Pidyon

Torah is the Elixir of Life!

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Parshat HaShavua
Talks on the weekly Torah reading.
A special message from Rabbi Dovid Bendory, Executive Director of Pidyon.
20 Tevet 5771 | Duration: 1:39
We each have a task given to us by Hashem; discerning it is the challenge.
4 Sivan 5770 | Duration: 2:19
Not only are we commanded not to steal, we are also commanded not to tolerate others who steal.
10 Av 5769 | Duration: 1:56
The fact that the Land of Israel was apportioned by lots teaches us deep truths about Hashem's Hand in the world.
25 Tamuz 5769 | Duration: 2:16
The tribes of Reuven and Gad need to build homes for their families before entering the Land of Israel.
23 Tamuz 5769 | Duration: 2:47
Parshat Korach offers several examples of the balance we must learn between the use of empathy and the withholding thereof.
4 Tamuz 5769 | Duration: 2:30
In this week's parsha, each of the twelve princes of the twelve tribes brings an identical donation to the mishkan. But are they really identical!?
13 Sivan 5769 | Duration: 2:00
The reading of Parshat Zachor.
7 Adar 5769 | Duration: 15:45
OC 685:2,7; MB 685:6-8,14-16
Shabbat Shekalim is in honor of the mechatzit hashekel. What is that mitzvah about?
26 Shevat 5769 | Duration: 18:34
Ex. 30:11-16; Sefer HaChinuch 108
Life, death, and our relationship with Hashem.
23 Cheshvan 5769 | Duration: 2:31
Hashem answers all our prayers, granting us whatever we need -- if we focus on the right needs.
5 Tamuz 5768 | Duration: 3:11
Every Jew has a designated role in the Jewish people.
28 Iyar 5768 | Duration: 2:21
Ps. 94
The Aron Kodesh -- the Holy Ark in which the Torah was kept -- always travelled in the center of the Israelite camp. Of what relevance is this to us today?
24 Iyar 5768 | Duration: 1:54
What makes "Tzora'as Bayis" -- "leprosy of the house" -- different from other forms of tzora'as?
6 Nissan 5768 | Duration: 2:37
Just what is tumah, what causes it, and why?
28 Adar II 5768 | Duration: 2:15
Speaking badly of others impacts our souls in ways we cannot fathom.
27 Adar II 5768 | Duration: 2:11
When constructing the mishkan Betzalel knew things which Moshe hadn't even told him. How did he know, and what is the lesson for us?
27 Adar I 5768 | Duration: 2:17
Ex. 38:22; Brachot 55a
We should love Hashem's House -- the Mishkan and Beis HaMikdash -- like we love our own homes.
26 Adar I 5768 | Duration: 2:17
Betzalel and all the artisans and engineers for the construction of the Mishkan needed to have a "wise heart." We normally think of "wisdom" as an intellectual faculty. Just what is a "wise heart"?
24 Adar I 5768 | Duration: 2:05
Ex. 35:10
Parshat VaYakhel demonstrates three types of people who give tzedakah.
22 Adar I 5768 | Duration: 2:01
Ex. 35:5
The juxtaposition of the sanctity of Shabbos, even in the face of the tremendous mitzvah of construction of the Mishkan, teaches us several important principles in emunah and bitachon.
21 Adar I 5768 | Duration: 2:05
Ex. 35:2
Parshat Mishpatim is almost entirely about mitzvot ben adam l'chaveiro -- human interactions and civil law. So why, in the middle of the partsha, are we told not to mix milk and meat?
25 Shevat 5768 | Duration: 2:08
Right after the revelation of Divine Law in the Ten Commandments, we are given a long set of civil laws regarding many aspects of human interactions. What is the connection?
21 Shevat 5768 | Duration: 2:13
If Hashem fought for Am Yisrael at the Red Sea, how is it that Amelek were able to attack immediately thereafter?
11 Shevat 5768 | Duration: 1:53
Ex. 17:8
In this brief yahrzeit l'chaim, Rav Dovid explains how conflicting midrashim on the drowning of the Egyptians in the Red Sea provides insights into our relationship with this World, the Next World, and Justice.
10 Shevat 5768 | Duration: 2:48
Exo. 15:5,7,10
Chazal teach that parshas B'Shalach proves the ultimate ressurection of the dead at the time of the Redemption. What is the proof, and how should we prepare?
