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“G-d has taken you and withdrawn you from ‘kur habarzel’… the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a nation of heritage for Him, as this very day…” (Deuteronomy 4:20).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

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

Archive