Torah Learning with Ari

Vayetzei – Drawing Hashem into the Darkness

By Ari Goldwag | December 9, 2016

What is the idea of the vow that Jacob makes as he leaves the land of Israel? Why does he ask for such basic things – bread and clothing? What is the understanding of R’ Bachya’s teaching that he received much more than bread and clothing? What is the depth of R’ Yeshoshua’s explanation to…

Read More

Toldos – Clothes of Dominion

By Ari Goldwag | December 2, 2016

What were the special clothes that Rivka made sure Yakov wore when he stole the blessings from Esav? Why did wild animals become docile when they saw these garments? Why did Esav wear them whenever he served his father? How were they connected to Adam’s naming of all the animals? Why did they give Adam…

Read More

Chayei Sarah – Death and Rebirth

By Ari Goldwag | November 24, 2016

What does the midrash mean when it says that Esther became queen over 127 provinces paralleling the 127 years of Sarah’s life? Why did Esther go through a similar experience to Sarah in becoming young again after becoming old? How does that parallel the state of the Jewish people at the time? Why does Sarah’s…

Read More

Vayera – Source of Power

By Ari Goldwag | November 18, 2016

Why were others miraculously healed when Sarah miraculously conceived? What is the connection between Yitzchak’s miraculous birth and the story of Esther becoming queen? Why did all the princesses become unable to nurse, and why did they have to come to Sarah to have their children nursed? What was the significance of the party Avraham…

Read More

Lech Lecha – Fame and Fortune

By Ari Goldwag | November 10, 2016

Why does Hashem stress to Avraham that he will become a great nation and have great fame? Is fame something that is positive from a spiritual perspective? What is the greatness of Hashem’s promise to Avraham that he will have a great nation descend from him – didn’t Noach have 70 nations descend from him?…

Read More

Noach – Of Doves and Olive Branches

By Ari Goldwag | November 4, 2016

What is the Torah’s teaching about the dove Noach sent to find dry ground? What is the significance of the olive branch in this context? Why is the Jewish Nation compared to a dove? Why is the tzaddik compared to a dove? Who was the woman who gave birth to 600,000 children? Why is that…

Read More

Breishis – Aligning Six and Seven

By Ari Goldwag | October 28, 2016

What is the concept of the embarrassment that Adam and Eve did not feel about their being unclothed before the sin? Why does the same word for embarrassment also mean to come late, as in the context of Moshe coming down from Mount Sinai? How does this relate to how the midrash breaks down the…

Read More

Vzos Habracha-Succos – Receiving Blessings

By Ari Goldwag | October 20, 2016

What is the concept of blessings? Why do the major blessings of the Torah, first given by the Patriarchs, and then by Moshe, have a certain level of continuity? How are the blessings connected to the praises embodied in the Psalms of David? What is the concept of the Succah and how does it relate…

Read More

Ha’azinu – Defying Nature

By Ari Goldwag | October 13, 2016

What does the verse mean when it says that nothing can be added to Hashem’s creation? Why does Hashem sometimes change the order of creation? Why is it sometimes done for a righteous individual? Why does one midrash seem to indicate that it is done in order to impart a sense of awe, while another…

Read More

Vayelech-Yom Kippur – Lengthening Lifespans

By Ari Goldwag | October 7, 2016

Is it possible to live longer than was decreed for a person at birth? How does one merit to live long, and how does one lose that merit? Why was the Angel of Death upset when he spoke to R’ Shimon ben Chalafta? How does one change the decree of Rosh Hashana and make it…

Read More