Newsletter

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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Jun. 28, 2019 | DID WE LEARN?


It amazes me how events in each week’s Torah Portion constantly pinpoint our exact situation as we travel through history. Of course, that is our Torah. “Hashem n’chaini … Hashem, guide me in Your righteousness, because of my watchful enemies. Make Your way straight before me.” (Psalm 5:9) I remember, from my early years, blundering with no Guide and no path. 

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Jun. 21, 2019 | THE EGG


Several years ago, at this season, I heard a parable from Rabbi Naftali Jaeger Shlita”h, Rosh ha Yeshiva of Sh’or Yoshuv, in the name of the Ishbitzer Rebbe. 

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Jun. 07, 2019 | THE QUIET OF THE NIGHT


I admit it. My favorite of all the Megilas is Rus.[i] The language is simple, even spare, the essence of understatement. 

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May. 31, 2019 | SEVEN TIMES SEVEN


This week, we tremble at the Tochecha.[i] 

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May. 24, 2019 | “THE LAND IS MINE!”


Do you feel different when you are in Israel? 

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May. 17, 2019 | THE DAY OF HEALING


As I write, hundreds of rockets have been falling on Israel. Our own grandchildren returned after Shabbos to their home near Ashkelon to the sound of air-raid sirens. 

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May. 10, 2019 | PE’AH IN THE SHADOW OF GAZA

 

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May. 03, 2019 | TOWER OF FIRE


Have you ever heard of the Ashalim Solar Power Plant? 

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Apr. 18, 2019 | LARGER THAN LIFE


We say about some people, “They were larger than life.” 

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Apr. 12, 2019 | FREEDOM FROM WHAT?


My chavrusa (study partner), a respected rebbe in Yerushalayim, mentioned a disturbing conversation he had with one of his talmidim, who asked, “If marijuana is legal, why shouldn’t we smoke it?” In other words, why shouldn’t we be on drugs?  

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Apr. 05, 2019 | LIFE MAKES NO SENSE WITHOUT TORAH


The Talmud discusses the generation before Moshiach. “It was taught in a Baraisa: Rabbi Nechemia says: [In] the generation when the son of David will come, insolence will increase; honor will dwindle; the vine will produce its fruit, yet wine will be expensive; the entire kingdom will turn to heresy and there will be no rebuke.” (Sanhedrin 97a) 

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Mar. 29, 2019 | RAIN AND REDEMPTION


Next Shabbos the month of spring arrives. With the advent of Nissan, hope blooms in our hearts and flowers bloom in the fields and on the trees. During this season we have to remember that Zman Chairusainu (the Season of our Freedom) can come only after we have been released from slavery. There is no redemption unless there has been danger. That is why redemption is so powerful. 

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Mar. 22, 2019 | WE ARE THE OLAH!


Is it not strange that Passover comes four weeks after Purim? They are the same basic story: the Children of Israel are threatened by a powerful foe and saved by miraculous intervention. Why did the Torah establish one major Holiday after the other?

I believe the Torah is warning us that, throughout our long journey, this story is going to happen over and over. We are going to be in mortal danger many times until the Final Redemption arrives.  

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Mar. 15, 2019 | HAMAN FAILED!


Haman cast lots concerning which day he would try to destroy all the Jews, G-d forbid. Since he was “all powerful” and ruled a kingdom which spanned the entire world, how could the Jews escape? He had it figured out. It was “all over.” 

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Mar. 08, 2019 | IRRATIONAL!


 We have now entered the second month of Adar (which happens only during a Jewish Leap Year, seven years out of every nineteen-year cycle). During this time of year, the Torah tells us to increase simcha. But, even without the Torah’s encouragement, I believe that we all feel the optimism inherent in this season, which is assisted by a change in weather. It has been a cold winter where we live, and – Baruch Hashem! – a relatively wet winter in Israel, and now we sense the beautiful season of spring approaching.  

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Mar. 01, 2019 | “ASSEMBLE ALL THE JEWS”


Rabbi Yaakov Landau Shlita”h, the Rabbi of Congregation Chanichei Ha Yeshivos in Lakewood, spoke recently about the current state of the world. He compared our current situation to the times of Purim, when Haman ordered that letter be “sent by courier to all the provinces of the king, to destroy, to slay and to exterminate all the Jews from young to old, children and women ….” (Esther 3:13) 

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Feb. 22, 2019 | A SECOND CHANCE

  
I would like to bring you up to date on a few things.  

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Feb. 15, 2019 | THE STREETS OF YERUSHALAYIM


 I walked out of shul. The streets of Yerushalayim were still damp from the previous day’s rain. I had davened slowly and felt peaceful. The cares of the world seemed lighter, because it was clear to me that all the disturbing events of our times have been predicted as a prelude to the coming of Moshiach, and we can surely anticipate that Moshiach will be here soon.  

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Feb. 08, 2019 | CUFFLINKS


“They shall make a Sanctuary for Me, so that I may dwell among them.”(Exodus 25:8) 

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Feb. 01, 2019 | HOW DID WE FORGET?


And now we enter a new world. 

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Jan. 25, 2019 | THE SAP OF REDEMPTION


Is it a coincidence that this climactic Torah Portion, in which the Children of Israel meet Hashem at Mount Sinai, should fall out during the week of T’U b’Shevat (The New Year of Trees)? Well that question is of course unnecessary, because there are no coincidences. 

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Jan. 18, 2019 | STAND FAST AND SEE THE SALVATION OF HASHEM


The power of this week’s Torah Portion challenges description. It is not simply what happened to our ancestors, but it reflects our situation today. 

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Jan. 11, 2019 | DO NOT BE AFRAID, MY SERVANT JACOB!


And we leave Egypt. 

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