Ki Sisa 5778

Rabbi Reznick requested that I remove all divrei Torah that I wrote up from him. He didn’t want them in a public forum. If you would like to see a copy from this week’s parsha, please email contact@parshaponders.com.

Chayei Sarah 5778

Rabbi Reznick requested that I remove all divrei Torah that I wrote up from him. He didn’t want them in a public forum. If you would like to see a copy from this week’s parsha, please email contact@parshaponders.com.

Vaeschanan 5777

What are totafos?[1]

וקשרתם לאות על ידך והיו לטטפת בין עיניך
You shall bind [these words] as a sign on your arm, and they shall be totafos between your eyes[2]

The Torah when it describes the mitzvah of tefillin[3] describes them as being a sign on your arm and as totafos between your eyes[4]. The word totafos is hard to translate. Menachem Ibn Seruk, a tenth-century Spanish-Jewish philologist often quoted by Rashi[5], relates it to the verse והטף אל דרום, and speak to the south[6]. This verse tells us that the word totafos connotes speech. Tefillin are meant to be understood as a reminder[7]: that people will see the tefillin on a person’s head, remember the miracles of Egypt and begin to speak about them[8]. This is because two of the parshiyos, paragraphs, written in the tefillin discuss the Exodus from Egypt. In a simpler fashion, Ramban writes[9] that totafos is just the name that the Torah gave to the head tefillin.

Continue reading “Vaeschanan 5777”

Beha’alosecha 5777

Rabbi Reznick requested that I remove all divrei Torah that I wrote up from him. He didn’t want them in a public forum. If you would like to see a copy from this week’s parsha, please email contact@parshaponders.com.