Newest from the Rabbi

E - Parashat Shelach 5774
E - Parashat Beha'alotecha 5774
E - Parashat Naso-Shavuot 5774
E - Parashat BaMidbar & Jerusalem Day 5774
E - Parashat Bechukotai & Lag BaOmer 5774


What would you like to see in this Parasha email? We would like your input in order to refine our presentation and make it more enjoyable and meaningful for you, our readers. Please send your suggestions to you for taking the time to help!

Receive this page by email. Subscribe at

Rabbi Dov BegonFounder and Head of Machon Meir
“Shatter Them Like a Potter’s Vessel”

In the war against Midian, the Torah tells us, “Moses spoke to the nation saying, ‘Select a vanguard among yourselves for the war, so that they may go against Midian, to wreak the L-rd’s vengeance against Midian.’ ” Rashi explains: “It is written ‘the L-rd’s vengeance’ [because] one who rises up against Israel is rising up against the Holy One”. In the Jews’ travels in the desert, the same point is made: “When the ark set forth, Moshe said, ‘Rise up, G-d, and let Your enemies be scattered and let they who hate You flee’ ” (Bamidbar 10:25). Rashi explains: “to hate You is to hate Israel…”.

Moses and the Jewish people understood that those who engage Israel in war are actually fighting G-d, since we are called by the Name of G-d. As David told Goliath the Philistine before slaying him, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the L-rd of Hosts, G-d of the armies of Israel, Whom you have taunted” (I Sam. 17:45).

Toda, we are again in the middle of a war; in all the wars of contemporary Israel – from the War of Independence, down to the war being fought right now – the enemies of Israel fight against us in the manner of which King David spoke: “Why do the nations rage and why do the peoples mutter in vain? The kings of the world rise up and the rulers collude against the L-rd and against His anointed one.” The day is not far off when G-d’s promise will come to pass: “You will break them with a rod of iron; you will shatter them like a potter’s vessel” (Ps. 2:9). Then everyone on Earth will know that G-d, the L-rd of Israel, is King and nothing escapes His dominion.

Shabbat Shalom!

Write a letter of support to Jonathan Pollard, in jail for 20 years because of his love for the Jewish People and our Land! Address letters to:
Jonathan Pollard # 09185-016
FCI Butner Medium
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 1000
Butner, NC 27509 (USA)

Rabbi Ya’akov ArielFor the Sabbath Table
“Settlements on Both Sides of the Jordan”

The battle against Sichon and Og was not intended to be war of conquest. These territories were not up for annexation at the time. It is true that the two banks of the Jordan together constitute Eretz Yisrael, yet there are ten different levels of holiness in Eretz Yisrael, and the eastern side of the Jordan is different from the western side. The western side is holier. There the Divine Presence rests, and that is where the Temple must be built. The eastern side is intended for Jewish Settlement only in the end of days. If not for the stubborn, illogical resistance of Sichon and Og, Israel would have traversed them into Eretz Yisrael without harming a hair on their heads. This was thus an imperative war of defense.

The motive of Gad and Reuven to settle these areas was economic and survival oriented rather than based on values. It was not the obligation to conquer that soil which brought them to settle there, but the need to preserve their property. It is true that they were right in their claim that flocks require a special place. Yet the very fact that due to their property they were ready to part with the Jewish People and to settle in a less holy place was the root of the problem. It was in response to this that Moses got angry and compared them to the spies. The spies had likewise related to the Land like tourists and land dealers, and when they compared the benefits to be gained from settling the Land with the difficulties, they preferred to remain in the desert.

It is true that the children of Reuven and Gad were bold pioneers. They were ready to volunteer for the elite units of the army of Israel, and they were prepared to settle the frontier country by means of their wives and children. Yet their relationship to security, settlement, the land and the People was just Nationalist-Survivalist. It did not involve the profound idea of G-d’s people ascending in holiness in the Holy Land, or of bringing redemption to the whole world, before their eyes. Rather, it involved only livestock, sheep and cattle, the needs of the animals.

Moses, the faithful shepherd, knew how to listen for what was deepest in a person’s heart. He was responsible for future generations as well. When the time came for the redemption of Transjordan, it would be appropriate that not the motives of Gad and Reuven should be the main factor, but rather the ideological, values-oriented motive. He therefore attached to them half the tribe of Menashe, son of Joseph. Joseph had never let the greatness he achieved in a foreign land make him forget Eretz Yisrael. He had been kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and it was to there that he commanded that his bones be brought. His connection to the land was a deep, psychological connection. Moses wished to avoid a Jewish exile mentality from developing within Eretz Yisrael. He therefore joined together the two sides of the Jordan by means of Menashe ben Yosef.

There are far reaching educational repercussions to the utilitarian-survivalist approach. The sons of Gad and Reuven said, “We will build enclosures for our sheep here and cities for our children” (Numbers 32:16), putting their sheep before their children. Moses, however, reversed the order: “Build yourselves cities for your children and folds for your sheep” (verse 24), such that the children preceded the sheep. This reversal is no coincidence. If someone’s whole approach to Eretz Yisrael is based on interim-survival needs then his educational perspective will be warped as well. He is liable to sacrifice his children’s education to Molech, placing them on the altar of economic convenience. Then, even if he builds them marvelous educational institutions, utilitarian, achievement-oriented considerations will overcome educational, values-oriented considerations. Number of hours, achievement tests, prizes for excellence will all favor those subjects oriented towards worldly achievement and benefit and will push aside the spiritual, values-oriented subjects. In a society built around sheep and shopping, sheepherders are sought after while spiritual shepherds are not.

Support Zionist Torah Outreach at Machon Meir!
Tax-deductible gifts- in USA: payable to: “American Friends of Machon Meir”
In Israel: payable to: “Machon Meir”
send to: Machon Meir 2 HaMeiri Ave. Jerusalem 91340, Israel

Watch Rabbi David Samson’s weekly Torah insight on “Israeli Salad” at (produced in cooperation with Machon Meir).

Want to be a partner in spreading Torah Videos? Choose an amount!

Ammount of donation

(ILS) New Shekels

Support can be cancelled at any time

How to pay?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *