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Two Minutes of Torah

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Vayechi:
Bnei Yaakov to Yisrael Avichem


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The bestowal of the neshama yeteira reflects the renewal from above that is bestowed on the Bnei Yaakov every shabbat when they join with their 'father' identity Yisrael.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Vayigash:
Frames of Unity


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Despite the differences in their paths to serving Hashem, all of Bnei Yisrael unifies in the context of His revealed presence--whether in the space of the Beit HaMikdash, or within the time frame of Shabbat.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Miketz:
Day of Unification


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The inherent shniyut (duality) within the human being of the yetzer hatov (good inclination) and the yetzer hara (evil inclination)--and a vision of the end of the days of duality ("miketz shnatayim yamim") by experiencing peace and coming to realize the illusory nature of evil. Can we catch a glimpse of this every seventh day on Shabbat?

In memory of my grandmother, Eva Filler, Chava Bracha bat Ben-Tzion Halevi z"l.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Vayeshev: Adding Shabbat


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The relationship between Shabbat and Tosefet Shabbat: properly anticipating the onset of Shabbat is an even greater challenge than experiencing Shabbat itself. Even though this sense of anticipation is a "child" of Shabbat, it exists independently. As such, it must be developed in its own right, during the mundane days of the week.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Vayishlach: The Whole Yaakov


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Refining the physical self establishes a balance between the body and the soul, which is experienced each shabbat via the neshama yeteira (additional soul)--depending on the degree of striving throughout the previous six days of the week.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Vayetze:
The Well and the Stone


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The be'er mayim chaim (well of living waters) lies just beneath a large stone. On Shabbat, the mouth of the well is revealed to the world, providing ease of access to its depth. Those who live on a high spiritual plane--following the lead of Yaakov/Yisrael--can behold the imprint of Shabbat upon the rest of the days of the week.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Toldot: Clothing of the Soul


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The link between wearing distinctive clothing in honor of Shabbat, and the garments of the soul that result from good deeds.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Chayei Sara:
The Blessing of the Vessel


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Avraham blesses everything in the world, and this ability stems from Hashem's blessing of each of the avot with the attribute of kol (everything). We refer to these Divine blessings as ba-kol, mi-kol, kol, based on psukim (verses) that invoke these words in the context of each of the avot (Bava Batra 17a.} Each of the avot are represented by each of the three shabbat meals on Shabbat--the day Hashem blesses as the day of the week which holds the blessing of shalom(peace). Shabbat Shalom.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Vayera:
The Vow & The Gift


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The shvua (vow) at the end of the akeida (Binding of Yitzchak), like the gift of Shabbat, transcend the worthiness of the Jewish People to receive them. Shabbat invites us to re-connect with the inspiration of the Avot (Patriarchs), and with the or ha-ganuz (hidden light) implanted within us.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Lech Lecha:
Seeing A Palace On Fire


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Understanding the spiritual journey of Avraham Avinu, and its link to zachor v'shamor of Shabbat.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Noach: The Tzadik & the Covenant of the World


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The tzaddik guards the "covenant of the world" by revealing the inner point (nekuda pnimit) within every aspect of Creation; in withdrawing from creative acts of labor on Shabbat, the Jewish People guard this covenant on a weekly basis.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Breisheet: The Spiritual Linchpin


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The human being is physically created on Friday, then serves as the connector of the World to its Creator--and testifies to this spiritual connection by observing Shabbat.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Bechukotai: Merit and Covenant


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Zocher Ha'brit v' Zocher Chasdei Avot - He remembers the covenant, and He remembers the kindnesses of the Patriarchs.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Emor: Counting & Accounting


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The spiritual aspiration of Sefirat Ha-Omer is expressed in the opening words of the mitzva.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Kedoshim: Only One Is Holy Alone


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The ideal setting for the mitzva of striving to be holy.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Tazria-Metzora: First or Last


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The order of creation depends not on chronology but on activity.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Shmini: Simcha Within


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In contrast to an ecstatic worship flowing from a wine-induced joy, Aharon Ha-Kohen is instructed to find internal happiness.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Vayikra: Leaving Space to Think


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Even Moshe Rabeinu needs to think about the lessons taught to him by Hashem.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Vayakhel: The Principal Name


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While spiritual identity may include external influences, the most enduring influence must emerge from within. Betzalel carries the names of his parents and of his tribe--but he merits overseeing the construction of the Mishkan on account of the identity he acquires for himself.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Ki Tisa: Guilty, And Yet...


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The greatness of Moshe Rabeinu's response to Hashem's claims against Bnei Yisrael.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Tetzave: Shouldering Memory


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The unity of the Jewish People is symbolized by the relationship between Yosef and his brothers, and is carried on the shoulders of its most empathic representative.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Teruma: The Likeness of A Handsome King


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Despite knowing the work of art we need to create--and the sure knowledge that we will fall short in our rendering--if we follow the directions carefully and faithfully, Hashem can still dwell among us.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Mishpatim: Prescribed Safeguards, Proscribed Declarations


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The opportunities and pitfalls presented by the relaxed atmosphere of Shabbat.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Yitro: Hearing the Family Names


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Yitro wants Moshe to listen for the messages contained in his family's names.

This shiur was given in honor of the yahrzeit on 25 Shevat of my late grandfather, Jack Filler z"l, who loved to learn the Keli Yakar. His name continues to inform and inspire--yehi zichro baruch.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Beshalach: Helping Us to Serve Him


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The help, encouragement, and our sense of accomplishment in serving Hashem.

This shiur was inspired by my January, 2010 visit to the gravesite of R. Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev zt"l as part of the JUF Rabbinic Mission to Ukraine & Israel

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Bo: Leaving Space In Between


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Even when Hashem spoke to Moshe alone, it seemed as if the speech emanated from the space in between Moshe and Aharon.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Vaera: Extended Freedom


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How receiving the Torah enables the Jewish People to know that Hashem took them out of Mitzrayim.

 

Two Minutes on Parshat Shemot: Stars Over Mitzrayim


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What Rashi teaches us about why the Torah lists the names of the tribes who came to Mitzrayim.

 

Sun, April 5 2020 11 Nisan 5780