsha tells us of the making of the clothing of the priests and the High Priest, the objects which were used in the Mishkan, and the ...


Make For Me a Sanctuary

Make For Me a Sanctuary

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Parshat Trumah details the preparations necessary for the building of the Mishkan - Israel's Sanctuary as they traveled through the desert. There ...


Manna on Sabbath

Manna on Sabbath

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This week's parsha contains within it the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments were given exclusively to Israel at the momentous Revelation at Mt ...


Master of Wars

Master of Wars

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This week's parsha recounts the final hours of the historic Exodus from Egypt. The Israelites left Egypt in a cloud of glory, literally. The ...


Pharaoh Arose

Pharaoh Arose

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The final plague, the killing of the first-born Egyptians, strikes every home in Egypt. Pharaoh awakes in panic and finally is brought to his knees ...


When Shall I Pray?

When Shall I Pray?

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This week's parsha begins the story of the ten plagues. Pharaoh refused to acknowledge Hashem's existence and would therefore not consent to free ...


A Son of Grace

A Son of Grace

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This is the last parsha in the book of Bereishis. In it Jacob bids farewell to his twelve sons before his death. He gives them, individually, his ...


Esau and Jacob

Esau and Jacob

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Our parsha tells of Jacob's reunion with his brother Esau after a 22 year interval. Jacob had fled from Esau 22 years earlier because of Esau's ...


To His Brothers

To His Brothers

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This week's parsha tells of Jacob's twenty years with his father-in-law, Laban. Years that were both stressful, because of Laban's deceitfulness, ...


May He Give and Give

May He Give and Give

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This week's parsha tells of the rivalry between Jacob and Esau, and Esau's selling the Birthright to Jacob. Towards the end of the parsha, we read ...


Let There Be Lights

Let There Be Lights

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This week we begin a new cycle of Torah readings. It is always fascinating to see how each year we can discover new insights into the Torah. The ...


Yom Kippur 5768

Yom Kippur 5768

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The Haftarah for Mincha on Yom Kippur is the entire book of the prophet Jonah ben Amitai. The connection to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is ...


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