Newsletter

THE SECRET OF THE FIFTEENTH DAY


Six months ago, I wrote about Tu B’Av, a holiday which brings hope after the terrible events of Tisha B’Av. There is something about the Fifteenth day of the Jewish month which is related to redemption. The first day of Passover, the first day of Sukkos, Tu B’Shevat, and Shushan Purim all occur on the Fifteenth day of the month. 

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
THE FULL MOON


A remarkable day called T’U b’Av (“the Fifteenth of Av”) occurs this Friday, July 31. The Midrash describes it as “the day on which the digging ceased” (Eichah Rabba). 

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
THE VOICE OF G-D IS UPON THE WATERS


“Kol Hashem al hamayim …. The voice of G-d is upon the waters. The G-d of Glory thunders. G-d is upon vast waters. The voice of G-d is in power! The voice of G-d is in majesty! The voice of G-d breaks the cedars; G-d shatters the cedars of Lebanon…” (Psalm 29).  We say these words every Sabbath eve. 

view
THE APPEARANCE OF DARKNESS


In Biblical times at this season, we were marching with Moses toward Mount Sinai. It was a time of tremendous anticipation. Did the Children of Israel know what was coming? Could anyone have imagined the stupendous events which were about to occur at Mount Sinai? 

view
WHAT IS SEFIRAS HaOMER?


We are in the count-down – excuse me, the count up! – from Passover to Shavuos.

It’s amazing! It’s great! But there are so many things I don’t understand. 

view
THE IRON FURNACE


“G-d has taken you and withdrawn you from ‘kur habarzel’… the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a nation of heritage for Him, as this very day…” (Deuteronomy 4:20). 

view
WHERE IS BAKU?


Next week is Passover, and I can think of no better introduction to the festival of our liberation than to report to you on our recent speaking trip to Baku.  

view
"YOU CARE ABOUT EACH OTHER"


There is a dispute whether the world was created in the Jewish month of Tishrei or Nissan (Talmud, Rosh Hashanah 10b-11a). In a real sense, the answer is …. both! Tishrei marks the anniversary of physical creation; Nissan marks the anniversary of spiritual creation.  

view
WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BE AFRAID


As I write these words, the headlines read, "Terror in Tel Aviv, Gush Etzion." And then, the following week, the headlines read, "Terrorists kill four rabbis." 

view

 

Recent Posts


Tags

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

Archive