In Loving Memory of our Dear Parents

Benjamin Assa & Rebeca Assa z"L

Parasha Toldot

A famine forces Itzjak to relocate and settles in Gerar, in the land of the Philistines, which is within the boundaries of the Holy Land, where he presents Rivka as his sister. But Abimelech the king, discovers the hoax. Abimelej orders protection over Itzjak.

Itzjak becomes successful and prosperous.

The shepherds of Abimelech and those of Itzjak fight over the water wells. But Hashem blesses Itzjak and he decides to make a peace treaty with Abimelech.

Esav marries at the age of 40 to Yehudit and Basemat (goyim ). 

Already old and suffering from blindness, Itzjak decides to bless Esav so he can leave him his spiritual legacy. When Rifka finds out, she advises Yaakov to dress as Esav so he can receive the blessings.

Yaakov covers his arms and neck with goatskins to simulate the feel of his hairier brother, prepares a similar dish, and sends Yaakov to his father. Yaakov receives his father’s blessings for “the dew of the heaven” and “the fat of the land” and mastery over his brother.

When Esav returns, Itzjak realizes that he gave the beraja to Yaakov, and suffers from a great deception. But gives Esav another blessing.

Esav gets very upset and decides to kill Yaakov. But Rivka warns Yaakov and orders to him to flee to Laban´s (her uncle) home, and to look for a wife.

When Esav learns that his father is upset because he married goyim, Esav takes a third wife, Machalat, Ishmael´s daughter.

 

SHABAT SHALOM!!

Parasha Chaye Sarah

Sarah dies at the age of 127 after finding out about the AkedatItzjak

And Abraham pays a high fee to buy the best place where to bury Sarah, Mearat Hamajpelah (double cave), in Hebron, where Adam and Chava´s bodies laid. And he buries her there.

At the age of 140, Abraham sends Eliezer, his loyal servant, in search of a good wife for his son Itzjak.

And Abraham makes Eliezer swear: “that you will not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I dwell; but you shall go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Itzjak...”

Hashem travels with 10 camels in order to fulfill his mission....

Eliezer prays to Hashem: “Behold, I stand here by the well ofwater, and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water.”

“Let it come to pass that the maiden to whom I shall say, ‘Please, dip down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she shall say, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels to drink also’—she is theone You have appointed for Your servant Itzjak.”

 

As he finishes his tefila RIVKA appears, beautiful. And Eliezer asks her for water, and she cordially gives him to drink and his camels as well.

When Eliezer asks her for her family, Rivka answers that she is Bethuel´s, the son of Nachor,

Abraham´s brother´s, daughter.

Eliezer thanks Hashem!!

Rivka invites him to stay at her house. And Eliezer meets her father Bethuel, and his brother Laban. And Rivka's engagement to Itzjak is formalized.

Eliezer in the name of Abraham, gives Rivka beautiful gifts ofgold and silver and garments.

And Rivka returns with Eliezer to encounter her fiancé.

Itzjak went out to pray when he sees camels approaching. While Rivka covered herself with a veil when she saw him.

And at the age of 40 Itzjak marries Rivka, and he married her and loved her. Itzjak was comforted by his wife after his mother´s death.

Abraham takes a new wife, Keturah (Hagar), and fathers six additional sons, but Itzjak is designated as his only heir. Abraham dies at age 175 and is buried by Itzjak and Ishmael, beside Sarah in Mearat Hamajpelah.

And Hashem blesses Itzjak.

Ishmael has numerous descendants and dies at the age of 137.

¡¡ SHABAT SHALOM !!

Parasha Lech - Lecha

This Parasha speaks about the life of Abraham Avinu.

Lech-Lecha means: “Go,” since Hashem orders Abraham to abandon his birthplace, his father´s house, and to go to an uncertain land which Hashem will show him.

Abram obeys and takes his wife, Sarai, accompanied by his nephew Lot, and head to the land of Canaan,

A famine strikes Canaan and Abram decides to descend to Egypt.

In Egypt, Sarai is taken by Pharaoh, but with Hashem´s help, Abram recuperates her and leaves Egypt with many riches.

Abram, Sarai and Lot return to Canaan and back in the land of Canaan Lot separates from Abram and settles in the evil city of Sedom.

Lot is taken prisoner, due to a War of Nations. Abram sets out with a small band to rescue his nephew, defeats the four kings, and is blessed by Malki-Zedek the king of Salem (Jerusalem).

Hashem promises Abram that his descendants will be as numerous as the “Dust from the Earth” and that all of the Land of Canaan (Israel) will belong to him and all his descendants as an eternal heritage.

Abram is 70 years old and Sarai is 60 and they are childless, but Hashem tells him “Look now toward heaven and count the stars.... So shall be your progeny.”

Your descendants shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved to them, and they will afflict them, for four hundred years.

