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 did the Jewish people need to be forced to accept the Torah if they were ready to accept it willingly? Why did they receive the Torah willingly in the time of Esther and Mordechai, especially in light of the fact that they had fallen to such a low level? Why does Hashem ask first for a count of the family of Kehos, before Gershon and Merrari, if Gershon was the oldest of the sons of Levi? What was special about the family of Kehos that entitled them to be able to carry the Aron Habris (Ark of the Covenant)? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
Who were the four people who made a deal with Hashem, but asked in the wrong way? How can one use commitment in one's service of Hashem? How can one commit if Hashem, as it were, needs to commit as well? What is the idea behind Hashem saying that the 'wilderness' that the Jews traveled through was not truly a wilderness at all? What is the relationship between the great leaders Moshe, Aharon and Miriam and the miracles that came in their merit - the Manna, the clouds of Glory and the well? How can we use these ideas to search for and employ the Guidance of Hashem in our lives? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
What is the great wealth that stands in the balance when a person is faced with the challenge of giving to charity? What does it mean that Hashem 'stands by the right side of the poor person?' Why is the poor person called an 'ani?' Why do the nations of the world cause us so much pain, and what will be the ultimate result? Why did King David say that he finds himself in the Study Hall of Torah even without having meant to go there? What is the approach we need to take in order to take the steps necessary to get involved with Torah at the proper level? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
Why is the illegitimate child punished for the sin his parents committed? How does Hashem promise that He will console this person in the future when Moshiach arrives? What is the idea behind the Shechina (Divine Presence) which accompanies us into exile, and leads us home with redemption? What is the twofold power of the tongue? How are we to have a 'soft tongue' in our relationships with others? How are we to understand when others cause negative events in our lives? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
What is the concept of Holiness? How does it relate to the Jewish People's specialness and our ability to inhabit the land of Israel? How does it relate to the concept of the forbidden relationships, the concept of Kosher food, and the concept of finding out spiritual information from Kosher sources? How does this connect to the special holiness of the Kohanim-Priests? What is the special nature of the Pure Speech of Hashem? Why are Hashem's commitments different than those of human beings? What do we learn from the fact that the Torah goes out of its way to speak with a positive idiom? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
What is the depth that underlies the idea that when we are careful about keeping our eyes pure, we merit to have a revelation of the Shechina-Divine Presence? How does this relate to the concept of Holiness? How does the concept of Holiness relate to 'singing to Hashem' in all situations - the good and the seemingly not good? What is the Truth that is revealed in the end of time with the destruction of the Wicked? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
Why do we find that the verse tells us in Koheles that the righteous and the wicked can seem to have the same fate - be it positive or negative? Why is it that the time of joy - the holidays - coincides with a time of judgment? Why did the students of R' Akiva die in this happy time from Pesach to Shavuos? Why does Hashem sometimes bring difficult or challenging situations to us in the moment of great joy? How does this relate to the sons of Aharon, Nadav and Avihu, who lost their lives at the very moment of the joy of the dedication of the Mishkan-Tabernacle? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
Why do we speak of the Matza - the 'bread of affliction' in terms of our slavery, but also in terms of our freedom - the bread we ate as we hastily left Egypt? Why do we speak about the Future Redemption - Next Year in the Land of Israel - at the very beginning of the Seder? Why do we quote a verse speaking about 'blood, fire and pillars of smoke' in regards to the plagues of Egypt, if it is a verse that refers to the War of Gog Umagog (Armageddon)? What is the 'cup of retribution' that is used for the Nations of the World, and how does it coincide with the Redemption of the Jewish people? Why did we have this unusual experience of the bread not rising as we left Egypt? What is the lesson, and how does it apply to us today? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
What are the causes of the spiritual leprosy called Tzara'as? What was the magical elixir of life that the peddler was 'selling' in R' Yanai's neighborhood? What is the idea of not speaking negatively - both of other people, and of one's life situation? What is the depth of the praises that King David sang when he was saved from near-certain death at the hands of Avimelech? Why does Dovid Hamelech speak of trust and faith and praise of Hashem, but seem to veer off topic in mentioning the importance of not speaking negatively of others? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
Why does the concept of a woman conceiving and giving birth follow the concept of the laws of kosher animals? What is the meaning of the verse that speaks about 'earlier and later' in regards to the Human being's fashioning? What is the idea behind Adam harishon in that he filled up the whole world, 'from east to west, north to the south and reached until the heavens?' What are the tools we can use to be a window through which the light of Hashem can come into the world and fill up the farthest reaches? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
What is the connection between the Mishkan-Taernacle's completion and the creation of the world? What are the parallels between them insofar as the 'wisdom with which the house is built,' the 'seven pillars,' and the various 'preparations for the meal,' made for the 'youthful ones?' What was the sin of Adam and Chava, and how does it relate to the rectification made by Aharon and his sons for the sin of the Golden calf? What is the idea of serving Hashem in a 'youthful' way? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
What is the concept of the 'offering of the broken hearted?' How does Dovid Hamelech (King David) know that his son will build the Beis Hamikdash? How can we be assured that we are considered as if we have also done so, and brought offerings therein? Why does the 'insignificant' offering have significance? Why does Hashem prefer to use 'broken vessels?' Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
Who are the angels/messengers that the verse speaks of? Why are the prophets, and specifically Moshe, among them, referred to as angels? Why are those who keep Shmitah referred to as 'Mighty of Strength?' How is it that a burden that could not be held by 600,000 people could be held by one person alone - Moshe? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
What is behind the accounting that Moshe makes for all that the collected donations were used for? What is the concept of the 'trustworthy person' who has 'many blessings in his hand?' What are the blessings - when there is more than enough, or when there is exactly enough? How does this contrast with Korach, who never has enough and wants far beyond his share? Why does Moshe appoint others to help in the accounting? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.
What is the concept of a good name? How does one get a good name? Why is a 'good name better than oil?' What does oil represent? What is the difference between a superficial appointment to power, versus a leader who is connected to his spiritual essence? Why are the words shemo-name, mekor-root, and ratzon-desire all the same gematria, and what is their connection? Why is 'the day of death greater than the day of birth?' What was the difference between the great prophets and Aharon's sons, Nadav and Avihu? Find out in this week's Parsha Podcast.