Torah Learning with Ari

Vayetzei – Purifying Challenges

By Ari Goldwag | November 24, 2017

Why does Yaakov face the challenge of Esav, his brother who wants to kill him, then run off to Lavan’s house and face the new challenge of another difficult character? Why do the matriarchs have such difficulties – both with each other and with Yaakov? Why does Leah stop being able to conceive when Yehuda…

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Toldos – Chamber of Exchanges

By Ari Goldwag | November 17, 2017

Why does Yaakov have to trick Esav to give him the spiritual firstborn rights? Why does he have to trick his father Yitzchak to get the blessings? Why didn’t Hashem just cause Yaakov to be born first? Why was Yosef a younger brother when he, too, could have been born earlier and avoided the trouble?…

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Chayei Sarah – Surrender and Sacrifice

By Ari Goldwag | November 10, 2017

Why is the description of the Akeida (Binding of Isaac) and Rivka’s birth juxtaposed to Sarah’s death? Why is it so hard for Avraham to purchase the location for Sarah’s burial? Why must he pay top dollar? Why does Eliezer have to go so far to find a wife for Yitzchak? Why is it that…

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Vayera – Avraham and Sodom

By Ari Goldwag | November 3, 2017

What is the idea behind Avraham’s unique relationship with Sodom? How does it parallel the descent of the Jewish people into Egypt, and really of the many exiles we’ve experienced? What is the idea behind Avraham’s middah (trait) of Chessed-kindness, in contrast with Sarah’s trait of Gevurah-boundary? What is the unique relationship that the Jewish…

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Lech Lecha – Kingdom of Kindness

By Ari Goldwag | October 27, 2017

What is the unique mission of Avraham Avinu? Why does the Torah deem it important to tell us of his wealth and great stature? Why does the Torah teach us about his conquest of the four and five kings? Why were the wise men of Nimrod so fearful when Avraham was born, such that they…

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Noach – Times of Transition

By Ari Goldwag | October 19, 2017

Why does the Torah go into so much detail in describing the generation of the flood, and then the dispersion before bringing Abraham onto the scene? What was the difference between the sin of the generation of the flood and that of the dispersion? Why is the name Elokim (judgment) used in the flood and…

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Vzos Habracha/Breishis – Ending and Beginning

By Ari Goldwag | October 11, 2017

Why do we read the final portion of the Torah on Shmini Atzeres, not on Shabbos? What is the difference between Atzeres (stop) and Shabbos (stop)? Why do we complete the Torah and then start it again immediately? Why does the torah conclude with blessings and the death of Moshe? What is Hashem’s name which…

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Succos – Joy of Submission

By Ari Goldwag | October 4, 2017

What does the midrash mean when it says that we leave our homes and enter the Succah to atone for the deserved punishment of exile? How does the mitzvah of Succah relate to the command to do teshuva (repent)? What does going into exile accomplish? What is the special joy of Succos? Why do we…

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Haazinu-Rosh Hashana

By Ari Goldwag | September 18, 2017

Why do we always read the parshios related to the transition when we are standing at the new year? Why does Moshe call the Heaven and Earth as witnesses to Hashem’s covenant with the Jewish people? How does Hashem express the covenant? How do we express that covenant? How does this relate to our crowning…

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Nitsavim-Vayelech – Return to Paradise

By Ari Goldwag | September 15, 2017

Why does the Torah preface the commandment to repent (Teshuva) with a description of what life will be like after the Messiah’s arrival? What is the difference between our state at present, and the way it will be when the Messiah arrives? What is the concept of the orlas halev (barier on the heart)? How…

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