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Feb. 21, 2020 | THE BAIS MEDRASH SAVES US


“Since the day that the temple was destroyed, Hakodosh Baruch Hu has nothing in His world but the four amos of halacha.” (Berachos 8a) 

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Feb. 14, 2020 | THE ULTIMATE HUMBLING EXPERIENCE


I told my chavrusa (study partner) that learning Gemora is the “ultimate humbling experience.” 

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Feb. 07, 2020 | MAGNITUDE OF THE FINAL REDEMPTION


This week’s Torah portion describes events encompassing tremendous contrasts: fear and triumph, peace and war. After the Children of Israel miraculously break free of Egyptian slavery, we fall into contention with our redeemer, Moses, and are immediately confronted with our nemesis, Amalek. 

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Jan. 31, 2020 | A GREAT OUTCRY


It was 10 pm. I had just left an appointment. I was a few blocks away from the grounds of my old school, where, in the ancient days of my former life, I had met my wife when we were both teenagers. I drove up to the entrance and stared at the buildings. I sat in the car and wept. 

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Jan. 24, 2020 | FLAMES IN THE TREETOPS


“I … have heard the wail of the children of Israel whom Egypt enslaves and I have remembered My covenant.” (Exodus 6:5) When we are suffering and cry out to Hashem, He will rescue us. 

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Jan. 17, 2020 | WE SHOULD NOT BE SURPRISED


As the Book of Exodus open, the Children of Israel descend into Exile in Egypt. Not that they were not in Egypt already, but now darkness descends upon them. We have said goodbye to the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, and now we say goodbye to the generation of Jacob’s children, as we read: “Yosef died and all his brothers and that entire generation.” (Exodus 1:6) 

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Jan. 10, 2020 | ASSEMBLE YOURSELVES


“Assemble yourselves and I will tell you what will befall you in the end of days.” (Genesis 49:1) These are Yaakov Avinu’s (our Father Jacob’s) prophetic words to his sons as he prepares to leave this world. 

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Jan. 03, 2020 | REDEMPTION IN FRONT OF OUR EYES


“Ani Yosef … I am Yosef.”
The brothers’ mouths drop open.  

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Dec. 27, 2019 | PARO’S DREAMS


Dreams play a major part in our history. Our Father Jacob dreamed of a ladder reaching up to Heaven; Joseph dreamed of future redemption.  

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Dec. 20, 2019 | THROUGH TESHUVA, THE ENTIRE WORLD IS FORGIVEN


Immediately after the brothers sell Yosef, we read about the incident with Yehuda and Tamar (see Genesis Chapter 38). This is one of those unlikely incidents in which the Children of Israel descend to a low and even embarrassing level, from which we rise incredibly to great heights. Our entire history is logically “impossible!” It is built on miracle after miracle. 

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Dec. 13, 2019 | LONGING FOR THE DAWN


Two weeks ago we contemplated the epic struggle between our Father Jacob and his twin brother Esav. I would like to focus on this more intently, because it concerns us both individually and nationally. 

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Dec. 06, 2019 | CLIMB THE LADDER


My friends, I don’t think we are allowing ourselves to understand the gravity of world events. If we would contemplate what is happening, then our davening would be different and every thought would be directed toward personal, national and world survival. 

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Nov. 29, 2019 | THE OUTER WAR MIRRORS THE INNER WAR


As anti-Semitism heats up throughout the world, it is vital to focus on its origins, which are right here, in our Parsha. “The children agitated within her, and … Hashem said …‘Two nations are in your womb, two regimes from your insides shall be separated. The might shall pass from one regime to the other and the elder shall serve the younger.’” 

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Nov. 22, 2019 | FINDING THE SOURCE OF PURITY


“How did Avraham discover the Cave of Machpela? He was running after a calf, as it is written, ‘Then Avraham ran to the herd,’ (Genesis 18:7) The calf fled into the cave [and] Avraham followed it …. Also, he used to pray every day and go out into the field, from which wafted sublime fragrances. He saw a light coming from that cave and prayed there and the Holy One Blessed is He spoke to him there. Therefore, he desired that cave….” (Zohar 1:127a) 

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Nov. 08, 2019 | AND YOU SHALL BE A BLESSING!


