Parsha – Rav Alex & Brendan

Rav Alex: Choices, Freedom and Hard Hearts

“Sometimes a person begins to act in a certain way, building his or her life around particular decisions, certain lifestyle choices. After a while, the cumulative effect of those decisions, the momentum of his current position, is too great for him to shift course; he loses the ability to choose. If that chosen path would include behaviour that is bad, evil or immoral, then we might say that at first he has chosen that direction, but after some time, he is trapped by his former decisions; his life is invested in those choices, and now he is unable to shift course; he lacks the ability to alter his situation and circumstances.His *heart has been hardened*” CLICK on here to read more.

Brendan Stern: The Golden Years.

The Torah interrupts the narrative of Moshe and Aharon’s negotiations with Pharaoh to free the Jewish people by stating their respective ages. “Moshe was eighty years old and Aharon was eighty-three when they first spoke to Pharaoh” (Shemot 7:7). Why do we need to know how old Moshe and Aharon were at this specific moment?The Seforno explains that the Torah is highlighting how Moshe and Aharon refused to put their feet up in retirement. Despite their “old-age” they showed alacrity in their service of Hashem. However, we find that others too showed commitment to Hashem at an even older age than Moshe and Aharon (e.g. Avraham who had a brit milah at age 99 and proactively brought wayfarers into his tent). Why then are their respective ages highlighted here?Rav Zalman Sorotzkin notes that the “careers” of Moshe and Aharon only really got off the ground when they reached the age when others would retire. The major achievements in their lives took place when other people would normally start to wind down. Thus the Torah emphasises their ages to show that when it comes to our spiritual pursuits there is no such thing as retirement – every age and stage of life is ripe for growth!Furthermore, what is truly amazing about Moshe and Aharon is not only what they achieved in the latter portion of their lives, but how modest their accomplishments were prior. They did not let the scarce achievements of their past hinder their aspirations for the future. The Torah is thus highlighting that historical success is not the barometer and benchmark for what one can accomplish on life!No matter how old we are and no matter what we have – or have not – done previously, there is no limit to what can still be accomplished!


Shabbat in at 4.30, out at 5.45.


Pre-shacharit parsha at 8am. ELC, Eretz Chemdah and Shir Chadash in Talbiya – Yaakov Rubin Street #1-on the border of Talbiya & the German Colony

Ramban: shiur with Rav Itiel at 4.55.

Nitzanim: Rav Shai after mincha at 4.30.

Daf Yomi: Hour before Shabbat out at the Katamon Shteiblech.

Kiddushim after minyanim.

Photo credit: Chief Rabbi Mirvis Facebook page

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