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Posted on June 18th, 2018

Numbers. 19:1−22:1 

Britain's Former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks for OU

Why was Moses not destined to enter the land?


IT IS ONE OF THE MOST PERPLEXING, even disturbing, passages in the Torah. Moses the faithful shepherd, who has led the Israelites for forty years, is told that he will not live to cross the Jordan and enter the promised land.

No one has cast a longer shadow over the history of the Jewish people than Moses – the man who confronted Pharaoh, announced the plagues, brought the people out of Egypt, led them through the sea and desert and suffered their serial ingratitudes; who brought the word of G-d to the people, and prayed for the people to G-d. The name Israel means “one who wrestles with G-d and with men and prevails.”

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Posted on June 11th, 2018

Numbers 16:1−18:32 

Rabbi Bernie Fox for OU

What Was In It For Datan and Aviram?

“And Korach the son of Yitzhar the son of Kahat the son of Leyve separated himself, together with Datan and Aviram the sons of Ahaliav and Ohn the son of Pelet, the sons of Reuven.” (BeMidbar 16:1)

Korach initiated a dispute with Moshe regarding the leadership of Bnai Yisrael. Rashi explains that Korach was motivated by personal ambitions. Moshe had appointed Elisafan the son of Uziel as prince of the family of Kahat. Korach believed that he should have received this honor.[1] Datan, Aviram and Ohn were not involved in this issue. They did not have this personal motivation to join the dispute. Why did they become involved?

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Sh'lach Lecha

Posted on June 4th, 2018

Numbers 13:1−15:41 

Rabbi Bernie Fox for OU

The Job of the Spies

“Send for you men. And they will scout the land of Canaan that I am giving to Bnai Yisrael. You should send one man from each tribe. Each of them should be a prince.” (BeMidbar 13:2)

Hashem commands Moshe to send scouts into the land of Israel. This group will travel through the land and return with a report.

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Posted on May 29th, 2018

Numbers 8:1 – 12:16

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Leadership Beyond Despair 

Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, is remarkable for the extreme realism with which it portrays human character. Its heroes are not superhuman. Its non-heroes are not archetypal villains. The best have failings; the worst often have saving virtues. I know of no other religious literature quite like it.

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Posted on May 21st, 2018

NUMBERS 4:21−7:89 

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

The Pursuit of Peace

The parsha of Naso seems, on the face of it, to be a heterogeneous collection of utterly unrelated items. First there is the account of the Levitical families of Gershon and Merari and their tasks in carrying parts of the Tabernacle when the Israelites journeyed. Then, after two brief laws about removing unclean people from the camp and about restitution, there comes the strange ordeal of the Sotah, the woman suspected by her husband of adultery.

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