Sarai tells Abram to take her handmaid, Hagar, so he can have a child. Hagar gives birth to Ishmael, Abram was 86 years old.

Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin and all the men of his household as well.

Hashem changes AbraHam and SaraH´s name and announces that in one year Sarah will give birth to a baby boy!

SHABAT SHALOM !!

Parasha Noach

Hashem instructs Noah—the only righteous man in a world consumed by violence and corruption—to build a large wooden tevah (“ark”), coated on the inside and on the outside with tar. A great flood, says Hashem, will wipe out all form life from the face of the earth; but the ark will float upon the water, protecting Noah and his family, and two members (male and female) of each animal species.

Rain falls for 40 days and nights, and the waters beat for 150 more days, before beginning to subside. The ark rests on Mount Ararat, and from his window, Noah sends a raven, then a series of doves “to see if the waters have abated from the face of the earth.”

Then the ground completely dries, exactly one solar year (365 days) since the beginning of the flood, Hashem orders Noah to leave the ark and to re-populate the earth.

Noah builds an altar and offers sacrifices to Hashem. Hashem swears never again to destroy all of mankind because of their deeds, and sets the rainbow as a testimony of His new covenant with man

Hashem instructs Noah regarding the sacredness of life: murder is regarded as a capital offense, and while man is permitted to eat the meat of animals, he is forbidden to eat flesh or blood taken from any living animal.

Noah plants a vineyard and becomes drunk on its produce. Two of Noah’s sons, Shem and ,Japheth are blessed for covering up their father’s nudeness, while his third son, Ham, is punished for taking advantage of his perversion

For 10 generations Noah´s descendants remain as one nation, with one language. Then they defy their Creator by building an enormous tower which symbolized their “own” power and invincibility  Hashem confuses them by mixing their language in a way no one understood what the other was saying, causing them to give up on their project and they disperse across the face of the earth; separating into 70 nations.

The Parshah of Noach concludes with a chronology of the ten generations from Noah to Abram (later Abraham ), and Abraham´s journey from his birthplace of Ur Casdim to Charan, on the way to the land of Canaan.

Parashiot Nitzavim - Vayelech

 

This Parasha, Nitzavim, is always read on the Shabbat before Rosh Hashana.

Moshe continues to speak to The People, emphasizing Hashem´s Goodness which will soon permit them to enter The Promised Land, safe and well.

Moshe exhorted the people that the Covenant (from the Parasha before) which they have just entered with Hashem will last throughout all of the generations to come.

Then Moshe warns the People about idol worshipping, the iniquities, and the perversions the other nations practice, which the Jewish have witnessed throughout their years int he wilderness.

Moshe continues by warning them that if they yield to this evil inclination, he will be drawn to worse sins, and know that Hashem will not forgive this hideous attitude. The Divine anger will be rekindled against him and the curses written in the Torah will be fulfilled.

And if you then ask, “Why does Hashem punish His Chosen People this way?” they will be answered: “This happened, because you have transgressed Hashem´s covenant. You swayed from His ways and walked amongst idol worshippers. And that is why He has exiled you from the Land .”

In the last chapter Moshe promises that if the Jewish People do Teshuva in exile, Hashem will redeem them. “All of the People will return to Hashem and fulfill of the mitzvot and the Laws of the Torah with all their heart and soul, and so Hashem will return all of His People from exile and guide them to the Land which was promised to our Forefathers, to reside in it with greater prosperity and welfare than their ancestors enjoyed.”

Moshe continues saying: “This Law is not difficult to understand, ´For the word is very near to you in your heart and in your mouth that you may do it.´"

The principle of free choice.

 

“See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil . . .You shall choose life, so that you may live, you and your seed.

To love the L rd your G d, to obey His voice and to cleave to Him, for He is your life . . .

 

 

 

This Parasha narrates what Moshe did and said the last day of his life: “Today I am one hundred and twenty years old. I can no longer go or come, and Hashem said to me, ´You shall not cross this Jordan...Yehoshua will cross with you.´”

Moshe writes the complete Torah and hands it to the Tribe of Levy. And tells them that every 7 years, in Succot, after the conclusion of Shemitah, Sabbatical year, the leader of the People must read the entire Torah before the entire congregation of Israel, this commandment is known as Hakhel.

Hashem tells Moshe: “Call Yehoshua so you can hand him the leadership.”

And Hashem transmits the last prophecy: “Behold, you are about to lie with your forefathers, and this nation will rise up and stray after the deities of the nations of the land, into which they are coming. And they will forsake Me and violate My covenant which I made with them.

And My fury will rage against them on that day, and I will abandon them and hide My face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will befall them, and they will say on that day, 'Is it not because Hashem is no longer among us, that these evils have befallen us?'

Hashem commands Moshe to write the entire and to teach it to the Children of Israel.

