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About Larry Tobin

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So far Larry Tobin has created 29 blog entries.

Ki Tisa 5782 – The Human Dichotomy

In Parshat Ki Tisa the Jewish nation is again faced with a test of faith. Moses leaves to receive the Ten Commandments. Rather than prepare themselves spiritually to await this sacred moment, some instead use their time to engage in another activity: the construction of a golden calf. Things get worse when it appears that […]

Beshalach 5782 – Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Have you ever found yourself caught between a rock and a hard place? Well, that’s exactly the dilemma that the fleeing Jews of Egypt found as they made their way toward the promised land. The full might of Egypt was behind them. The sea was in front of them. What to do? 

We are called up […]

Vayetzei 5782 – Leah: The Unloved Wife and the Underrated Matriarch

Parshat Vayetze is dedicated to the early years of Jacob. It encompasses his decision to leave home and pursue a life away from his family and the trials and tribulations of so doing. We read about his dream of a ladder connecting Heaven and earth. We meet the deceptive Laban and follow Jacob’s twenty years […]

Vayera 5782 – Akedat Yitzchak Unravelled

Vayera is one of the most challenging Parshas to understand. It is filled with mysteries from start to finish. Why did Sarah laugh when told that she was about to give birth to a son at age ninety? Why did Abraham advise Avimelech that Sarah was his sister? Why did G-d spare Lot? Why did […]

Va’etchanan 5781 – And I Pleaded

Parshat Vaetchanan. What an incredible Parsha. My bar Mitzvah Parsha. Okay, that’s not what makes it so incredible. But it was incredible to me to have the opportunity to chant this entire Parsha to a congregation so many years ago.

Vaetchanan means “and I pleaded”. Moses pleaded to G-d to be able to enter the […]

Balak 5781 – And You Thought Mister Ed Was Something Special

Parshat Balak, to say the least, is a very unusual and interesting Parsha. To summarize briefly, The B’nai Yisroel were having a field day destroying all of their enemies. Balak, king of Moab, feared that he was next. He could have made friends with the Jewish nation by simply offering them food and water during […]

Shelach 5781 – Fear of the Unknown

What an amazing opportunity. I had previously given a D’var to the Kehilla on Parshat Shelach where, among other things, I explored the sin of the ten spies who warned against entering Israel. I noted that they not only had sinned, but that the punishments handed out were Midah K’neged Midah (measure for measure). In […]

Shabbat Pesach Day 7 – Beshallah – Do Miracles Really Happen

Do you believe in miracles? Two things come to my mind when I think of miracles: Parsha Beshalach and Jacob Lefkovitz. This week’s Parsha is Beshalach. It mentions a number of purported miracles that occurred. The sea split to allow the Israelites to safely pass through and avoid the onslaught of the pursuing Egyptians. The […]

Pinchas: Hero or Villian

Over the years I have listened to countless speeches criticizing our Biblical ancestors. How could Abraham sacrifice his beloved son Isaac? How could Moses abandon his role as father and husband to take on the leadership of the B’nai Yisroel? How could Jacob cheat his brother Esau and trick his father Isaac? How could Pinchas […]

Shelach 5780 – No Good Deed Goes Unchallanged

Parshat Shelach. The story of the 12 spies. An oft told tale. Two good spies rewarded. Ten bad spies punished. Simple, right?

Let’s take a closer look at this intriguing story. What was the terrible wrong committed by ten of the spies? Didn’t they report what they saw? Maybe they exaggerated a little, but fear can […]