Defending the Accused: Parshat Bereishit                     updated 10/8/15


Comments (186)

  1. C

    Just a brief note of thanks for your video this week. It was phenomenally interesting and informative!

  2. I have always told the children in my shul (my own children and grandchildren included) that it did not matter how well you performed on day of your Bar Mitzvah, good or bad.

    That after all is only a performance, truly try your best. Any good actor can put on a good performance it does not make what they are doing real. That performance does not truly matter but what matters is how you preform after your Bar Mitzvah. What you do and how you live your life that is who you are, and that at the end of days are what you will be judged on.

  3. Nathan Rephan

    You cite Psalm 23 as a basis for alleviating fear because :”….G-d will be with me.” I have often wondered how it is that I should draw chizuk from these words of David HaMelech when all around me are there is suffering and dying. Please note that I am not asking the question, “why there is suffering ,” I am asking why I should expect that He will protect me.

  4. Anonymous

    Dear Harry:

    I just viewed “I don’t roll on Shabbos.” It was splendid. I wish to share the following:

    Timothy Leary, the Harvard psychologist and exponent of LSD, spent a Shabbos with some friends in San Francisco. It was either Chabad or Beis Ahavah or Shlomo Carlebach. On Saturday evening when he quit his friends Dr. Leary said: “I’ve been searching my entire life for a non chemical way to get high and you guys have it. It’s called Shabbos.”

  5. greenBubble

    this was really good, but you got it backwards.
    Shamor denotes the restrictions
    Zachor denotes the positive aspects

  6. Mr. B

    Dear Harry, Thank you again and again…..for the message you send us each week. You get right into the ‘being’ of each person (especially me). Isn’t that what Torah is about?

  7. Jay Buchsbaum

    Never knew that it was ‘neglegence’ thought it was ‘accidental
    Now it make sense …

  8. Art

    entertaining as all get-out, Harry….I hope that you are right re baseball in heaven…just as a diversion from learning torah all day…I would even settle for the Mets…never mind Sandy Koufax….thanks for the thought though!!!

  9. Mike

    Just excellent! Really enjoyed the message Harry. Loved your cameo in the trailer (so Alfred Hitchcock or Stan Lee). Also, kudos for giving your family members and the rest of us (the Jewish People) some love in the credits. You’re one of a kind in the good sense Harry.

  10. Colin

    Dear Harry,

    I had the great pleasure of listening to you when you visited Ohr Yisrael in Borehamwood, England and have been signed up to receive your videos ever since.

    I always enjoy them and find them inspirational but I want to thank you specifically for this weeks which really spoke to me. I am ‘stuck’ in Ethiopia for work away from family and community (there is a very small community here and a chabad house, of course) and so your comment on the tree falling in the forest reminded me that yes what ever study I manage to do will count.

    May you continue with your wonderful work and I wish you and yours a chag sameach and a truly uplifting experience.

  11. Mr. S

    Thanks so much Harry! Fantastic approach to life in this Dvar Torah. I really appreciate the message and your excellent delivery. 🙂

  12. From MT

    I like this one particularly. And the last line struck a chord… I remember learning this in Hebrew school growing up, that in fact our relationships with other people are actually MORE important than our relationship with God.

  13. anonymous

    Another great video. I only hope that when I grow up I will know as much as you about the Torah. 🙂

  14. Dovid Rabinowitz

    Beautiful! Thanks so much for your amazing blog! A massive service to so many people.

  15. Mike

    Thanks so much for the Dvar Torah! Can’t wait to talk about it this Shabbat. Have a great day and Shabbat Shalom!

  16. Mr. G

    I believe that there is always a chance that a person can regain consciousness and live a somewhat normal life. Surprising to me, most people do not agree. Your story about the MRI reinforces my belief. I’ve told my kids just to read to me, daven out loud, and put the football game on each Sunday.

  17. HG

    I love all your talks, but this week was special. I asked myself why and I believe it is the “are you doing enough” that resonated for me. Many years ago when I was very active in both the secular and orthodox Jewish communities in town, “are you doing enough” was a repeated question that I asked of people. Of course I didn’t originate it, I heard it from a philanthropist. During the war of 1967 at an emergency meeting of the JCC, he got up and gave one of the most moving speeches I have ever heard. He called on us to give as generously as we could – money that would go directly to Israel. After everyone made a pledge, he donated half of his wealth to Israel. Then ended by saying “are you doing enough”. After almost 50 years I can still see him standing there with tears streaming down his face saying “are you doing enough”. Thanks for your talk and thanks for the memories.

