Social Links Search User Login Menu

"For Instruction shall come forth from Zion, The word of the L-rd from Jerusalem." -- Isaiah 2:3


Navigate the Excerpts Browser

Before accessing the excerpts, please review a word about copyright.

Are you more of an "I'll dive right in and figure it out" person, or a "Show Me How This Thing Works" person?  If the former, go right ahead and try the excerpts browers on the right side of this page and/or scroll through the excerpts that start below the following information -- although we still suggest reading the information first.  If you are the latter, click here for a video demonstrating the Excerpts Browser. Either way (or both), enjoy! 

This page is recommended for searches limited to specific Torah books, weekly portions (parshiot), chapters, verses, and/or sources (authors). For keyword and/or for exact phrase (including verse and source) searches of the entire excerpts database, we recommend using the Search Engine page.  For broadest results, use both pages and alternative search strategies. 

This page displays the full text of all or "sorted" (filtered) excerpts in the database.  Use the "Torah Verses" and/or "Excerpt Sources" browsers at the right to locate the excerpts associated with your desired Torah book, portion, chapter. verse, or author.  Or, simply scroll through the excerpts, using the "boxes" at the bottom of any page displaying excerpts to "jump" ahead or back. 

Also note that immediately below the chapter, verse, and keyword of each excerpt is a highlighted line comprised of multiple links.  Clicking on any of the links will limit (filter) the excerpts display to the selected category.  

Transcription of excerpts is incomplete.  For current status, please see "Transcribed Sources" on the Search Engine page.  To assist with completion, please see "Contributors" page. 


The practical approach of Judaism to life is made further manifest by its conception of G-d and the teaching of the equality of all mankind. By attributing Omnipresence to Him, we declare that He is linked with the Eternity. "There is no place or time that is without Him" is a fundamental tenet of Judaism. His omnipresence is another reminder that His purpose and intervention in the lives of many cannot be frustrated. It is also an assurance of a divine, overruling power, a power which rewards and punishes according to our actions. (We cite some Biblical references to Reward and Punishment, a teaching contingent on the doctrine of man's Freewill. Exodus xx. 5-6; xxxiv. 6-7; Leviticus xxvi. 3-9; 14-16; Deut. vii. 9; xi. 13-17; 28-28; xxviii. I; Is. iii. 10-11; xxvi. 21; Jer. xxxi. 29-30; Ezek. xviii. 1-32; Ps. xxxi. 24; lxii. 12; cxlv. 20; Prov. v. 22; x. 29; xi. 31; xiii. 21; xvi. 4; xxi. 7; xxii. 8; Ecc. vii.15; xii. 13-14. Cf. Kidd. 39a "There is no reward in this world." Abot i. 3; iv. 2.) This consciousness will endow life with purpose and content instead of reducing it to a series of blind chance happenings. Remove this Omnipresence and you destroy with it a guarantee of our faith that no machination, whether t be in thought, word or deed can circumvent the ultimate realization of His purpose.


The Talmud is emphatic: Pious deeds are not rewarded in this world. The Reward and Punishment mentioned in Leviticus xxvi and Deut. xxviii are to be viewed merely as attractions or deterrents to obedience or infidelity. Here below, we have a task to do; the reward for its fulfillment will come later. (Kidd. 39a. See also Luzzatto's Introduction to his Messillat Yesharim). What greater punishment can man have for an act spelling a Hillul Ha'shem than to be told that he has polluted the soul which G-d has put within him pure and unsullied at his birth? (See Leviticus xxvi. 3-9; Deut. v. 9-10; xi. 13-17; Isa. iii. 10-11; xxvi. 21; Ezek. xviii; Ps. xxxi. 24; cxlv. 20; Prov. v. 22; x. 29; xiii. 21; Talmud: Abot 1, 3; Sotah 3b; Makkot 24a).

LEVITICUS — 26:6 peace

When G-d promises the Jewish people wealth, but also peace, as a reward for keeping the commandments, Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Binyamin Sofer (1815-1872) comments that when most societies become wealthy, like most countries in the twenty-first century who have achieved great wealth in comparison to previous generations, nevertheless, there will always be some people who have more wealth than others. This will naturally lead to jealousy and greed to accumulate more, even from people who have "enough" to live a very good and comfortable life. Thus, G-d's promise to the Jewish people is that if they keep all of the commandments, G-d will create a wealthy society that will have peace as well, i.e., a life without jealousy and greed [Leviticus 29:3-6 with Ktav Sofer commentary]. King Solomon, who was vastly wealthy, understood that a good name is a far more important achievement in life than "goodwill," or great wealth (Ecclesiastes 7:1). This has been shown to be true for those in the Jewish and non-Jewish communities, like Bernie Madoff and others who have been caught swindling other people or the government, and have permanently lost their good names, their most valuable asset.

LEVITICUS — 26:8 chase

Derech eretz can be defined as a type of behavior that will be acceptable by one's society and that is geared toward making people happy, as the Mishnah says: "Which is the proper path one should choose? One that is pleasing to the one who performs it and is pleasing to others (Avos 2:1). The essential ingredients of derech eretz are: impartiality; humility; sensitivity toward the feelings and rights of others; an understanding of human nature; a sense of justice; and respect for each individual and for humanity as a whole. Derech eretz requires a discipline of kindness, cheerfulness and constant awareness of one's surroundings. Acting with derech eretz (besides being a virtue in its own right" leads to peaceful coexistence with one's family, neighbors and society, and avoids the multitudes of misunderstandings caused by the behavior and attitudes of those who are lacking in this respect. Tanna Devei Eliyahu (Ravah 11) states: "Even when the Jewish people do not fulfill any Torah principle other than derech eretz, the verse 'Five of you shall chase one hundred, and one hundred of you shall chase ten thousand' [this verse] will be realized. If they do fulfill the principles of the Torah and perform the mitzvos, then the verse 'One shall chase one thousand, and two shall chase ten thousand' (Devarim 32:30) will come true." This statement implies that derech eretz is a redeeming virtue even when the Jewish people do not fulfill the other precepts of the Torah.

LEVITICUS — 26:16 wreak

Humans may and should use medicine to prevent, mitigate, or cure illnesses. The Torah maintains that G-d imposes illness as punishment for sin [this verse, Deuteronomy 28:22, 59-61] – although the biblical Book of Job strongly challenges this belief – and that G-d is our healer. (Exodus 15:26; Deuteronomy 32:39; cf. Isaiah 19:22; 57:18-9; Jeremiah 30:17; 33:6, etc.). That idea might lead some to conclude that medicine is an improper human intervention in G-d's decision to inflict illness, indeed, an act of human hubris. The Rabbis of the Talmud and Midrash were aware of this line of reasoning, but they countered it by pointing out that G-d Himself authorizes us to heal. In fact, the Rabbis maintained, G-d requires us to heal. They found that authorization and that imperative in several biblical verses. Exodus 21:19–20 requires that an assailant must provide for his victim to be "thoroughly healed," thus presuming that physicians have permission to cure. Deuteronomy 22:2 ("And you shall restore the lost property to him"), in their interpretation, imposes an obligation to restore another person's body as well as his/her property. On the basis of Leviticus 19:16 ("nor shall you stand idly by the blood of your fellow"), the Talmud expands the obligation to provide medical aid to encompass expenditure of financial resources for this purpose. (Continued at Leviticus 19:18 love OXFORD 314).

Torah Verses

Excerpt Sources

Complete List of Source Books
Back To Top