Newsletter

THE BOY IN THE BARBER SHOP


Recently, in the barber shop, a boy was waiting for the next appointment. He wore a hockey uniform and sat hunched over his phone. He looked at no one. He said nothing. When his turn came, he wordlessly walked to the barber’s chair. No “good morning.” No smile or interaction. He looked into space. No word came from his mouth or light from his eyes.  

view
WE ARE ORPHANS!


We have arrived once again at that moment, painful for me, when we leave the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, not to meet again until next year. It is like mourning for one’s parents. How can we go on?

Just who were these angelic but achingly real people? 

view
WHAT IS DARKNESS?


“Blessed are You, L-rd, our G-d, King of the Universe, Who forms light and creates darkness, makes peace and creates all” (Morning Service).

Like anything written by our sages, these words are filled with eternal significance.  

view
TERRORIZED BY THE NEWS


I do not like the term “terrorism.”

It makes us cringe, as if we were slaves to our enemies. The word induces fear, but we are not supposed to be afraid of people. “G-d is with me. I have no fear. How can man affect me?” (Psalm 118) 

view
"EXHAUSTED NATION"


“Perhaps you will say in your heart, ‘These nations are more numerous than I. How will I be able to drive them out?’  

view
THE DREAM


It is naïve to pretend that our troubles are over, but when the holy day of T’U b’Av - the fifteenth of the month of Av - arrives, along with the next Sabbath known as Shabbos Nachamu, when verses of consolation are read, who can say that he doesn’t breathe easier, knowing that we have passed through incredible trials and that G-d Himself is giving us consolation? 

view
THE REAL SUPREME COURT II


Two weeks ago, I wrote an article concerning the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding the status of Jerusalem. This week’s Torah portion delineates the boundaries of the Land of Israel, as it says, “This is the land that shall fall to you as an inheritance” (Numbers 34:1 ff).  

view
TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE RED HEIFER


This week we are presented with the classic “chok,” a law which is seemingly incomprehensible. As the Artscroll commentary puts it, “The Midrash focuses primarily on one paradox in the laws of the Red Heifer: Its ashes purify people who had become contaminated, yet those who engage in its preparation become contaminated.” (Introduction to the Torah portion Chukas, Stone Chumash) King Solomon exclaimed concerning this mitzvah (Torah commandment), “it is far from me” (Ecclesiastes 7:23). 

view
WHAT EXACTLY IS EXILE?


How contemporary is every word of Torah!

Tragically, the events of this week’s Torah portion are reflected in our own days. As our sages tell us, “In the period which will precede the coming of the Messiah, insolence will increase … those who dread sin will be despised … and truth will be absent…” (Sota 49b). 

view
SPIES AGAIN


In this week’s Torah portion, the Jewish People encounters the other nations and becomes petrified. But we are not supposed to be afraid! As King David tells us, “G-d is with me. I have no fear. How can man affect me?” (Psalm 118) 

view
"YOU HAVE RAISED MY SOUL FROM THE LOWER WORLD"


What does King David have to do with the holiday of Shavuos?  

view
THE PATH OUT OF EXILE


I believe that it is appropriate during the Sefiras HaOmer countdown between Passover and the holiday of Shavuos to contemplate our own life and our relationship to events in the world around us. Especially in this era of history, a realistic assessment of world events is likely to lead one closer to the Master of the Universe, as it becomes increasingly clear that we cannot depend on the surrounding culture.  

view
A SATISFYING AROMA


“Ketores - the Incense Offering - the dearest of all the offerings.”  (Rashi on Numbers 16:6)  

view
FAREWELL TO THE PATRIARCHS


This week we say “goodbye” to the Patriarchs. “When Jacob finished instructing his sons, he drew his feet onto the bed; he expired and was gathered to his people.” (Genesis 49:33) 

view
REFLECTED LIGHT


Chanukah is the quintessential holiday of exile.

The neiros (Chanukah lights) illuminate the darkest season of the year. This is the only holiday that begins during the period of the waning moon. The days of Chanukah actually become darker and darker ... until the very end, because Chanukah ends just when the sliver of the New Moon is becoming visible in the night sky. 

view
ANA HASHEM HOSHIA NA … PLEASE G-D, SAVE US!