    – HG

  18. Partners in Torah

    From Harry: Without knowing you and the guy you dated, I cannot offer an opinion. It’s too dangerous to take general concepts and apply them to specific situations, particularly without knowledge of all of the facts. (Keep in mind that in the Esav story, had he turned around, world and Jewish history would likely have been far different.) And if you have not yet found Mr. Right, I hope that happens soon!

  19. annonymous

    Hi first of all thank you for your weekly Torah insights. They are an inspiration to all.
    Second, I found this weeks Parshah topic a little hard to digest. You mentioned that Dina should have married Esav and that would have fulfilled his potential, making him the best he can be. I dated a guy for over 2 months and totally ‘turned him around’. I seriously felt like eishes Rebbe Akiva and was honestly bringing out his full potential. Yet, I didn’t respect him (at times) and felt I had the upper hand in the relationship. Additionally, I was told I couldn’t marry someone I viewed as a ‘project’. Yet after watching this video, should I be? I never didn’t like him, per se…

  20. Dr George

    Dearest commentator….Would you have wanted Eisav as your son-in-law…..yes or no…..I rest my case…

  21. Penina

    I am listening to your words of Torah in a hotel lobby in India – thank you for spreading the light of Torah.
    Shabbat Shalom.

  22. Paul Medus

    Harry, your insightful analysis of Isaac and Rebekah raising Jacob and Esau had me gasping for air, in my mind at least. What an eye opener to see how their sons received the same education that was best suited for one but not two. It sheds a whole new light on Esau’s foray into the world. It is what is, but it could have been different. What a hair raising idea you have proposed. Thanks as always for you explanations and guidance…and the time you take out of your life to give a part of you to me and all the rest of us who are watching and listening.

  23. Partners in Torah

    From Harry: Excellent point, and the commentators discuss it. One interesting explanation is that she did not die from shock or horror but rather from the joy in hearing that her husband and son had reached so profound a level of closeness to G-d. By analogy, one can cry tears of pain or joy. Sarah’s, while dying, were of joy. And as it was her time to go, she went to meet her Creator in Heaven secure in the knowledge that her life’s work was complete.

  24. Harold

    Very good video, thanks for all your work.
    However this doesn’t explain though why Sarah had to die with such an upsetting message.
    Surely this is just nasty and she didn’t deserve it after her life of Mitzvot.
    She loved Isaac so much.
    And if such a tzaddik dies in such an unpleasant way then us much lesser folk have nothing to look forward to.
    I think this is very troubling.

  25. Elizabeth Bailes

    I have been watching and listening to Harry’s video blog for sometime now. Mostly I have been learning. This Gentile loves to study the Old Testament, as we call it, and who knows the Torah better than a Jewish scholar. Thank you Harry.

  26. Bennett Ostrov

    The wish should be more than vanilla.People should think about leaving galut and moving to Israel.And for you football fans,you can see all the games seven hours later on Israel cable.Harry,you are doing a great job.I try not to miss your mussar even here in Efrat

  27. suzi

    I just enjoyed Harry’s talk on reminding us when celebrating our achievements, remember, celebrate, and thank G-D, from whom all things come. I love his referring to G-D, as our “silent partner.” Thank you Harry.

    It is time for me to listen to many talks like this, therefore; I will thank you all now in advance.

  28. suzi

    Thank you Harry, for your clear, thoughtful, and healing, type explanation about the Shofar. I am embarrassed to admit I never truly understood, and felt, the meaning of the sound. I appreciate your lesson.

  29. Jacob Lichter

    Great video and message. Short, informative and entertaining. Ilike the suspenders 🙂 Amazing how much one can learn and grow in just watching this for 3 minutes. Keep up the good work. Regards from Eretz Yisrael. Special hello to Marc and Ross.

    Ksiva Vechasima Tova,
    Jacob Lichter
    Pancho Real Estate Holdings

  30. brent rubin

    Harry, I look forward to your weekly parsha. Inspiring and educational. Keep up the good work.