9 Shevat 5768 | Duration: 1:30
Ex. 15:1
If Hashem hardens Pharoah's heart so that he doesn't let the Jewish people go, how is it fair that Hashem then punishes Pharoah for not letting the Jewish people go? If Pharoah has no free will, how is he responsible?
24 Tevet 5768 | Duration: 27:21
According to Rashi, Moshe rabbeinu makes his first mistake as a leader by speaking lashon hara about the Jewish people. The Chofetz Chaim explains just how Moshe is punished for this act.
20 Tevet 5768 | Duration: 1:39
Exo. 4:1-7; Rashi, ad.loc. vs. 3 and 6
While we don't know exactly when Yosef was sold into slavery, there are hints that he was sold on Chanukah.
19 Kislev 5768 | Duration: 13:16
Gen. 37:24-26; Shabb. 22a; Sofrim 18:3; Ps. 30; Mal. 3:14
If we live our lives properly as Jews, we will inspire everyone around us to praise Hashem. How do we go about establishing such a life for ourselves?
16 Elul 5767 | Duration: 57:08
Deu. 26-27
"Justice, justice, shall you pursue!" What is Justice, and how do we pursue it? The requirements of judges, elders, and soldiers... and the implications for the rest of us...
2 Elul 5767 | Duration: 57:17
Deu. 16:18
Deuteronomy 13 imposes a death penalty on anyone who prophecies falsely. But just who is a false prophet, and how can we tell the difference between true and false prophecy? How do we know if a prophet truly speaks in Hashem's name? Understanding prophecy will provide us with a firmer grounding in our certainty of the veracity of Torah.
25 Av 5767 | Duration: 1:04:05
Deu. 13:1-12; MT Yesodei HaTorah 8
As part of Moshe's departing words, he explains to us the blessings and curses of Hashem. The blessings are guaranteed to come, since Moshe knows that we will follow in Hashem's ways. As for the curses? They are completely avoidable. It's up to us to choose. A Yahrzeit L'Chaim for one who has chosen well.
23 Av 5767 | Duration: 1:52
Deu. 11:26-28
Sefer Devarim is clearly different from the rest of Torah. The "Bible Critics" say it is different because it was written by a different author. Are they right? Also: learning "tochacha" from Moshe Rabbeinu.
4 Av 5767 | Duration: 1:00:52
Deu. 1
Life is all about drawing closer to Hashem by performing His Will -- at any cost. Moshe Rabbeinu demonstrates this midda to us in the parsha.
28 Tamuz 5767 | Duration: 8:21
Parshat Matot contains disparate storeis and mitzvot that are tied together by a common theme: the power of speech. Join Rav Dovid in an exploration of the wondrous power of speech to both create and destroy worlds.
26 Tamuz 5767 | Duration: 59:47
Shalom is likely the most well-known of all Hebrew words. But what does it mean? And how do we bring Shalom to the world?
19 Tamuz 5767 | Duration: 59:23
Num. 25
Balak wants to defeat the Jewish people in battle. Why does he ask Bilaam to curse the Jews rather than asking Bilaam to bless him? Who is Bilaam, and where does his strength come from?
12 Tamuz 5767 | Duration: 57:41
Num. 22; MT Yesodei HaTorah 7
Why do we need to read through the identical contributions of the Princes twelve times? Why doesn't the Torah just give us the totals?
10 Sivan 5767 | Duration: 4:07
Emor is full of seemingly disconnected elements: the obligations of the cohanim (priests) including the Cohen Gadol (high priest); a tour of the Jewish Holidays that includes shabbos, and the story of a man who cursed G-d and his subsequent punishment. What are these disjointed elements doing in one parsha together?
18 Iyar 5767 | Duration: 21:39
"Tumah" and "Taharah" are two of the most misunderstood concepts in Judaism. Yet they are critical concepts for understanding the spiritual reality of the world in which we live. Rav Dovid explains what they are about, why they exist, and presents them in terms that we can not only understand but apply to our everyday lives.
1 Iyar 5767 | Duration: 7:38
The shabbos before Pesach is known as "The Great Shabbos -- Shabbat HaGadol. Why is it called "Great", and what are the customs associated with this special shabbos?