About twelve years ago, my wife and I accompanied my late father when he was honored by President George W. Bush for his outstanding collection of contemporary American art. Before going to the White House, I said to Hashem, “I want to make a kiddush Hashem and speak to the President about the return of Am Yisroel to the Holy Land.” 

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Nov. 01, 2019 | EVEN THE RAINBOW IS DANGEROUS


This year, on Shabbos Shuva, there was a sudden rainstorm in the Holy Land, followed by a spectacular rainbow. Hashem says in our Parsha, “I have set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth…. and the water shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.” 

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Oct. 11, 2019 | “ON THAT DAY I WILL RAISE UP THE FALLEN BOOTH OF DOVID”


Soon, in the secular calendar, it will be 2020. Over a decade ago, I wrote a book entitled “2020 Vision.” For better or worse, things are shaping up pretty much as described in the book. 

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Sep. 27, 2019 | REDEEMING THE BEAUTIFUL SOUL


“Achos katana … The little sister…. She prepares her prayers and proclaims her praises. Oh 

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Sep. 20, 2019 | “I DON’T DO ANGRY”


I actually enjoy going to the dentist. Maybe it’s Bina, the amazing hygienist, who tells me divrai Torah as she cleans my teeth. 

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Sep. 13, 2019 | A GREAT, POWERFUL WIND


As I write, it is Rosh Chodesh Elul, the first day of the Month of Elul.
 

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Sep. 06, 2019 | STRENGTHENING OURSELVES DURING CHODESH ELUL


As I write, we are still mired in the crisis generated by the New York State Board of Education’s attack on our yeshiva system. It is not just New York. I saw a recent note regarding a Chabad school in Florida, where the regional public schools are threatening to close a program in which hundreds of Jewish children have used school facilities for over a decade. And what about England? Why are we being threatened around the world? 

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Aug. 30, 2019 | “A STATE OF BLINDNESS”


Our parsha opens with the word, “re’eh… See.” Why is this word needed?  

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Aug. 23, 2019 | HASHEM DID NOT WISH TO DESTROY YOU!


The Satan is pushing against us. As King David says, “You pushed me hard that I might fall, but Hashem assisted me.” (Psalm 118) 

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Aug. 15, 2019 | REB ZUNDEL’S MUSSAR


We have made it through Tisha B’Av and we are still alive. 

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Aug. 09, 2019 | “I AM WRONG”


Recently I was driving through a checkpoint at a United States military base. I did not see any guard, so I proceeded slowly forward. Suddenly there was a loud bang on the rear window. A military policeman stepped out of the shadows and started yelling. He wasn’t interested in hearing that I hadn’t seen him. 

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Aug. 02, 2019 | EVERY STEP DIRECTED FROM ABOVE


We have reached the end of the Book of Numbers (Sefer Bamidbar in the Torah) and the culmination of the travels of the Children of Israel through the Desert. The Holy Nation is gathered on the Plains of Moav, across from the Eastern border of the Holy Land, poised to cross the Jordan River. 

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Jul. 26, 2019 | THERE CAN BE PEACE


How does one merit “bris shalom … [the] covenant of peace?” (Numbers 25:12) 

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Jul. 19, 2019 | DANGEROUS POWER


 Bilaam was a novi.[1] A novi can give unique service to Hashem. His task in life is to transmit Hashem’s will and thereby elevate the entire world. But, like every opportunity, it is a two-edged sword. Spiritually-powerful people need humility in order to ensure that they use their power properly. Who was more powerful than Dovid Hamelech? Yet Dovid says, “I am a worm.” (Psalm 22) 

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Jul. 12, 2019 | THE LOCATION OF ETERNITY

 
Why is a human corpse the basic source of impurity? 

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Jul. 05, 2019 | HOW COULD HE DO IT?


How could Korach and his followers have rebelled against Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses)? 

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