  31. Ben Mayer

    What a fantastic video! And what a great way to tie in the metaphor of the NFL pre-season to the upcoming High Holidays. (Football provides a metaphor for just about everything in life, after all). Brilliantly done, as are all your videos, Harry!

  32. Eric Weiss

    Harry, It was great meeting you last week. Thanks for adding me to the partners in torah email. This was excellent and very insightful.


  33. Pinchos

    I always wondered why the brocho on bread is “Who brings bread from the ground”. The best answer I had found before your video was that, before the ground was cursed, bread *did* grow from the ground. You could in fact go “bread picking” That is the original nature of bread as first created, so the blessing is still apropos. Keep up the good work!

  34. Navid

    This was the parshat of my Bar Mitzvah, but that’s not what this email is about. It just reminded me of my last experience at the kotel. I went there to pray at 3am and after the Sh’mah, I was ready to pray for people and I just started thanking G-d for people instead of praying for them I thought about all the people I met and all the people I could and thanked Hashem for their presence in my life and I thought of the good that they did for me and how thankful I was to have them invlolved in any way in my life.
    Just a thought that came up and I wanted to share because of the end of the lesson.
    Thank you for another video.

  35. Harry,

    Another great video. You have developed the knack of analyzing each weeks parsha in a user friendly interesting light. Keep them coming.

    Mark Plaine

    PS I met you at Superlawyers last year. You still owe me a lunch next time I am in Manhattan.

  36. Mike Shriqui

    Chazak Ubaruch Harry!

    You have an amazing ability to deliver a deep message with a light and entertaining touch.

    Thank you for the effort it must take.

  37. Elisheva

    I also enjoy viewing your video every week. Keep up the good work and may Hashem always give you the right words to say.
    Elisheva Ross

  38. Thank you for your wonderfully informative videos. You are so engaging and pleasant to listen to. You present so much wisdom in such a short time. You really are gifted. Your dedication and sincerity in what you do is inspiring. I really appreciate the fact that you are helping Jews who are interested in learning more and connecting with their heritage. Again thank you.

  39. I always look forward to your videos. You are so engaging and likeable. You present such wisdom in such a short time! You have a real gift. Thankyou for your dedication and effort on behalf of all the Jewish people out there who want to learn more!

  40. Charles Gardner

    Always look forward to your Blog. They truly help to keep me motivated and inspired Thank-you and may Hashem Bless you.

  41. David Schwartz

    It was great to meet you at the Penn State Passaic Shabbaton. I enjoyed the video, keep them coming!

  42. Partners in Torah

    Harry tells us that he did make up for it at the dinner that followed so calamity was avoided.

  43. DYG

    Long time viewer, first time poster: Sorry to hear you missed the shmorg. Kaparah notwithstanding, I don’t know you to suffer the loss of a buffet in stride. Where did you eat and how much damage did you do?

  44. Partners in Torah

    Harry was referring to the similar phrases in the 2 passages that you have identified (Exodus 2:4 and Megillas Esther 1:1), to demonstrate the faith of Miriam and Mordechai in their respective situations.

  45. Ephrayim Naiman


    Your point also answers why Esther said “צומו עלי” as opposed to fasting for yourselves/all of us.

    Maybe the point was that she could only be a successful shaliach if she understood through & through that this was *her* job and she needed to believe it and do it. So she was asking for everyone to fast and pray for *her* ability to rise to the occasion so she could bring about the redemption.

    BTW, which common phraseology are you referring to between the 3 cases? I see by Miriam and the first Mordechai reference that they were watching to see what would happen. But where is that outside the gates? Just the fact that he went there? Or the words “מי יודע”?

    Thank you, Ephrayim

  46. Harry great thought, just to repeat it – if Ester did not feel by her own compulsion to beg Achashvirosh for mercy; just following out a request by Mordechai would not have been effective. The fasting of Ester and her maidservants were to correctly feel the plight, catastrophic severity and to understand Mordechia’s suggestion – the Master Plan was all for this moment !
    Excellent thought ! Thank you !

  47. Partners in Torah

    Harry asked us to tell you that it is a challenging task to film a video
    every week. But comments like yours make it all worthwhile. Thank you.

