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.”
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.”
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.
Sep. 27, 2019 |
REDEEMING THE BEAUTIFUL SOUL
“Achos katana … The little sister…. She prepares her
prayers and proclaims her praises. Oh
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.
Sep. 13, 2019 |
A GREAT, POWERFUL WIND
As I write, it is Rosh
Chodesh Elul, the first day of the Month of Elul.
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?
Aug. 30, 2019 |
“A STATE OF BLINDNESS”
Our parsha opens with the word, “re’eh… See.” Why is this word needed?
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)
Aug. 15, 2019 |
REB ZUNDEL’S MUSSAR
We have made it through Tisha
B’Av and we are still alive.
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.
Aug. 02, 2019 |
EVERY STEP DIRECTED FROM ABOVE
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.
Jul. 26, 2019 |
THERE CAN BE PEACE
How does one merit “bris shalom … [the] covenant of
peace?” (Numbers 25:12)
Jul. 19, 2019 |
Bilaam was a novi.
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)
Jul. 12, 2019 |
THE LOCATION OF ETERNITY
Why is a human corpse the basic source of impurity?
Jul. 05, 2019 |
HOW COULD HE DO IT?
could Korach and his followers have rebelled against Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses)?
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.
Jun. 21, 2019 |
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.
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.
May. 31, 2019 |
SEVEN TIMES SEVEN
This week, we tremble at the Tochecha.[i]
May. 24, 2019 |
“THE LAND IS MINE!”
Do you feel different when you are in Israel?
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.
May. 10, 2019 |
PE’AH IN THE SHADOW OF GAZA
May. 03, 2019 |
TOWER OF FIRE
Have you ever heard of the Ashalim Solar Power Plant?
Apr. 18, 2019 |
LARGER THAN LIFE
We say about some people, “They were larger than life.”
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?
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)
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.
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.
Mar. 15, 2019 |
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.”