The Real World – Parshas Shelach 2014 

Paradise a deeper look at the weekly Torah portion by Elchanan Shoff The Real World Parshas Shelach [Sponsored by anonymous likovod the kiddush of my daughter Rachel bas Shifra Milka and lerefuah shelaima Moshe Avrohom ben Batsheva, Meir Yaakov ben Fradel, Pinchus ben Fradel, and Chaya Rivkah bas Malka] As his student Hoshea was heading […]

Joy and Passion – How to teach Judaism – Emor 2014 

[Generously sponsored by] “Hashem said to Moshe, tell the Kohanim the sons of Aaron … the shall not become impure to any person in the nation”. Vayikra 21:1 With the exception of his immediate relatives, a Kohen may never come into contact with a dead body. One wonders why this is. A clue is […]

Pesach The Amazing Jewish Response to Suffering 

by Rabbi Elchanan Shoff   “This is the bread of poverty that our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. If you are hungry come and eat…This year we are here, next year in the land of Israel. This year we are slaves, next year free men.”  With these words, we introduce the Seder’s discussion […]

The one person that you can never see! Dvar Torah on Metzora! (and some thoughts on Pesach, too!) 

Metzora The one person that you can never see! (and some thoughts on Pesach, too!) by Elchanan Shoff “This is to be the rule of the tzaraas-afflicted person on the day of his purity, he will be brought to the cohen” Vayikra 14:2   A person may see the afflictions of all others, but not […]

Headless – Dvar Torah on Parshas Vayikra 

Vayikra Headless!   If his offering is a bird…he shall sever its head Vayikra 1:14–15   When a person brings an offering, he is supposed to relate to the animal and realize that what happens to it is what the person, himself, really deserves.[1]   When a bird is brought as a sin offering, the […]

The Sage and the Missionary! Thoughts on a Midrashic Tale – by Rabbi Elchanan Shoff 

Shemos “The entire soul that came from Yaakov were 70 souls” Shemos 1:5 There was once an idolater who approached Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korcha and asked him “it says in your Torah (Shemos 23:2) ‘you shall follow the majority.’ We idolaters are more numerous than you Jews, why do you not join together with us, […]

Getting things done yourself – Vayigash 

Vayigash Getting things done yourself by Elchanan Shoff “And no ish (man) stood with him, when Yosef revealed himself to his brothers.” Bereshis 45:1   Yosef was sent by his brothers to a strange land, cut off from his father and his family, and left alone in the world. His reunion with his brothers, after so […]

Splitting Seas while bringing people together – Parshas Vayeshev 

  A Torah thought on parshas Vayeshev by Rabbi Elchanan Shoff   The wife of Yosef’s master grabbed him by his cloak, attempting to convince him to engage in sin with her, “and he fled” leaving the room, teaches the Torah. When the Torah later describes the splitting of the Red Sea, averting the massacre […]

Beat the song out of him! 

A Torah thought on Parshas Vayishlach by Rabbi Elchanan Shoff As featured on     In Parshas Vayishlach, the Torah tells us of Yaakov’s meeting with a man in the dead of night, with whom he fights until daybreak. He was heading back to retrieve some of his last little household objects when a […]