  48. HMD

    Im a very big fan of your!
    Having ADHD this is the greatest way to learn more about Judaism. Harry you are energetic, emotional, passionate, exciting,fun, quick, sharp and it is very short so it keeps my attention but, most important it is very educational.
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you

  49. Partners in Torah

    @Silvia Glad you are enjoying and your point is well taken. We didn’t have any video of Samson. And Harry is from Philadelphia so he is a big fan of Rocky. 🙂

  50. Chaya

    LOL! i never thought I’d hear the words of Rocky Balboa being quoted here, among so many great Sages and rabbis. Shaking my head, I’ve got to admit it was PERFECT for this parsha and your comments. Todah!

  51. Silvia

    We enjoy your videos every week and look forward to them. Direct and to the point. But I was disappointed with this week’s piece. Why choose a Hollywood “type” when you could have made the same point with the “Story of Samson?”

  52. Genevieve

    This was so inspiring! Especially as I prepare to take the Bar Exam, nothing could be more on-point than trying to reach my potential. Thank you for sharing, and thank G-d your son is doing well.

  53. Gerald Spivack

    I enjoy and learn from all of your videos. Thank you for taking the time to do this. In this current video on Parshat Mishpatim you refer to your wife as a “saint.” That is not an expression Jews normally use. Are you using this as a colloqualo expression to mean that your wife is beyond reproach?

  54. stan sved

    Was on my learning tour at Ohr sameach-call me and i can give you a few more reasons why Pharoh accepted Joeseph’s advice so readily.Also saw your wife and Moshe at a restaurant-she looks the same but didn’t recognize Moshe. Keep up the good work.BTW-have a couple of good points on the last few Parshas if your interested.If any of your Talmidim are interested-every Thanksgiving week we take a week off to learn at Ohr sameach-contact me if anyone is interested for next year.

  55. Razel Lerman

    Harry, my husband forwarded me this video so that I would see it, and I understand why. Perhaps it was his way of thanking me. But the best part was your twins telling their Mommy they miss her. Hope you can handle the remainder of her time away.
    Freilichen Chanuka!

  56. Aliza

    Usually great videos but I have a little problem with the interpretation why Hagar left Yishmael under the tree. We know Pnina was punished because she caused Chana tzaar so she would daven more intensely to Hashem to grant her children. Although her intention was to help Chana the way she acted was wrong . We know, “Ein hamatara mekadeshet et haemzim” (the end goal doesn’t make the steps to achieve the goal necessarily correct.)

    • Partners in Torah

      Harry was suggesting, not passing judgment on, a possible positive motivation for Hagar’s seemingly cruel actions. But your point is excellent and may be one of the reasons that certain commentators condemn Hagar’s actions. See for example what R. Samson Raphael Hirsch has to say about this episode.

  57. Raizy S

    Thank you for your shiur. I like very much how you explained your parsha. Looking forward to hearing more from you!!

  58. shimen iczkovits

    Great as always !

    What happened to your braces, Hosentraeger, Slatesch ? your new year resolution ? Don’t give up your “Trade Mark !”

  59. Aleksey

    Quite a timely video given that it’s your son’s Bar Mitzvah soon. Hope all is well, and keep up the amazing videos!

  60. Frances Twersky

    I would very much like to speak with Harry. It would be such a mitzvah if he was willing to come to my Hebrew High class in Cherry Hill, NJ. We only have 6 kids. It would be so edifying for the kids.

  61. odette

    Short and sweet, devoid of the guilt trip that the young abhor.
    The message is simple: get closer to Hashem, get closer to yourself.

  62. Nora

    I liked the mention of interpersonal relations at the end. Yes learning how to take a few steps away from our anger is very important. The way you related that thesis to kashrut is interesting. I still wish I could find what I perceive is a more effective rationale for kashrut to share with my adult chidlren.

  63. meyer

    wow! last night in mendy’s i was waiting for someone (not me of course) to make a loud Bracha and have everyone say Amen together
    Great stuff as usual

  64. Yasher Koach .

    Harry very well presented. A dose of very easy to digest Torah is of such value to the Jewish People.

    I do hope your followers are virally sening your link out to as many Jews as possible.


