Beit Midrash

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25 Lessons
    V'zot Habracha

    The Link Between the First and Last Verses of the Torah

    Rabbi David Dov Levanon | 20 Tishrei 5784
    Yom Kippur

    The Special Nature of the Ne'ilah Hour

    Rabbi David Dov Levanon | 6 Tishrei 5784

    "The End Is Rooted in Its Beginning"

    The eternal connection between the Torah's final and first verses – in praise of Israel.

    Rabbi David Dov Levanon | Tishrei 26 5783
    Simchat Torah and Shmini Atzeret

    What Are We So Happy About?

    In the Hallel prayer we recite this verse: "This is the day G-d wrought, we will rejoice in it/Him." The Midrash asks about this last word: Is it "it," or "Him?" That is, are we supposed to rejoice in the day, or in G-d?

    Rabbi David Dov Levanon | Tishrei 19 5783

    The Four Parshiot and their Significance

    The parallel and connection between the four Parshiot, the four cups of the Seder, and the four expressions of redemption.

    Rabbi David Dov Levanon | 5770
    Rav Shim'on Bar Yochai

    Rashbi - Basing Law on Thought

    Many Jews visit the grave of Rashbi on Lag BaOmer, but the real point of this occasion is to attach oneself to this righteous sage through his teachings. The sages thus say, “We do not make gravestones for the righteous; their words are their memory.”

    Rabbi David Dov Levanon | Iyar 5768
    Yom Haatzmaut

    "Dwell in the land, and enjoy security"

    : When David ben Gurion announced the establishment of the state, was he acting realistically? We were but a nation of tattered refugees gathered together from the four corners of the earth, surrounded by millions of Arabs with imposing armies.

    Rabbi David Dov Levanon | Iyar 5767

    The First Month and Renewal

    Parashat Hachodesh

    We are responsible for providing new, novel understandings of the Torah every day in accordance with the changing times. “Each day they shall be as new in your eyes,” and by virtue of this innovation “God renews the act of creation on a daily basis.”

    Rabbi David Dov Levanon
    Simchat Torah and Shmini Atzeret

    Show me the path of life

    Despite the apparent disparities between the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur on the one hand and the Sukkot festival - known as “the time of our joy” - on the other, the holidays of Tishrei in fact live quite at peace with one another.

    Rabbi David Dov Levanon | 5753
    The Month of Elul

    Elul's Intimate Relationship

    Our holy books note an allusion to the month of Elul in the Hebrew acronym of the verse “I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine” (Song of Songs 6:3). From here we can learn a number of ideas regarding the nature of Elul's unique divine worship.

    Rabbi David Dov Levanon | 5750
    The Seven Weeks of Condolence

    The Seven Prophecies of Comfort

    On each of the seven Sabbaths following Tisha B'Av and leading to Rosh HaShanah we read prophecies of comfort. Yet, what is the purpose of such consolation if the Holy Temple is still absent and the people of Israel continue to suffer great affliction?

    Rabbi David Dov Levanon | 5752
    Tu Be'av

    The Fifteenth of Av and the Day of Repentance

    The Day of Atonement focuses on repentance between man and God, atoning for the Sin of the Golden Calf which effected man's relation to God. The 15th of Av aims at worldly redemption, atoning for the Sin of the Spies who disavowed the land of Israel.

    Rabbi David Dov Levanon | 15 in Av 5761
    Jerusalem Day

    Jerusalem - Seek Her Out and Find Her

    The Torah refers to Jerusalem as “the place which God shall choose,” but does not inform us as to where this place is or what its name is. By concealing the Holy City from us and forcing us to seek her out, God aimed at endearing Jerusalem to us.

    Rabbi David Dov Levanon | 5659
    Yom Haatzmaut

    Appreciating Miracles - Redemption's Foundation

    Thanking God for the miracles which He performs for us and recognizing the good which He has bestowed upon us, lies at the very foundation of our redemption. Therefore, even today, if we want God's works of salvation to continue, we must thank Him.

    Rabbi David Dov Levanon | 5659
    The Essence of Purim

    Acceptance of the Oral Tradition

    The Sages say that the Almighty suspended Mount Sinai above the Israelites like an inverted cask and said, “If you accept the Torah, fine; if not, here will be your grave.” Why did God have to coerce the Children of Israel into receiving the Torah?

    Rabbi David Dov Levanon | 5761
    Articles about Hanukkah

    "A Miracle in This Place"

    The sages instituted the lighting of Chanukah candles because it “takes us back” to the site of the miracle. We are therefore called upon to sense that our kindling of these candles is tantamount to the lighting of the menorah in the Holy Temple.

    Rabbi David Dov Levanon | 5762
    The Ninth of Av

    Destruction and Redemption

    Why did R' Akiva alone laugh? Certainly he was not the only one of the sages to believe in the future redemption. What's more, when the Temple sits in ruins one must mourn the situation even if something good is bound to come out of it in the future.

    Rabbi David Dov Levanon | 5763
    Megilat Esther

    Ester and the Dawn

    Purim serves as an example of what things will be like in the Messianic Age, for, in the time of Purim, the Jews merited seeing the light amidst the darkness, a situation which recalls the verse, “Though I sit in darkness, God is a light for me.”

    Rabbi David Dov Levanon | 5763

    Miracles and Magic in Parshat VaEra

    Moses, who dared to request that God change His "Attribute of Judgement" to the "Attribute of Mercy," merited having God change the ways of nature in response to his prayers, and the decree of exile was thus nullified before the appointed time.

    Rabbi David Dov Levanon | 5763

    Since the Six Days of Creation

    Parashat Vayetze

    Our Torah portion this week tells of Jacob's marriage with the matriarchs Rachel and Leah. From it, we learn the degree of difficulty involved in arranging these nuptials. The whole ordeal appears nearly as difficult at the splitting of the Red Sea.

    Rabbi David Dov Levanon | Kislev, 5762
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