Before Hashem

For the PDF Version: Here The theme of Parashat Acharei Mot is the ability to be “before Hashem”. The Parsha starts out with the sad fact that Aharon’s two sons died “when they drew near before Hashem” unsuccessfully (Varika 16:1). To...

Rabbi Akiva’s Legacy of Love and Respect

For the PDF version: Here The Gemara (Yevamot 62b) tells us that the 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva all died between Pesach and Shavuot because they did not treat each other respectfully. A Geonic tradition (cited by Me’iri to Yevamot 62b) adds that the students...

A Matter of Perspective – 5776

Rabbi Aharon Greenberg Canadian Director of the Seif Orthodox Union Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus   A Matter of Perspective In this week’s parsha of Acharei Mot, as part of the sacrificial process of Yom Hakipurim, Bnei Yisrael are commanded to take two...

The Power Of Love

This week’s Torah reading contains one of the central teachings of Judaism, the command to “Love one’s neighbour.” It is well known that the verse – You shall love your neighbour as yourself; I am the Lord – is considered one of the...

Is The Land Of Israel Holy In Essence

Independence Day, Jerusalem, Israel. The scene is set and the celebrations are about to get underway. Thousands of people are present. I see Jews of many nationalities flocking here from many countries. Many will stay, and some will go. They are all here for one...

Two Radical Messages Regarding Kedusha

Rabbi Avi Kannai Former Rosh Kollel Memphis (2005-2008)   This week we are reading two Torah portions – Achrei Mot and Kdoshim. Even though the two titles – Achrei Mot and Kdoshim are words taken from the beginnings of the two portions respectively – thus,...

Safeguard My Charge – 5767

Rabbi Dror Brama Former Rosh Kollel in London   Our parsha includes a lengthy discussion of isurei ha’arayot (forbidden and illicit relations). The parsha then concludes with an ostensibly difficult verse: “Safeguard My charge to avoid committing those abominable...