  65. Linda Haniford

    Re: Sefirat HaOmer Video: I think our generation is just not used to having a hard time. I remember being 5 and screaming because there was a bee. I went running down the street and a woman stopped me and asked me what the problem was. Turns out the bee was gone already. That was the lesson at 5. Now being much older, some bees do go away quickly but others are quite scary and when a person feels helpless the primal instinct comes out. Many of us have experiences like you do and I guess my recent conclusion is that if we’re trying to be nice and someone’s bugging us then that other person is just evil and the best thing is to get out of that other person’s way as quickly as possible. You can’t negotiate with something that’s evil. That’s tough for a person who naturally likes people and would rather make that person their friend. The way to look at it is that there’s a whole lot of other people that you can make friends with – G-d made them just for you – and you can be happy with that!

  66. lori schrier

    lori schrier

  67. Dave

    Yasher koach on a well polished and presented piece of Torah.
    What is the source for the idea that the dipping in saltwater represents the blood of Yosef’s coat?
    What is the source if the deeper understanding mentioned?

    Kol tuv,

    • Partners in Torah

      Take a look at Rashi’s comment to Genesis 37:3, wherein he compares
      “ketones passim” to “karpas.

  68. Elliott Magalnick

    Yasher koach, Harry. Your Pesach commentary on Salt Water and family disunity is golden. Your words were beautiful and right on the mark. you have wisdom beyond your years. A zissen Pessach to you and to all your subscribers.

  69. M Goldberg

    As usual, Harry is like ‘must see ‘ blog on Judaism. So Purim is the holiest day of the year and not Yom Kip Pur. that’s really something. harry did make sense. Pesach is pretty good to for closeness to G-d.

    Always worth tuning in to Harry. He is an excellent teacher.

    Happy Purim, Mordi

  70. D Hoffen

    This is the best quick learning for everyone! Thank you so much for making this available!

  71. Jeremy

    Just thought I’d drop a note to say I really enjoyed your thoughts on Va’Era… especially once you suggested getting into an airplane to experience the wonders of the world. As a pilot (I fly 4-seat Cessnas) I’ve taken a few particularly memorable flights over the past year… hope you enjoy the photos below:

    Crater Lake (OR) from 11,200ft in June… one of the most breathtaking sights I’ve ever viewed:

    Sunshine on the other side of an overcast cloud layer:

    Sunset over the eastern foothills of the Cascades (Ellensburg, WA):

    Neah Bay, the northwest tip of the Continental US:

    The beauty of Hashem’s work is unbelievable… all you need to do is take a look.

  72. Linda Haniford

    Refuting the birthday comment. If we don’t emphasize birthdays then why do we give a birthday to Mashiach except for maybe when it will be the time for redemption birthdays will become more important…Another example is that these days we encourage people to know their birthdate so that they can give other people blessings. You could argue that in that case birthdays are more important because you can’t give a blessing to a person once you’re dead…but if you absolutely know the date of your death then maybe it would be better to give them a blessing on that day.

  73. Ezra Wohlgelernter

    Harry, great to see the “Har Habayis”. Have a wonderful trip!
    Ezra Wohlgelernter

  74. Peter Fine

    I know that Eretz Yisroel gives spiritual upliftment but physical upliftment as well? – no need for suspenders!! Good shabbos!

  75. Randi

    As always, witty & wise.
    Way to go, big bro! I loved the scenery.
    Please remember us at the Kosel.

  76. What happened with Sarach bat Asher? Is it true that she played the harp for David and sang a tune about Yosef being alive and viceroy in Egypt? Didn’t Yaacov bless Sarach saying: ” Sarach, may you live forever.”

  77. Eddie Karan


    Appreciate your weekly Torah insights…I often lead a beginner’s class on Parsha on shabbos and sometime incorporate your themes in our discussion. Tizku L’Miztvot and Channukah Sameach!

  78. Michael Reiter

    Where the term you used on your opening was said by Joe Louis in 1942 when he said to his opponent, you can run but you can’t hide. The opponent’s name was Buddy Baer!

