Parsha Podcast with Ari Goldwag
Summary: This unique Parsha podcast is filled with machshava, deep philosophical Jewish thought, based on traditional sources, from the ancient to the recent. All of the ideas are rooted in Torah tradition, filled with a spiritual message that is potent and poignant for the times.
Why does the Torah double the language in it's statement that 'it will be if you will hear, you will hear the voice of Hashem' in regards to the great blessings we receive when we fulfil the will of Hashem? What is the meaning of the word 'Amen?' What is the reward for saying Amen, and why is it so great? What is the meaning of the statement of our sages that 'whoever goes into the synagogue and study hall in this world will merit to do so in the World to Come?' How does the 'voice of the Torah' relate to the 'voice of the bride and groom' in the times of Moshiach? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
What is the theme that runs through the mitzvos of mila, karbanos and sending away the mother bird? Why does the Midrash indicate that Hashem has compassion on the birds if the Gemara says that whoever says such a thing is quieted? Why does the Torah indicate the reward for keeping the mitzvah of sending away the mother bird (long life), but in most cases the Torah is silent on the reward? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
Why is it that a close relative can not be a witness nor a judge in one's court case? What can we learn from this about personal bias and the path to keeping it in check? What is the idea behind the fact that the pillars of the world are Truth, Justice and Peace? What are the lessons we learn from ants who store up more food than they need, and are careful not to touch another ant's load? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
Why does the Torah first talk about giving to the Levi and then about the expansion of the borders of Eretz Yisrael? How does this connect to the Torah's allowing eating meat in all circumstances, which had been previously permitted only when part of a sacrifice? How does this concept connect to the idea of Yosef's challenges leading to his ultimate triumph? How does this parallel the history of the Jewish people, which culminates with the expanded borders of Israel? Why did Abba Yudin lose all of his money and then become even wealthier than before? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
Why does the verse first speak about the Mon (manna), then the word of Hashem, and then the clothes of the Jewish people that did not wear out for forty years? What is the parallel in the verse in Shir Hashirim, which speaks of the 'honey dripping from the lips,' and then the 'good smell of the garments?' How were the Jews able to find new garments in the forty years in the wilderness? What were the properties of the miraculous garments they wore? Where did they receive them? How were they washed and pressed? How did they deal with negative odors in the wilderness? How does this parallel the good fragrance that accompanied Yakov when he entered the presence of Yitzchak to receive the blessings? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
What are the regular parameters of our daily prayers? What are the unique ways that our prophets and sages expressed their prayers? What are the ten different names for prayer? What is the highest prayer, as represented by the prayer of Moshe? How do we ask Hashem for a free gift, even when we are undeserving? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
What is the depth of the idea of whether the Torah can be written in other languages? What is the difference between Hebrew and all other languages? How does the 'Tree of Life' - the Torah - serve to cure and purify the languages or the tongue? What is the significance of the fact that Moshe originally described himself as unable to speak, as opposed to the fact that he becomes a 'man of words' through the Torah? Why is the Torah at the center of the Mikdash-Temple in the Ark of the Covenant? Why does the Torah 'come forth from Tzion?' What is the river that flows out of the Holy Temple in the future that cures the languages and tongues? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
What is the meaning of the 'heart of the wise that is on the right' as opposed to the 'heart of the fool on the left?' What is behind the placement of the cattle before the children in the statement of the children of Gad and Reuven? How does Moshe correct them? What is the root of the exile that is ultimately brought upon the tribes of Gad and Reuven? Why does the Torah enumerate the many journeys and stations along the route of the Jews' sojourn in the wilderness? When is it time to run in order to save one's life? What is the idea behind the fact that there was nowhere to run to when the Jews were in the wilderness? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
What is behind the concept of Nedarim which are at the end of Parshas Pinchas and the beginning of Matos? Why do they immediately follow the commandment for the offerings of Shmini Atzeres? What is the deeper concept behind the diminishment of the Bull offerings that are brought throughout the days of Succos? What is represented by the single Bull and Ram that are brought on the Shmini Atzeres? Why is a guest to expect a diminishment in the food he is offered throughout his stay at his host's home? Which festivals did Hashem reject, and which ones does He desire from His people? What is the concept of the Moadim-festivals? Why are the vows to be fulfilled specifically in relationship to the festivals? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
What is the unique challenge that presents itself at the transition time of Redemption? How does this play out when the Jews are redeemed from Egypt, as opposed to their imminent arrival in the Holy Land? How was this manifest before the Second Temple was built in the times of Esther? What protected the Jewish people and allowed them to be redeemed from Egypt? Why were they able to maintain purity in their relationships between men and women in that time, and why did they fall at the end of the forty years in the wilderness? What is represented by the powerful example of courage in the act of Pinchas which stopped the plague? What lesson can we take for the challenge we face in our times as we close in on the final Redemption? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
What is the significance of the fact that the war with Sichon happened during Elul and that the war with Og happened right after Succos, as the Jews stood at the border of the land of Israel? Why was Moshe concerned about this war with Og - what merit did the Jewish people lack, and what merit did Og have? What is the difference between the wars that were fought then and the future wars immediately before Moshiach comes? What was Bilaam's mistaken approach that angered Hashem? How can we find merit in a time of judgment and cross over into the Holy Land? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
What is the concept of the staff of Aharon that proves his specialness? Why is this the same staff that was used by Yehuda, Moshe, the kings of Israel, and will be used in the future by Moshiach? What is the concept of the two different versions of the letter 'tzadi?' How does this relate to the final redemption? Why does Aharon take center stage in parshas Korach, but take a back seat in regards to the process of the purification process of the Red Heifer? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
What is the powerful concept behind the mitzvah of Tzitzis - the strings that are tied onto the four cornered garment? How can we control our natural inclination to be drawn after our heart and eyes? What is the analogy of holding onto the Torah as a drowning person holds onto a lifeline? How do we engage our emotion and intellect to offset the natural inclinations of our base desires? What was the mistake of Korach? Why does the Torah use the phrase 'Korach took' if he did not really 'take' anything? How do we use spiritual inspiration as a motivator? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
What is the depth of the idea of Ruach Hakodesh-Divine Inspiration? What does it mean that Moshe's Ruach Hakodesh was spread onto the seventy elders? Why was it that on one hand Hashem was joyous when the elders received this Ruach, but on the other hand it seems that Moshe was chastised for requesting help? What is the Ruach Hakodesh that Esther, Dovid and Shimshon received? Why did Hashem instruct Moshe to send a spy from each tribe instead of only sending two all together, as Yehoshua did 40 years later? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
Why is the revelation of Hashem, where He speaks to Moshe from on top of the Ark, directly after the sacrifices brought by the 12 princes of the tribes? What is the idea behind the human being who is able to hear the voice of Hashem, while the spiritual angels are not able to do so? What is the depth in the teaching that Aharon and the Kohanim were given the mitzvah to light the Menorah in contrast to the Nesi'im (princes) who brought their sacrifices in the Mishkan's inauguration? Why does Aharon's lighting of the menorah immediately follow these sacrifices? What is the parallel between the Levi'im as the 'beloved' of Hashem, in contrast to the twelve tribes, and the Jewish people as the 'beloved' of Hashem in contrast to the seventy nations? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.