Archive | Marks_Yaakov_Rabbi

Weekly Torah portion: Tazriah

Look at It, but Not at Him! Look at Him, but Not at It! By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — Tzoraas is a misunderstood phenomenon. The Torah describes it as various discolorations that can happen to clothing, houses, or a person’s body. A trained Cohen examined the object or person and depending on the […]

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Weekly Torah portion: Vayikra

Love Yourself as You Would Your Neighbor! By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — The momentous occasion had arrived. After months of dedicated and selfless work, the Mishkan (the portable tabernacle) was completed and assembled. Moshe and all the people stood in awe and trepidation as they watched G-d’s glory descend and rest upon the […]

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Weekly Torah portion: Vayakhel

By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — Moshe faced a monumental and daunting task: the building of the Mishkan (the portable tabernacle). Enormous amounts of gold, silver, and bronze had to be procured and fashioned. Many varieties of dyed wool, linen, goat hair and ram skins needed to be processed according to complicated and intricate […]

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Weekly Torah portion: Ki Sissa

What could be wrong? It’s kosher! By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO –“They rose early in the morning and they offered burnt offerings, then they offered peace offerings. Then the nation sat down to eat and drink and performed idol worship.” (Exodus 32:6) Worship a golden calf?! How could such a thing happen? After witnessing […]

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Weekly Torah portion: Tetzaveh

By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO –The Mishkan (the portable Tabernacle) was built to be a place where G-d could dwell, presenting a more concentrated manifestation of Himself than He emanated to the rest of the world. It was the place where the people could go, with the proper preparation, to communicate with G-d with […]

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To add to the Torah is to lessen it

By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO –“And they shall make an ark of acacia wood, two and a half cubits long, one and a half cubits wide and one and a half cubits high.” (Shemot 25:10) The Talmud Sanhedrin(29a) debates the source from where the concept ‘Whoever adds (to the Commandments) diminishes them’ is derived. […]

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Weekly Torah portion: Mishpatim

By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — The Torah (Exodus 23:6-11) lists several laws that pertain to judging the disadvantaged. “Do not pervert the judgment of a poor person in his disagreement. Distance yourself from falsehood. And do not take a bribe because a bribe blinds the eyes and perverts the words of the righteous. […]

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Weekly Torah portion: Yitro

By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — After the Jews, had settled peacefully into their wilderness encampment, Yitro, Moshe’s father in law, brought Zipporah, Moshe’s wife and two sons from Midyan, to be reunited with their husband and father. Moshe and all the leaders hosted Yitro to a joyous celebratory meal in which they praised […]

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Weekly Torah portion: Vaerah

Obstacle or Opportunity? You Decide! By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — When Moshe originally spoke to the Jewish people about G-d’s plan to redeem them, Moshe performed the signs G-d had given him. The people, upon witnessing the signs, were convinced that G-d had, indeed, sent Moshe to redeem them. They enthusiastically bowed down […]

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Weekly Torah Portion: Shemot

To Free, You Must Be Free By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — Moshe is one of the most selfless leaders to ever guide a nation. As a young man being raised in the palace of Pharaoh surrounded by luxury and the choicest material pleasures the world had to offer, Moshe would daily walk out […]

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Weekly Torah portion: Vayechi

What is a Blessing? By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — After a deeply spiritual life, Yaakov is now ready to charge and bless the next generation as they prepare to carry on the mission of teaching the world the greatness of G-d. The angelic glory which emanated from Yaakov must have surely generated an […]

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Weekly Torah portion: VaYigash

By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — After decades of unfathomable hardships and a multitude of betrayals, broken dreams, and dashed hopes, Yosef now faces the perpetrators who set into motion this sequence of events. Yosef had maneuvered his brothers into a position that would allow him to attain his ultimate revenge. He was a […]

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Weekly Torah portion: Mekeitz

By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — Pharaoh had a dream in which he saw seven healthy cows come out of the Nile river and stand on the banks of the river. Seven scrawny cows followed and stood with them. At this point of his dream, the scrawny cows ate the healthy cows. Pharaoh continued […]

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Weekly Torah portion: VaYeishev

How Joseph resisted Potiphar’s wife By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — Possibly no one in history has endured the brutal emotional rollercoaster and harsh physical adversities which Yosef experienced. At a young age, he lost the love and tender care of his beloved mother. He was misunderstood and scorned by most of his brothers […]

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