Beit Midrash

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    Parashat Hashavua

    Did Paroh and the Egyptians Do Teshuva?

    After the plague of hail Paroh exclaimed: “I have sinned this time. Hashem is righteous, and I and my nation are the wicked ones” That is quite a change from Paroh’s normal approach, but is it what it seems to be?

    Rabbi Yossef Carmel | Shvat 1 5782
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    Parashat Hashavua

    Yesterday and the Day Before

    The Exodus from Egypt was a complex and difficult operation, requiring two goals: 1) Convincing Bnei Yisrael that it was going to occur and getting them to the level at which they would be worthy of it. 2) Convincing Paroh to set the people free or force him to do so.

    Rabbi Yossef Carmel | Tevet 24 5782
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    Parashat Hashavua

    As a Hammer Smashes Rock

    Why are so many elements in Tanach only clarified by connecting different sections of Biblical text? We should understand that all of Tanach is one book, which is composed of 24 sub-books.

    Rabbi Yossef Carmel | Tevet 17 5782
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    Parashat Hashavua

    More on Sales and Family Repair

    The reunion that we saw last week returns in our parasha for a “second edition.” The crying is renewed, and the question of how to repair the torn fabric of Yaakov's family is back on the table in full force after Yaakov’s death.

    Rabbi Yossef Carmel | Tevet 9 5782
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    Vayigash

    The Hidden Sale

    Before revealing his identity, Yosef commanded all others to leave the room (ibid. 45:1). Why was this important to him?

    Rabbi Yossef Carmel | Tevet 3 5782
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    Parashat Hashavua

    The Many Implications of Shever

    In the middle section of Parashat Miketz, that root is “shever.” Not only is it used many times, but it is also used with different meanings. We will take a look at several of the contexts and learn more about this important and versatile root.

    Rabbi Yossef Carmel | Kislev 27 5782
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    Vayishlach

    Camels and Gamals – For Better and for Worse

    Through hard work, honesty, and Divine Assistance, Yaakov left Charan with great riches. However, when Yaakov describes to Eisav his material good fortune, he mentions everything but camels. Where did they disappear to?

    Rabbi Yossef Carmel | KIslev 10 5782
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    Parashat Hashavua

    Why Specifically a Matzeva (Monument)?

    At the beginning of Yaakov’s long journey, he stopped in Beit El, where he slept, dreamt, and erected a monument. At that place, he swore that if he would return in peace to his father’s house, he would make the place of the monument a “house of G-d”.

    Rabbi Yossef Carmel | Kislev 4 5782
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    Parashat Hashavua

    What Are David and Shaul Doing in Sefer Bereishit? – part IV

    Why do so many tzaddikim receive the sixth aliya during Shabbat’s kri’at haTorah? And what does this have to do with David and Shaul?

    Rabbi Yossef Carmel | Cheshvan 18 5782
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    Parashat Hashavua

    What Are David and Shaul Doing in Sefer Bereishit? – part III

    The second description of the creation of man tells how he was created from earth, which sounds less like being in Hashem’s image.

    Rabbi Yossef Carmel | Cheshvan 11 5782
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    Parashat Hashavua

    What Are David and Shaul Doing in Sefer Bereshit – part II

    The Torah twice in Parashat Bereishit describes the creation of man.It describes that Hashem created him in His own image and that the creation was “male and female.” This creation was a complete one, performed on Friday, soon before Shabbat.

    Rabbi Yossef Carmel | Cheshvan 4 5782
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    Parashat Hashavua

    What Are David and Shaul Doing in Sefer Bereshit – part I

    Chazal were troubled with the contrast between two great but flawed men – King Shaul and King David. Why did the former lose his kingdom due to his sins, while the latter was forgiven and promised an eternal dynasty?

    Rabbi Yossef Carmel | Tishrei 28 5782
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    Parashat Hashavua

    Properly Channeling the Desire for Spirituality

    The holiest day, Yom Kippur, and its preceding day contain apparently polar opposite elements – the firm requirement to fast on Yom Kippur and the requirement to eat on Erev Yom Kippur. When one eats then, it is equivalent to one who fasted both days. What is the nature of this dichotomy?

    Rabbi Yossef Carmel | Tishrei 6 5782
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    Ki Tavo

    The Right Order: Home, Vineyard, or Wife?

    The list of those who return from the battlelines is found in Parashat Shoftim, and the same people come up in Parashat Ki Tavo. The differences between the cases are clear. The order of the people is different.

    Rabbi Yossef Carmel | Elul 16 5781
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    Parashat Hashavua

    Two Levels of Struggle

    The war against Amalek can take place on two planes – a maximalistic plane and a minimalistic plane.

    Rabbi Yossef Carmel | Elul 9 5781
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    Shoftim

    What’s the Matter with Horses?

    The first commandment addressed to the Jewish king is: “Just he should not acquire for himself many horses, and he should not return the nation to Egypt to acquire many horses" . The commentators have explanations of the connection between the prohibition on horses and the matter of not going to Egypt.

    Rabbi Yossef Carmel | Elul 2 5781
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    Parashat Hashavua

    Insights on Dealing with Societal Crisis

    The Coronavirus pandemic is certainly a health issue; it is important to avoid contracting or transmitting it, which are Torah obligations. But the period has been challenging for us in two other ways. The Financial crisis and the social crisis.

    Rabbi Yossef Carmel | Av 23 5781
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    Va'etchanan

    Who Heard Ten?

    Parashat Vaetchanan returns us to the Ten Commandments. We also read the parasha of Shema, which we recite twice a day, thereby accepting Hashem’s sovereignty over us. One thing that unites these special Torah portions is the matter of shemi’ah (hearing).

    Rabbi Yossef Carmel | Av 11 5781
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    Parashat Hashavua

    Why Are There No Plishtim in Sefer Devarim?

    The Rambam rules: Bnei Yisrael were commanded upon entering the Land – to appoint a king. It is noteworthy that Bnei Yisrael did not appoint such a king for some 400 years from the time that Yehoshua led the nation into Eretz Yisrael. Why didn’t they do so? Because they did not have full independence. What prevented full independence? The answer can be found in silence.

    Rabbi Yossef Carmel | Av 5 5781
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    Parashat Hashavua

    Yirmiyahu Comforts Too

    Most of the p’sukim in the early sections of Sefer Yirmiyahu, which make up the first two haftarot of the Three Weeks, consist of rebuke and prophecies of doom. Yet, they also contain sections of Nechama.

    Rabbi Yossef Carmel | Tammuz 24 5781
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