  79. Devorah

    This was THE BEST blog! You tied it all together – concise, complete & up-to-date. “Am Yisroel Chai !” Thank you, Devorah

  80. Elliott Magalnick

    I believe in AM YISROEL CHAI and the resiliency of the Jewish People as Harry does but we differ in the rebuilding of the TEMPLE. It is not our religion anymore and we are surviving and thriving without a TEMPLE. We as a people should be looking forward and not looking back.
    Elliott (Yitzchak) Magalnick

    • Partners in Torah

      I must respectfully disagree. A majority of Jews are hardly “thriving” in their connection to G-d, Judaism, and each other. We can debate the causes of assimilation. But certainly, were our thrice-daily prayers for the rebuilding of our Temple to be fulfilled – speedily, in our days – we would once again have a majestic focal point for our connection to G-d. Keep in mind that the Temple is not merely a building; it’s a rallying point. And as a spiritual portal, it is the one place on earth most conducive to perceiving G-d’s presence.

      – Harry Rothenberg

  81. Dr. Neal Levy

    Wonderful Hidush on Parshat Toldot, and, beautifully presented, as always!!
    Could you send me the source where you found the interpretation about the difference in the “opposite” prayers of Yitzchak and Rivkah? I would love to share this with my Partners In Torah group and others in my community.
    Neal Levy
    Director, Partners-In-Torah of Forest Hills – Rego Park

    • Partners in Torah

      In response to Dr Neal Levy, Harry heard that explanation from R. Uziel Milevsky, z”tl, who was quoting the Kotzker Rebbe. See the sefer Ner Uziel for more detail.

  82. hbb

    Be the best you can be. so how do we know what that means. I’ll pray in one corner and hope I get it right!

  83. I must say, that was an outstanding presentation for Parshas Chayei Sorah–a message to keep in mind every day. Thanks so much.

  84. "O"

    Loved your version of what we would have said to our father. OR what my kids would say to me.
    Great angle on the akeidah.
    Thanks Harry.

  85. Harry ..this devar is a touchdown..BTW i hear the eagles are looking for someone who can throw touchdowns weekly…you should consider

  86. Fabulous message for a person looking to grow in torah. Take what you have gotten from your parents( don’t turn your back on them) and run with it to greater heights… wow!

  87. Devorah

    Excellent message – Torah (parasha Noach) based : 1) Looking out through the window & get involved with acts of love and chesed and 2) having one’s home set with a “jewel” window to remind one that those at home need our focus, love and chesed as well. The challenge is catching the wave and finding the right balance. Thank you for the many other messages within this short video clip. Devorah

  88. "O"

    Good food for thought, Harry.
    Clear, inspiring and very practical.
    Here’s my thought: jealousy takes us out of the world (pirkei avos). Then our survival instinct kicks in and wants to take the object of our jealousy out by putting him down. So we need the Torah to show us the consequences of following our instincts.

  89. Akiva Covitz

    We are also watching back at Harvard Law School as well. Yasher koach and thank you.

  90. The Grins in the Galut

    Harry is also watched in the depths of the Galut- in Russia! Simchat Torah in the freezing rain is no fun, and Harry makes it more bearable! Kol haKavod!

  91. Marc Rosenbaum

    Moshe, Aunt Rozy (to you) and I just watched the Simchat Torah video. Moshe thinks Akiva should take over for you.

    Moadim L’Simcha,


  92. The leon family

    Just a shout out from your fans in chicago. Keep your awesome blog coming. We listen to it as we cook for Shabbat each week. Great way to start Shabbat !

  93. Dr George

    This again is for Harry….I listened to your Succos drasha and it occurred to me….that in the desert the people were protected by Clouds of Glory….had food the Manna….had water from Miriam’s well….etc….no enemies to fight….no diseases to fight….no clothes to wash….etc….etc….a bit of nirvana….Now, all you had to do is learn Torah…all day long….everyone was together….Now, they go into Eretz Yisroel….They have to fight at Jerico… is so much harsher…In reality…they were not travelling all the time in the desert….The medresh says they moved very few times….so Why not the same consideration in the Land of ISRAEL..How was it better….even one of the tribes had to feed their cattle outside the land….no well, no manna, they had to work all day just to get their bread….ok…..pls give to HAROLD and I would love to hear his answer…. Baruch.

  94. Judy Rhine

    How do you do it. You put such a world of knowledge, Hashkafa and love for Hashem in such a short time. Wow! have loads of Hatzlacha in all you endeavors!

