Re'eh  5777/2017

01/08/17 16:50:53

Aug1

by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

 

Acquiring Faith
OU  Torah : Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb

 This week’s Torah portion, Parshat Re’eh (Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17), invariably is read near the beginning of the Hebrew month of Elul. Elul is the last month of the year before Rosh Hashanah. It has a special place in religious life because it is viewed as a...Read more...

Eikev  5777/2017

01/08/17 16:50:34

Aug1

by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

 

Should we work?

I read the following in ‘Gold from the Land of Israel’ based on the writings of Rav Kook:

‘What is the ideal? Should we strive to dedicate ourselves totally to Torah study? Or should we divide our time between Torah study and an occupation?

The Sages debated this issue on the basis on an apparent contradiction between two verses. On the one hand, we are exhorted to study Torah constantly:Read more...

Veeschanan  5777/2017

01/08/17 16:50:27

Aug1

by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

 

‘THE POWER OF A PURE HEART’ – From Rav Tzadok HaKohen on the Parsha

 

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Devorim  5777/2017

01/08/17 16:39:44

Aug1

by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

 

Devorim and Yerushalayim

Parasha Devarim which is always read on Shabbos Chazon, the Shabbos before Tishah B'Av, contains several allusions to events related to Tishah B'Av.  An obvious one is the pasuk (1:12) that begins with the word Eichah and is read in the tune of Eichah. But there are other links.

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Pinchas  5777/2017

01/08/17 16:39:32

Aug1

by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

 

This week I would like to share with you a devar Torah from Rav Avroham Pam ztl:

 ‘These are the sons of Benjamin according to their families, and their count was forty-five thousand and six hundred. These are the sons of Dan according to...Read more...

Balak  5777/2017

01/08/17 16:39:20

Aug1

Anonymous

 

Anyone who has these three things is from the students of Abraham, our father, and [anyone who has] three other things is from the students of Bilaam the evildoer: [one who has] a good eye, a humble spirit and a meek soul -- is from the students of Abraham, our father. [One who has] an evil eye, a haughty spirit and a greedy soul - is from the students of Bilaam the...Read more...

Chukas  5777/2017

01/08/17 16:39:12

Aug1

by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

 

‘Make an accounting’

Right at the end of the parasha we learn about the battle with Sihon. Sihon conquered Moab to build up their empire. In actuality they were enabling the Bnei Yisroel to conquer the land from Sihon as Bnei Yisroel were not allowed to wage war against Moab directly. In Bava Basra 78b Chazal teach us that...Read more...

Korach  5777/2017

01/08/17 16:39:03

Aug1

by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

 

Rav Soloveitchik and ‘’the Common-Sense Rebellion against Torah Authority’’

This week I was asked to run a training session on Orthodox Judaism for a group of specialist consultants, nurses, social workers and play workers at Great Ormond Street. Having encountered some orthodox patients they had several questions and they...Read more...

Shelach Lecha  5777/2017

01/08/17 16:29:18

Aug1

by Moshe Mendel Feldman

 

I will not even try to cover the whole of this parsha. I will simply link the beginning to the end with the verb   תתורו to spy. The parsha begins with ו'תרו (let them spy out) where the spies went out after their eyes and after their heart and ends with תתורו ולא (do not spy) in the third paragraph of the Shema, which requires us not to spy out with our eyes so that our...Read more...

Behaalosecha  5777/2017

01/08/17 16:29:14

Aug1

by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

 

A Tale of Two Prayers…

The end of our parasha contains the story of Miriam and Aaron speaking against their brother, Moshe.  Hashem ‘tells them off’ and then we are told :’Miriam was afflicted with tzara’as as [white as] snow.’ Aaron sees this and turns to Moshe and begs him to intercede with Hashem on behalf of their...Read more...

Nosso  5777/2017

01/08/17 16:29:10

Aug1

by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

 

Birkas Kohanim, Wise after the Event.