Moshe finished writing the words of this Torah in a scroll, and then commands the Levites, who carried the ark:

…. “And take this Torah scroll and place it along side the ark of covenant of the Lord, your God, and it will be there as a witness.”

 ¡¡ SHABAT SHALOM !!

Parasha Ki Tavo

This parasha is considered the harshest of all parashiot, since it contains the Kelalot (curses) which Hashem sentenced Am Israel to, in case they would disobey His Laws. But the beautiful and precious Berachot (blessings) which Hashem will send if we fulfill His Will, are also mentioned.

The parasha begins speaking about the Mitzva of bringing the first fruits (Bikurim) to the Beit Hamikdash, specifically the 7 fruits which grow in Eretz Israel. Every Israelite farmer who cultivated one of these fruits, should choose the first of the season and bring it to Yerushalayim to offer it in the Beit Hamikdash. Every farmer, with his basket of fruits, would approach the Kohen and say a tefilla thanking Hashem for his harvest.

 

Moshe teaches the Mitzva of Maaser (Tithe): the deadlines, forms and conditions when giving the maaser.

Moshe then orders the leaders of The People to build 12 large stones in which they would write the entire Torah, after crossing the Jordan to enter the Promised Land.

This is where, very clearly and directly the terrible curses and the precious blessings ,are expressed! 

The Parasha continues by Moshe saying “Hashem has not given you a heart to know, eyes to see and ears to hear, until this very day” ... 40 years after we were born as A people.

The Parasha concludes by saying:

with the words Moshe said to the People, reminding them about the great miracles Hashem had performed for them: “....Keep the words of this covenant and do them, so that you may prosper in all that you do.”

SHABAT SHALOM !!

Parasha Ki Tetze

This Parasha is the parasha that contains the most laws!!

 

-The laws concerning a captive gentile women:

-A father may not deprive his first-born son of the double portion due to him

-The “rebellious” son

-the prisoner sentenced to death

-the mitzva of returning lost property to its owner

-to help a Jew load and unload a burden

-mitzva of burying a dead on the day of his execution

-not to dress clothing of the opposite sex

-to send away the mother bird before taking the fledglings

-mitzva to fence in a roof or porch

-not to dress wool and linen together

-to use tzitzit

-different kinds of animals may not be harnessed together

-prohibition of adultery, infidelity, rape and incest

-forbidden marriages

-laws regarding a servant who escapes from his master

-laws on loans and interests

-laws on divorces and remarriages

-concessions of farmworker.

-laws for the one who takes a new woman

-the death sentence of a kidnapper

-laws of “Tzaraat” (leprosy)

-payment and collection laws

-to have consideration for an orphan and a widow

-prohibition against false weights and measures

-the mitzva of Yibum, commandment to marry his widowed sister-in-law if she is childless.

-to pay compensation for shaming someone

-and last:the mitzva to remember the evil which Amalek did to Us and to wipe him out

 

 

SHABAT SHALOM !!

Perasha Shoftim

As its name indicates, this Parasha speaks about the Judges (Shoftim) and the importance of justice in any society.

“.... and they will Judge the People according to The Law, without corruption or preferences...”

The Parasha continues by mentioning the prohibition of planting trees in the Beit Hamikdash and building statues.

It then goes on to explain the Judicial process:

1. The inquiry 2. testimony of the two witnesses 3. determining veracity of testimony 4. the trial 5. the sentence

The Torah warns: “Don´t depart from what they (the judges of the Great Sanhedrin) tell you, to the right or to the left!”

Then the Torah mentions, that once settled in the Land, the Jewish people are commanded to appoint a Jewish king, who will be chosen by Hashem´s prophet and by the Sanhedrin. It was the King´s obligation to carry a Sefer Torah at all times, and constantly read it, to respect Hashem and His Torah and to avoid feeling superior to others and not stray from the ways of Hashem and His mitzvot.

The Torah assures us that we do not need to consult diviners regarding our future, for we must trust that Hashem has prepared it in the best possible way for us.

The Parasha continues with laws regarding the Kohanim and the Leviim, “officials” dedicated to the Divine Service in the Beit Hamikdash.

Moshe warns the People against assimilating with the nations who will live side by side in Eretz Israel.

The next chapter discusses the prohibition against invading the rights of others. It also explains the rule of judicial testimony, which is only valid when there are 2 WITNESSES.

 

At the end of the Parasha, Moshe encourages the Yehudim by telling them: “Do not fear anything or anyone, because Hashem will be with you and will always lead you to victory !!

 

And certain laws concerning warfare are mentioned, for example: a person who has things pending, concerns, or is afraid to go to war, should return home. Hashem who loves peace, commands Bnei Israel not to wage war before making a peace offer to the enemy. The Torah mentions that we may not destroy the enemies´fruit trees, or anything useful, and that they must respect the victims.