  95. Chavah Freeman

    My husband, David and I really enjoy your weekly Dvar Torah and your ability to present concepts in such a clear, inspiring and humourous manner. Hazak u’Baruch. However, I would like to make a comment to your delightful shiur on the chag of Succot when you talked about inviting the Ushputzim into our succahs – what about the Matriachs?? Sarah, Rivka, Rahel, Leah?

  96. Dovid Rabinowitz

    Beautiful job Harry! You are crystal clear and always have inspiring and applicable messages. May you have a year of happiness, health and success as you continue to bring the Jewish People to new heights!

  97. Karen Aaron

    I just want to give thanks to you for your weekly chizuk.
    I really look forward to you eloquent words and heartfelt inspirations.May Hashem give you all the wonderful things that you deserve for you and your family.
    Gut Yom Tov
    K Aaron

  98. Naftali

    Harry was always very very smart. Makes great points

    Took my place in our kosher apartment in HRN at Penn at like age 16 or something like that.

  99. Great difficulty with shoftim. There are persons in history that are irretrievably evil. Hitler comes to mind, Hussein, Spanish Inquisitor. These people should NOT be given the benefit of ANY doubt and wouldn’t. I don’t think that humans would want to leave punishment for the almighty. There has to be some satisfaction in seeing punishment given during someone’s lifetime for the misery that these people brought to others.

    • Partners in Torah

      As Harry mentioned, rest assured that if one of the monsters you described escaped the death penalty on a technicality, the Court would have the power to jail the defendant – and jail for a murderer could be very unpleasant to say the least. (See Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 81b for

  100. perrie nordlicht

    i love your presentation, but – please remember the word ‘strength’ has a ‘g’ in it. please pronounce the ‘g’ as if it were a ‘k’. you leave it out entirely. say ‘strenkth’, sound a lot more intelligent – at any rate in the ears of this english professor.
    other wise, your presentation is just fine.
    tizkeh lemitzvot.

    • Partners in Torah

      Harry said you have to cut him some pronunciation slack – he’s from Philadelphia. 🙂

  101. Philip Landau

    Great job, Harry!!! I love listening to your amazing videos. Keep them coming. Thank you.

  102. L.H.

    Just adding to the Eikev presentation. How do we know it’s G-d? We should remember that the nations of the world are not openly observing the 7 Noachide Laws…Danger, Danger, Will Robinson (Lost in Space quote). And. Some of the nations of the world are paying us to learn Torah. This is a total and complete miracle. Etc. Etc. Bli Ayin Hara. We are living off some really good manna as we speak. Let’s give thanks to Hashem…

  103. Shoshana Rothenberg

    Great job, Dad! Keep them coming- your videos are awesome! 🙂

  104. Rebbetzin Shanzi

    My humblest congratulations (after all I am a Rebbetzin) and much hatzlacha in all future videos, Dad! Ha, ha!

  105. EM Silinsky

    Wow Harry, you said it yourself this week in Matos-Masei!
    I guess you better consider studying international law and get on over here to Eretz Yisroel to live!! Isn’t that what G-d’s plan was? Leave Egypt, get the Torah and live in the Promised Land!

  106. Simche

    Parashas Balak A common mistake it is not written Ohr LaGoyim (even a few great RAbbis)WE are not light unto the nation rather LeOhr Goyim(Isiah) a light of the nations Check & see for yourself

    with love of Israel


  107. Bob Refua


    Well said and delivered.

    I remember this Devar Torah back in the yeshiva days but just to add it one more point.
    The needs of the Jews to have things in the more normal way and not in a miraculous way, goes even way before the golden calf.

    Based on your explanation we can also explain why they could only handle hear only the first 2 commandments from Hashem and not the rest at Sinai.
    They needed things in more earthy form rather than just divine and heavenly.

    Just a thought.
    Keep up the good work.

  108. Partners in Torah Staff

    In response to Sharon,
    Harry was not claiming that anyone “goes to hell” nor that hell is an actual place. Rather, he was suggesting that hell may be an extremely unpleasant, long-lasting state of mind.

  109. Sharon

    I also learned from Harry’s interpretation.

    However, I question his intimation that if we fail to live up to our potential in this lifetime that it is the Jewish scriptural belief that we will go to hell. I thought that I had learned that we don’t believe in hell as such, but rather in a purgatory (purging/cleansing) state.