Having just experienced two days of Yom Tov with the pleasure of Birkas Kohanim [often referred to as "duchaning" after the platform from which they often bless], Naso introduces this mitzva. Hashem commands Moshe, “Speak to Aharon and sons, saying: Thus shall you bless the Israelites” (6:23), and He then proceeds to...Read more...

Shavuos II   5777/2017

01/08/17 16:29:05

Aug1

by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

 

Thoughts on Megillas Rus

Reading the Megillah of Rus is synonymous with Shavuos but it appears that this was not always the case. Rav Shlomo Yosef Zevin, ztl, in his book Ha-Moad‘im ba-Halakhah explores the connection between Shavu‘os and Rus. The source of the custom to read the biblical book of Rus on Shavu‘os is first...Read more...

Shavuos I   5777/2017

01/08/17 16:29:00

Aug1

by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

 

Kabolas Hatorah

It may surprise you to know that last week I read the Minutes of the KNY AGM from 2016. It might be even more of a surprise that those minutes set me thinking and inspired me…

As we know Shavuos is referred to in the Torah as “Yom  HaBikkurim – the Day of the First Fruit Offerings,” making no...Read more...

Bamidbar  5777/2017

01/08/17 16:21:47

Aug1

by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

 

Where did they go?

The parasha this week seems quite technical. We are told the results of the national census and the census of Levi’im. I am sure that this fascinates the actuaries and the accountants but for those of us who are not able to focus on numbers it is quite easy to move into automatic pilot and disengage our...Read more...

Behar/Bechukosai  5777/2017

18/05/17 13:39:15

May18

Yom Yerushalayim
by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

The opinions expressed in this d’var Torah are the writer’s own and may not represent the views of the Rov, the Committee or the Shul.

In the second parasha that we read this week, Bechukosai, Hashem promises His blessings if we follow in His ways, and curses if we do not. We learn that among the brochos that Hashem gives...Read more...

Emor 5777/2017

11/05/17 14:17:50

May11

Blasphemy
by Rabbi Alan WIlkinson

Last Sunday a number of newspapers included a story about the son of a Jewish woman and an English man who was accused of blasphemy. Does this sound familiar?

At the end of parashas Emor, having focussed on Kohanim and the chagim, we encounter a story: The son of a Yisraelite woman went out - and he was...Read more...

Acharei Mos Kedoshim 5777/2017

04/05/17 19:31:59

May4

Developing Stumbling Block
by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

Kedoshim contains a series of interpersonal mitzvos. These mitzvos are significant and have resulted in considerable debate and discussion over their scope. Whilst every one of the mitzvos deserves detailed consideration there is insufficient space here to do so. Instead the focus will be on one mitzvah to see how it has...Read more...

Tazria Metzora 5777/2017

27/04/17 17:10:22

Apr27

A Very Special Land...
by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

This week we read the parshios tazria- metzorah. The Torah teaches us about tzara’as which is understood to be an outward manifestation of a spiritual and moral disease.  Initially it appears in a home. Subsequently it spreads to one’s clothes. If the individual still hasn’t reacted to the warnings that Hashem is...Read more...

Shemini 5777/2017

20/04/17 15:10:48

Apr20

Shemini 5777
by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

 

The parasha begins with Moshe calling upon Aharon to assume his role as the first Kohein Godol: ‘Draw near to the altar…’

Aharon was reluctant to come forward. Rashi, citing Toras Kohanim, notes that Moshe had to encourage Aharon to come forward...Read more...

Last days of Pesach  5777/2017

06/04/17 08:17:37

Apr6

Some Thoughts for the Seventh Day of Pesach
Compiled by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

‘ The Song of the Sea is read from the Torah  every year when the weekly Perashah is read, and it is read on the seventh day of Pesach, and it is recited daily in our prayers; and so it shall be until forever. The spectacle of the splitting of the Sea of Suf gave an impetus to Israel and causes them to go forward until...Read more...