 

The Parasha ends by mentioning “The Calf Whose Neck is Broken” Egla Arufa,which was sacrificed in order to atone for a murder who´s murderer´s identity was unknown, and so the judges and the sages of the closest city to the murder bring a one-year-old calf that never performed labor to sacrifice it so it could atone for the sin.

Parasha Ree

This Parasha begins as Moshe explains that a Jew brings blessings upon himself by fulfilling Hashem´s will and incurs a curse for a transgression, thereby exercising the “free will” Hashem gave each one of us.

Then Moshe warns The People against 3 transgressions:

1. When a false prophet predicts without Divine inspiration.

2. When a person incites another into idol worship.

3. When a nation practices idolatry. 

Moshe continues reminding The People that we are children of Hashem, and that we should take care of our body, without

disfiguring ourselves and by consuming forbidden foods.

The Kosher animals are mentioned, as well as the laws of “Shechita” and the mitzva of not “mixing meat and milk.”

Then the laws of “Maaser” (to set aside your tithe) are mentioned. And every three years you should settle your outstanding Maaser debts.

The Parasha continues mentioning the mitzva of Shemitta (Sabbatical year) in which all debts due to a loan expire.

“If there will be among you a needy person, from one of your brothers in one of your cities... you shall not harden your heart, and you shall not close your hand from your needy brother. Rather, open, open your hand to him, and you shall lend him sufficient for his needs, which he is lacking...

You shall surely give him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him; for because of this thing Hashem will bless you in all your work and in all your endeavors.”

The Mitzvot to provide for his Hebrew Slave and the offerings of first born animals (which were offered to the Kohen).

The Parasha concludes with the laws regarding the festivities of Pesach, Shavuot and Succot, in which each male needed to bring his sacrifice to the Beit Hamikdash.

Both men and women are commanded by the Torah to be in happy spirits on all the yamim tovim.

 

Parasha Ekeb

Eikev means “because.” Moshe promises that for fulfilling the Mitzvot, Am Israel will prosper.

Moshe speaks to the People and asks them not to fear the other nations they will be conquering since Hashem will be on their side.

Moshe warns Bnei Israel not to forget Hashem, His Torah and Mitzvot, even when living in prosperity, in beautiful homes, with flourishing businesses, Never forget Hashem, Who took you out of slavery.

Moshe reminds them about the mann that was given to them in the wilderness and tells them “By means of the mann Hashem trained you to trust him...” and he continues “the giving of the mann taught you a life long lesson:”

“Man does not live by bread alone, but by each saying that emanates from Hashem´s mouth does man live.” 

Moshe tells them that they will enter the Promised Land because Hashem promised our forefathers He would do so, and NOT because of our merits since we are a disobedient People.

Moshe reminds them about the terrible episodes that occurred in the wilderness: The sin of the golden calf, the rebellion upon the disappearance of Miriam´s well, the complaints when you wanted to eat more meat, and the sad and shameful incident of the unfaithful spies who spoke Lashon Hara about the Promised Land.

Moshe also reminds them about the destruction of the 1st set of tablets and the receiving of two new Tablets mande of stone to be placed in the Ark.

Immediately the following verse of the Shema Israel appears:

"Veahaya im Shamoa" where all the consequences of the future are mentioned. 

In the Parashah's closing verses, Moshe once again calls upon the people to love Hashem, to fulfill His commandments and to "walk in all His ways, and to cleave to Him."

SHABAT SHALOM !!

Parasha Vaetchanan

In this Parasha Moshe insistently implores (Vaetchanan) Hashem to let him enter the Promised Land.

But Hashem demands him not to beseech not one more time and orders him to ascend to the top of the summit to observe the Land which the Yehudim will enter with his successor Yehoshua ben Nun as their leader.

Then Moshe warns The People to keep and practice the just and perfect laws they received at Har Sinai, which govern our Great People.

Moshe asks the People not to forget their years in the wilderness and to transmit it to their descendants.

Then Moshe reminds them of the great success of the giving of the Torah, when Hashem revealed HimSelf at Har Sinai. And here the 10 Commandments are repeated.

Moshe warns, "and if you abandon the Torah, you will be expelled from the Holy Land, and G-D will scatter you, and you will live in a minority, discriminated against and secluded ... and you will deteriorate morally and assimilate ... But there will come a day that you will react and will seek Hashem, and you will find Him, and you will return to Him with all your heart and soul, because G-D is Pious and will not abandon you !!”

And here appears the verse of Our outmost faith and loyalty to Hashem, the SHEMA ISRAEL!!!

….and these words...You shall teach them to your children, you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for a reminder between your eyes.. and you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house....”

The Parsha concludes reminding The People of the prohibition of mixed marriages, as this will ignite Hashem´s wrath forfeiting their right to exist.

¡¡ SHABAT SHALOM !!


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