10 Nisan 5767 | Duration: 13:08
Ex. 12:1-20; OC 430:1; MB 430:1-2; Mal. 3:23
Betzalel knew how to build the Mishkan from his prophetic insight. We occasionally get a hint of what such insight might be about.
24 Adar 5767 | Duration: 3:34
VaYakhel-Pekudei is full of details regarding the Mishkan (the portable sanctuary built by the Jews in the desert), most of them repetitions of those learned in the prior parshas. Why all the details, and why all the repetition?
23 Adar 5767 | Duration: 3:41
Why all the details about building a temporary structure that we will never build again? Wouldn't a picture or architectural diagram have done the job more efficiently? Why does all of this come following parshat Mishpatim? And what can we learn about ourselves from all of this?
5 Adar 5767 | Duration: 59:21
Exo. 25-27
Why does this section of "tort law" follow the lofty heights of the Ten Commandments? And why all the details about goring oxen and the like?
28 Shevat 5767 | Duration: 1:01:02
Ex. 21
This week's Torah portion includes the 10 commandments. What happened at Mt. Sinai? What is Revelation? What was "revealed"? Was the Sinai Revelation real in the historical sense or a collective myth?
21 Shevat 5767 | Duration: 56:33
Exo. 19-20
Also: what if you forget to read one of the four parshiyot?
20 Shevat 5767 | Duration: 19:20
Ex. 30:11-16; Meg. 29b; OC 685:1; MB 685:2
An introduction to the concepts of Emunah and Bitachon (faith and trust in Hashem) as seen in Parshat B'Shalach.
14 Shevat 5767 | Duration: 59:31
Exo. 13:17-10:15; Rashi ad. loc.
Dedicated in memory of Aharon ben Tzvi on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
From Man's viewpoint, the world consists of three distinct time periods: past, present, and future. Hashem's view of the world is entirely different, consisting of one moment -- now -- which encompasses all of eternity's past and future. How is this manifest in our understanding of our relationship with Hashem?
7 Shevat 5767 | Duration: 59:35
Exo. 3:12; 10:2,6,14,16; 11:4,6; 12:1-20,29; 13:8,14; Sefer HaChinuch Parshas Bo
A look at the plagues as brought in parshat VaEira... How did Moshe cause the plagues to happen, and how did the Egyptians do the same? Do Jews believe in miracles? Are we convinced by them? What are the rules that govern spiritual forces, and can they be harnessed and controlled?
28 Tevet 5767 | Duration: 1:04:28
Ex. 6:2; Rashi and Ba'al HaTurim ad. loc.; MT Yesodei HaTorah 8
We all know the story of Moshe at the burning bush. But what really happened there? What made Moshe special that Hashem spoke to him? Why did his staff turn into a snake? Why was Moshe scared of the snake? Where did his staff come from and what were its special properties?
21 Tevet 5767 | Duration: 1:13:27
Ex. 4
In the first aliyah of VaYechi, Yosef visits his sick father Yaakov on his deathbed. Just what is the mitzvah of bikkur cholim, and how does one fulfill it properly? What are the spiritual roots involved in the kindness of visiting a sick person? An understanding of bikkur cholim helps us to better understand ourselves and our role in Hashem's world.
15 Tevet 5767 | Duration: 56:49
Gen 47:28-50; Rashi ad. loc.; Sotah 14a; MT Eivel 14:1,2,6-8; Ned. 39b; Ned. 40a
What is so special about Yehudah that the Jewish people are called "Jews" due to him? What is it that makes a Jew Jewish?
8 Tevet 5767 | Duration: 56:04
Gen 44-46
Hashem runs the world mida k'neged mida -- "measure for measure". Understanding this concept helps us gain insight into Divine Justice and how to do proper teshuva. This class further explores the concept of mida k'neged mida as manifest throughout the narration of Joseph and his brothers.
1 Tevet 5767 | Duration: 1:03:15
Gen 40-43
Hashem runs the world mida k'neged mida -- "measure for measure". Understanding this concept helps us gain insight into Divine Justice and how to do proper teshuva. This class explores the concept of mida k'neged mida as manifest throughout the narration of Joseph and his brothers.