First Days of Pesach  5777/2017

06/04/17 08:17:32

Apr6

All For Me  (Divrei Torah on the Haggadah - Rabbi Aaron Ross)
Compiled by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

  We read in the Haggadah that “In every generation a person is required to see himself as if he left Egypt.” The Netziv, in his commentary Imrei Shefer, offers an interesting and unique approach to this phrase. He compares this line to the words of the Mishna in...Read more...

Tzav 5777/2017

06/04/17 08:17:26

Apr6

Parshat Tzav: Distinguishing Between The Important And The Unimportant  
Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites, March 2015.
Compiled by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

We must be careful not to fulfill mitzvot externally, and be able to distinguish between the important and the unimportant.

Parashat Tzav,...Read more...

Vayikra 5777/2017

30/03/17 19:22:41

Mar30

Come to Shul early and don't forget to say the 'Korbonos'
by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

The word Korban is traditionally translated as “sacrifice”. Regardless of what the original meaning of “sacrifice” was, its common usage bears little resemblance to real concept of a Korban. We think of a sacrifice as something given up in exchange for nothing – but on behalf of a noble cause (e.g. defence of...Read more...

Vayakhel/Pekudei 5777/2017

23/03/17 15:28:12

Mar23

The Message of the Aron
by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

Rav Shlomo Wolbe zt'l was one of the towering Torah personalities of the twentieth century. He was an educator who helped to link the pre-war Mussar Movement with the modern world. His teachings and his many sefarim, including Alei Shur, are classics of Jewish thought and hashkafah. Rav Wolbe aimed to convey a mussar message,...Read more...

Tetzave 5777/2017

09/03/17 14:43:31

Mar9

‘The Priestly Garments: For Splendor or For Service?’ - Rabbi Y Frand
by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

Rav Elya Meir Bloch makes a very interesting observation regarding the priestly garments. The pasuk says, “And you shall make garments of sanctity for Aharon your brother, for glory and for splendor (l’kavod u’l’tiferes].” [Shmos 28:2]. Similarly, another pasuk says,...Read more...

Teruma 5777/2017

02/03/17 15:11:50

Mar2

Something for Everyone
by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

Last week we had something for Lawyers and doctors. This week it’s the turn of builders, architects, engineers, fundraisers as in parasha Terumah, the Bnei Yisrael are asked to donate the necessary materials to be used for building the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, that was to be situated in the middle of the camp. The parasha...Read more...

Mishpotim 5777/2017

23/02/17 15:44:45

Feb23

Hakaras Hatov
by Anonymous

In this week’s Parasha (Shemot  22.30) we are told, ‘You shall be a holy people for Me; do not eat the flesh of an animal that has been mauled to death in the field.’                                                ...Read more...

Beshalach 5777/2017

07/02/17 20:50:54

Feb7

Miriam Devorah
by Ronnie Kahn

In this week’s parasha we read about how Miriam led the Jewish women in song when they crossed the yam suf (Shemos 15:20). We learn from Rashi that Miriam and the women had brought with them musical instruments from Egypt because they knew that Hashem would perform miracles and wanted to be ready to...Read more...

Bo 5777/2017

02/02/17 15:34:28

Feb2

Love Me, Love My Dog
by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

“The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.”―M.K. Clinton

This weeks’ parasha contains the final three makkos, yeziat mitzrayim, the Exodus from Egypt and the mitzvah of tefillin. We have the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh and the Korban...Read more...

Vaera  5777/2017

26/01/17 13:54:46

Jan26

Free Choice?
by Rabbi Alan Wilkinson

"I Shall harden Pharoah's heart, that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.  Pharaoh will not listen to you, and I shall lay My hand on Egypt, and I shall bring out My hosts, My nation - the children of Israel - from the land of Egypt, with great judgments."  (7:3-4)

These passukim seem to...Read more...

Fri, 20 October 2017 30 Tishrei 5778