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The parashah opens with a most unusual expression, "V`eileh hamishpatim asher tasim lifneihem - And these are the commandments that you shall place before them." (Exodus 21:1)
Normally, the Torah instructs Moses with the words, "speak", "command", or "teach" - so why is Moses here commanded to "place"?
Rashi, whose commentaries are a key to understanding Torah, gives a brief but cryptic explanation: "Placed in front of them like a set table." But this leaves us even more puzzled. Our revered grandfather, HaRav HaGaon Avraham HaLevi Jungreis, explains that a good mother prepares a beautiful table for her children, bearing in mind the needs and tastes of each of them (one may like meat, the other prefers chicken, sweet or spicy, etc.). And
Yogi Berra may have been an 18 time all-star, won ten world series rings – more than anyone in Major League history, caught Don Larsen’s perfect game, managed both the Yankees and the Mets, but he will probably be remembered more for his Yogisms; his quotable quotes which have entered the vernacular of every day speech. Among his famous sayings are "It ain't over till it's over”, "You can observe a lot by watching”, and my favorite, "It's like déjà vu all over again”. Berra explained that this
This week is Shabbat Shira because the Perasha we read, Beshalach contains the song sung by Israel after the splitting of the Red Sea. How great was this miracle? The Torah compares all the plagues of Egypt to a finger and splitting the sea to a hand and as we mention at the Passover Seder, for every miracle preformed in Egypt, five were performed at the sea.
The Rabbis ask a question. In whose merit did the sea split? Although the rabbis bring a number of answers, the two most popular are
Incredibly, the portion is entitled "Yitro" rather than "Moses" or "The Ten Commandments". The reason for this begs an answer. The parsha opens with the simple, but piercing words, "Vayishma Yithro - Yithro heard". The voice of G-d was audible throughout the universe, but it was only Yithro who heard. It was only Yithro who chose to abandon his prestigious position as a priest of Middian to join the Israelite in the desert. Our sages teach that when the kings of the nations heard the awesome
This Shabbos is known as the "Sabbath of Song" because it is in this parsha that Moses leads the Jewish men, and Miriam the prophetess, the Jewish women in singing the song of praise and exultation" to the Almighty G-d following the crossing of the Red Sea.. The special song that Moses composed is "Oz Yoshir", which means "Then Moses will sing...," teaching us that Moses not only sang at the Sea of Reeds, but he will lead us in song once again when we behold the final redemption — the coming of