Feb. 15, 2019 |
THE STREETS OF YERUSHALAYIM
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.
Feb. 08, 2019 |
“They shall make
a Sanctuary for Me, so that I may dwell among them.”(Exodus 25:8)
Feb. 01, 2019 |
HOW DID WE FORGET?
And now we enter a new world.
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
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.
Jan. 11, 2019 |
DO NOT BE AFRAID, MY SERVANT JACOB!
And we leave Egypt.
Jan. 04, 2019 |
EXILE AND REDEMPTION
The Torah goes at great length into the Egyptian Exile because
we have to understand the reality of Exile. The Torah goes at great length into
the Redemption through Moses because we have to understand the reality of
Dec. 28, 2018 |
G-D HEARD THEIR MOANING
“A new king arose over Egypt who did not know of Joseph
… Pharaoh commanded his entire people,
saying, ‘Every boy that will be born … you shall throw him into the river ….” (Exodus
1:8ff) We were threatened then and we
are threatened now.
Dec. 21, 2018 |
WITH DAWN, A CRY OF JOY
Dec. 14, 2018 |
decades ago, a few years after we got married, before the dawn of Torah in our
lives, my wife and I lived for over a year in England. I was studying English
Language and Literature at Balliol College, Oxford (founded 755 years ago).
Although some might think those years were a waste, it is not true. Hashem
guides one through life, and I was led to study English-language skills which I
use to this day in books, articles and public speaking. I was taught clarity
and proper use of the English Language.
Dec. 07, 2018 |
“LISHMA” … FOR ITS OWN SAKE
This Friday night there will be six lights on the Chanukah Menorah in addition to the Shabbos lights. The house will be full
of light. What is special about the Chanukah
lights is that you cannot use them for seeing your way. They are just for
Nov. 30, 2018 |
THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR OUR BLESSING
My wife and I had been speaking at the University of
Michigan. At the Detroit airport, returning to New York, we had to wait for a
shuttle bus. There was a man behind the counter, apparently from Haiti. He
acted like a functionary, exhibiting no warmth or friendliness. As we left for
the bus, I said “Thank you,” and
reached out to shake his hand. This gesture had a remarkable effect. He
suddenly emerged from behind the counter, bowing to us and smiling.
Nov. 23, 2018 |
LOOKING AT AN ANGEL
“Vayishlach … Jacob sent angels ahead of him to Esau….” (Genesis 32:4)
Nov. 16, 2018 |
“Jacob departed from
Be’er Sheva and went toward Haran….” (Genesis 28:10)
Nov. 09, 2018 |
BE’ER SHEVA THEN AND NOW
“[Yitzchak Avinu] went
up … to Be’er Sheva. Hashem appeared to him that night and said, ‘I am the G-d
of your father Avraham. Fear not, for I am with you. I will bless you and
increase your offspring because of Avraham my servant.’ He built an altar there,
invoked Hashem by Name, and there he pitched his tent …. Avimelech went to him
from Gerar….” (Genesis 26:23-26)
Nov. 02, 2018 |
THE LEAST COMFORTABLE PATH
Recently, my wife
and I visited Ma’aras Hamachpaila, the Cave of Machpaila in Chevron, the
burial place of our Fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and our Mothers Sarah,
Rebeccah and Leah as well as Adam and Eve. Standing before the ancient stone
building, we felt the kedusha wash
Oct. 26, 2018 |
We learn from our
Father Abraham that we are different from all other nations. We are directly
connected with the Master of the World; we are not bound by the laws of nature.
Oct. 19, 2018 |
THE OLIVE TREE
The High Holidays are
a massive spiritual mountain. Wherever we are on that mountain, we have a lot
of climbing to do.
Oct. 12, 2018 |
A HUMBLE MAN RIDING UPON A DONKEY
In this week’s Torah
Portion, life on this planet is destroyed. I believe the Torah is showing us
that everything in the material world is vulnerable. Since mankind has left the
Garden of Eden, life has been a cycle of destruction and rebirth. We depend on
Hashem’s promise of techias Hamaisim (Resurrection of the Dead). Just as
“Noah” is the second Torah Portion, so “Techias
Hamaisim” is the second blessing in Shemoneh Esreh: “And You [Hashem]
are faithful to revive the dead!”
Sep. 21, 2018 |
A WORLD OF LIGHT
is the most amazing place in the world.
Sep. 07, 2018 |
WHY DID HASHEM CREATE DARKNESS?
Early this summer, my wife and I flew to Moscow. We left New York in the afternoon. I davened mincha (the afternoon prayer) on the plane and waited for dark so that I could daven maariv (the evening prayer).
Aug. 31, 2018 |
THE FIFTEEN-FOOT LADDER
There is a store in Lakewood, New Jersey where I buy hats
and shoes. This place has my extremities covered. (I guess the soul is my responsibility!) I want to tell
you why I like this store. Mr. Aaron Yosef Schreiber puts his soul into this
business. I like to patronize stores where someone cares. I dislike chain
stores, where you can stand on line at the checkout for an hour and no one is
interested. They get a salary with or without you.
Aug. 24, 2018 |
THE LAST EXILE
“Ki seitzei … When you go out to war against your enemies ….” (Dvarim 21:10)
Aug. 17, 2018 |
THE CONCEPT OF MONARCHY
Recently, my wife and I were privileged to travel to Russia
for a brief but fascinating trip under the leadership of Rabbi Aryeh Katzin, a principal
force behind Russian kiruv in the U.
S. Rabbi Katzin heads RAJE (Russian-American Jewish Experience) and founded
Sinai Academy. He grew up under Communism in Russia, learned Torah in
Yerushalayim, and was recruited some thirty years ago by leading American rabbis,
principal among them Rabbi Elya Svei zt”l.
Aug. 10, 2018 |
THE ANATOMY OF LOSHON HARA
This Shabbos and Sunday are Rosh
Chodesh Elul! One month until Rosh
Aug. 03, 2018 |
We are now in the Season of Teshuva (repentance). Next Shabbos
is Rosh Chodesh Elul, but – after all
– the entire summer is a time of teshuva.
Is this not what The Three Weeks are all about?
Jul. 27, 2018 |
SHEMONEH ESREH AS A PATH TO TESHUVA
Moshe Rabbeinu] implored Hashem at that time.” (Deuteronomy 3:23)
Jul. 20, 2018 |
THERE MAY YET BE HOPE!
“Eulogize the pious
and proper ones who sank in the treacherous waters. At the memory of this, my
soul is grieved.” (Kinnah 22, Tisha B’Av)
Jul. 13, 2018 |
“YOUR THOUGHTS ARE NOT MY THOUGHTS”
“These are the
commandments and the ordinances that Hashem commanded through Moses to the
Children of Israel in the plains of Moav at the Jordan River by Jericho.” (Numbers
Jul. 06, 2018 |
COVENANT OF PEACE
As the Three Weeks begin, we hear news that the government
of Great Britain intends to implement rulings that would force all schools in
England to adhere to a curriculum which is antithetical to Truth as revealed by