“Jacob was left alone and a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn.” (Genesis 32:25)

Who was more alone than our father Jacob? Jacob is alone and his children are alone. “Behold! It is a nation that will dwell in solitude and not be reckoned among the nations.” (Numbers 23:9) That is our unique position in the world and also our strength. 

view
RAISING OUR EYES


"[Isaac] raised his eyes, and behold: camels were coming... Rebecca raised her eyes and saw Isaac ...." (Genesis 24:63-4)

King David said, "I raise my eyes to the mountains; from where will my help come? My help is from Hashem, Maker of heaven and earth..." (Psalm 121) 

view
EVIL AUTOMOBILES


The Torah portion of Bereishis described how Hashem made a perfect world. This week’s Parsha describes how man can destroy it! I regret to say this (although everyone knows it): today’s world resembles Sodom a lot more than the Garden of Eden. But Hashem has limited tolerance for the destruction of His world. What happened to Sodom is very relevant to us today. 

view
MIRACLE AT KENNEDY AIRPORT


The world was filled with idolatry. One man, our Father Abraham, understood that there had to be a Creator. He found the Torah and its Author. From our Father Avraham descended a nation of Priests, “goy kadosh … a holy nation.” (Exodus 19:6) In today’s darkness, Hashem is still close to us. If we look for Him we can find Him. We simply have to keep looking.  

view
DON'T BLAME THE MEDIA


People are upset at the media.

During the War in Gaza, it seemed as if the entire world was against Israel! And for good reason! It was! I want to ask: are you surprised? 

view

 

Recent Posts


Tags

tabernacle prayer mitzva terrorism Nation of Israel Macabees Achashveirosh Gog kesuba Eglon Boaz prophets Holocaust bird God Magog Holy Temple kiddush Europe Parsha Judah bible Genesis ethics siddur Samuel Ashkenazi Hasmoneans Sages Holy Ark Shushan Ishamael Geula war Babylon Ishmeal Ishmael tears song United Nations Blame sacrifices terror missiles Land of Israel Adam Western Wall Maimonides Temple Mount alone Children of Israel Rosh Hashana slavery kosher prophet Samuel fragrance Master of the Universe enemies Canaan spies idolatry shofar Ten Commandments yarmulke redeemer Isaac Psalms Yaakov Yerushalayim Sabbath 2020 Vision angels Hagar Exodus creation holy fault automobiles persecution Day of Atonement Final redemption Golan Raiders of the Lost Ark Moses slaves Sea of Galilee Jeremiah Moshiach violence Hebrew G-d three weeks Banias flood purity King Solomon commandment Ezekiel Tu b'Av Eve hubris water Laban Tzuk etan Rabbis seder Prophecy priests Judgement Day Esther Miriam Song of Songs Mount Sinai incense Jewish holidays holiday Rosh Hashanah terrorist America Shavuos fires Egypt survival Earth logic New Moon India materialism End of Days Ammon rosh chodesh Torah portion Pharaoh Pinchas prayers Baku Greeks Red Sea brotherhood Terror Attack in Jerusalem Haman matzos Golus heavenly gates king Torah Matisyahu Isaiah culture Moab Maccabeans repentance Purim Rebbe kinneret compassion Chafetz Chaim eternal King of the Universe King David Balak Passover Dead Sea media Chol haMoed Midrash judgement Torah scholars peace Divine presence patriarchs'matriarchs Abraham rain Sarah stars paradise spiritual evil inclination Teshuva Rabbi Akiva prayer book rabbi Leah repent trees stones heaven Tisha b'Av Red Heifer Shechina eternity Angel of Death Beit Hamikdash fear Sukkos prophet Zechariah dreams Amram menorah lights forefathers Rebecca Mount Hermon Zion, Angel Jewish festival Passover Seder Malbim tablets Chanukah Sefiras haOmer Tu b'Shvat Zohar world to come esrog moon Avraham pain Matriarchs Jew Sukkah darkness resurrection Jerusalem shmittah mikveh soul Israel redemption shield of Abraham evolution idol Elul deluge Bilaam Edom leprosy Bais Hamikdosh Jacob Lot earthquake Lunar eclipse liberation Galil heavenly throne Rome cholent patriarchs cries Holiness Temple Moshaich Sodom Hashem Judaism High Holy Days Chanukkah chaos Creator mitzvos Rashi Repentence messiah Sephardi Jewish People meraglim murder Golden Calf Tallis bris milah Mordechai Chofetz Chaim Heavenly Mercy mikveh, Sabbath Father in Heaven Holy land Samuel the Prophet death locusts miracles Protective edge sin salvation Tefillin Western World Talmud night Garden of Eden danger miracle Esau Zion Joseph barley tremors Mount Zion Day of Judgement yeshiva pray Benjamin self-worship Babylonia Yom Kippur blessing Solomon exile sanctity Aharon gossip David High Priest secret minyan spirituality biblical Noah Amalek plague Miraglim Solar eclipse Ruth light Rachel sun terrorists synagogue Abrahem keys Second Temple chessed Faith angel Jews Psalm Shabbos Moshe evil Jewish ancestors

Archive