24 Kislev 5767 | Duration: 56:35
Gen 37-38
Yaakov and Eisav have diametrically opposed relationships with the physical world in which we live. What do we learn from them?
17 Kislev 5767 | Duration: 52:04
Gen. 27; Gen. 32; Gen. 33
Ya'akov Avinu served Hashem through emes -- truth. What is "truth"?
9 Kislev 5767 | Duration: 41:58
"Yitzhak loved Eisav for his hunting in his mouth, but Rivka loved Ya'akov." (Gen. 25:28) In this one pasuk, the Torah reveals deep wisdom regarding the true meaning of love. What is the Torah view of love, and how can it help us in our lives?
3 Kislev 5767 | Duration: 58:59
Gen. 25:28; Radak to Gen. 25:28; Hezkuni to Gen. 25:28; MT Yesodei HaTorah 2:2; Kesef Mishneh Yesodei HaTorah 2:1 and following
Yitzhak found his spouse via the antithesis of today's romance-centered search for self-fulfillment and love. Rivkeh readily agreed to the match; against the adice of her family, she left her father's home with a servant she had just met on a long journey to marry a man she had neer seen. This Match Made in Heaven established the future of the Jewish people for all time and lays out the foundations of the Torah's way in love and marriage.
26 Cheshvan 5767 | Duration: 1:02:39
Gen. 23-24
Avraham and Sarah were not only two of our greatest prophets, they were and are two of our greatest role models. What do we learn about love and marriage from the progenitors of the Jewish people?
19 Cheshvan 5767 | Duration: 57:42
Gen. 18-20; Rashi to Gen. 18:13; Avot d'Rebbi Natan ch. 13; Bava Me. 87a
What made Avraham and Sarah so special that they became the progenitors of the entire Jewish people? And what can we learn about ourselves by learning about their lives?
12 Cheshvan 5767 | Duration: 1:06:24
Gen. 12-17; MT Av. Zarah 1; Shabb. 156a
How exactly did 40 days of flood water transform the world, and what impact can this have on us today?
5 Cheshvan 5767 | Duration: 55:20
Gen. 6:9; Gen. 7; Ex. 24:18; Ex. 34:28; I Kings 19:8; Shabbat 7:2; Deu. 25:2-3; Nida 3:7; Mikva'ot 2:1; II Sam. 5:4; I Kings 2:11; I Kings 11:42; Jonah 3:4; Num. 14:34; Josh. 14:7; Gen. 50:3
Ever wonder what the Torah has to say about the Big Bang? Unfortunately, "Western" culture paints Judaism with the same brush as fundamentalist Christianity and assumes that Jews take the Genesis account literally. Well, we do take it literally... literal according to the Torah tradition, which isn't what you might think.
27 Tishrei 5767 | Duration: 53:28
Gen. 1; Ramban to Gen. 1
Drawing on the Oral Tradition, Rav Dovid highlights one proof of the authenticity of Torah as found in Parshas Re'eh.
26 Av 5766 | Duration: 6:40
Deu. 14
How could the Jewish people have so little trust in Hashem, after all they had seen, that they sent spies to investigate the Land of Israel that Hashem had promised them? Rav Dovid explains... and enlightens us into our own nature as well.
30 Sivan 5766 | Duration: 4:50
Num. 13
How do we know the Torah is true? How do we know it is Divine?
25 Nissan 5766 | Duration: 10:47
What makes the baby-faced golden angels holy on the Holy Ark but the golden calf idolotry?
26 Adar 5766 | Duration: 12:47
Exo. 37:6-9; Ex. 32
21 Adar 5766 | Duration: 9:40
OC 685:4; Ex. 12:1-20; Deu. 16:1
The reading of Parshat Parah on the Shabbos after Purim.
16 Adar 5766 | Duration: 9:53
Num. 19:1-22; OC 685:3,7; MB 685:15
The reading of Parshat Zachor on the Shabbos before Purim.
7 Adar 5766 | Duration: 2:37
OC 685:2,7; MB 685:14; Gen. 36:12; Ex. 17:8-16; Deu. 25:17-19
The reading of Parshat Shekalim on the Shabbos before Rosh Chodesh Adar.
23 Shevat 5766 | Duration: 10:19
Ex. 30:11-16; Meg. 29a; OC 685:5; MB 685:1
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