  110. Carol

    Very inspiring…keep up the great lessons. Also, just found out you live near our Torah Partner…even better!

  111. Donna

    Exceptionally articulate, Harry, thanks for sharing your thoughtful Torah introspections . . .

  112. Michael George

    Yoseph seperated from his wife during the famine because he had what to eat. He felt the need to afflict himself. For empathy? Humility? To include himself with the people? Perhaps all of the above.

  113. Chanie

    This is an interesting & refreshing review of the Parsha.Love the entertaining style with which Harry presents the lessons to be learned.Keep the video blogs coming…..

  114. Partners in Torah Staff

    In response to Isaac.
    Unfortunately there will be only one video blog each week.

  115. Partners in Torah Staff

    In response to Zevi.
    Babylonian Talmud Tractate Nedarim 32a. See also Ramban (Nachmanides) on Genesis 12:10.

  116. Aaron

    The first time I got an email from Partners of Torah with “Harry” in the title, I ignored it, thinking it was some Harry Potter shtick..this time when I saw it was Harry Rothenberg..I made sure to watch it. Great stuff’re a wizard at communicating G-d’s message in an understandable and easy to listen fashion.

  117. Zevi

    Can you please let me know the source which says that Avraham sinned, I had never heard this before. Thank you

  118. Isaac

    It sure gets your attention, brings out valid points, gets them across and INTO you. So, there will be one for every lunch or just once a week ?
    PS Good thoughts to discuss at the Shabbos Meals.

  119. Bobbi

    Love these recordings – so excellent! Short, concise and so very informative!
    Keep them coming!

  120. Binyomin H

    Reb Harry,
    I loved it. Though I sometimes hear your sermons twice (Friday night and the blog), I can listen to them again. Keep using your gifts for our people’s betterment!

  121. Partners in Torah Staff

    Here are the links for the Artscroll Chumash – Full size – Travel size

  122. Donna Joseph

    Great video’s . . . I look forward to receiving them . . . please keep this up!

  123. Avrohom Geller

    Amazing stuff!! Took a lofty concept and brought it down for all of us.

  124. shoshi

    As a 20 year veteran religious school teacher, a large reason that many many people do not know about Shavuot and the “summer” holidays is because the majority of people/children attended and do attend a supplemental religious school. That school year generally runs from Sept after Labor Day to approx the 3rd week in May or earlier. The “summer” holidays fall after that so its partly, out of school, out of mind-not experienced or taught. Sometimes Shavuot and/or Lag BaOmer are taught a bit but at the end of the year there are many absences and spring fever. I hope this answers why so many people are not aware of “summer” holidays and observances. The Jewish [overnight] camps do, however, observe any summer holidays or memorial days that fall during the dates camps are in session.

  125. Jerilyn Rubin

    Do you have a link to where you said we can get thr Torah delivered overnight? I am so glad I somehow got on your list to get your videos.

  126. A.L.

    Thanks for this video blog I’ll be viewing these on a regular basis!

  127. Partners in Torah Staff

    In response to R. Klein. This passage is found in the Talmud Tractate Kiddushin page 40a (middle of the page).

  128. R. Klein

    I have a question on the recent “Harry’s Videoblog”. Great video.

    My question, at the approximately 1:20 point in the first video, you begin to discuss the idea of a good righteous person who is good to G-d and good to man, and a righteous person who is good to G-d and not good to man (an evil righteous person).

    Can you please provide the source for where that is in the Talmud?

  129. Debie

    Excellent explanation of how our sins and merits are passed along the ancestral line and how our individual and collective purification helps us to make the choice to live in accordance with G_d’s will. Thank you very much.

  130. Helga Weisburger

    His commentaries are very instructive and lively. I just would recommend that he speak a little slower. I will certainly continue watching all future videos.

  131. Robert Alman

    Excellent presentation.
    Would like to see any other material that he presents.

  132. Bob

    Nice dvar Torah! Articulate and I loved the metaphors. Helped me understand some difficult concepts in a new way. Thanks!

  133. Sanford J. Kadish

    I’m liking these bits from Harry a lot. He should keep on mixing up the striped shirts and suspenders.

    I like the analogy to Clint Eastwood.

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