Weekly Inspiration

Why Is Rosh Chodesh Teves Unique?
December 2nd, 2021
I made an amazing discovery at this time last year.  There is nothing more exciting than a spiritual discovery, because your consciousness suddenly expands and the entire world becomes clearer. A layer of the onion is peeled away and something separating you from Hashem disappears. You have
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Jealousy
November 25th, 2021
First, an update: as soon as last week’s article on “Geshem … Rain” appeared, it started to rain in Israel!  I do not attribute this phenomenon to the article itself. However, it is possible that people started praying for rain after reading the article, and
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Geshem ... Rain!
November 18th, 2021
Hashem says, “I will provide grass in your field for your cattle and you will eat and be satisfied.” And then He says, “Beware lest your heart be seduced and you turn astray and serve gods of others and bow to them. Then the wrath of Hashem will blaze against you. He will
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Alone in a Dark World
November 11th, 2021
This Parsha begins with intense drama: Yaakov is totally alone; the sun sets; he is enwrapped in darkness. He sleeps and dreams and sees a ladder extending up to Heaven.  This is Yaakov Avinu and his children forever: we are alone in the dark world and our umbilical cord, the only
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The Children Struggled
November 4th, 2021
This Parsha is so big! This is our past and present and holds the key to our future.  Most of us have grown up in the culture of the West. Today you can be in the Far East and still live in the culture of the West. This is the culture of Esau, Yaakov’s twin brother. They came from the
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Eastward, To the Land of the East
October 28th, 2021
After the death of Sarah, Avraham Avinu “took a wife whose name was Keturah. She bore him [several sons].” Avraham “gave all that he had to Yitzchak, but to the children of [Ketura, Avraham] gave gifts. Then he sent them away from Yitzchak his son while he was still
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Every Grain of Sand is Different
October 21st, 2021
On the seventh day of the month of Cheshvan in the Land of Israel, we insert the prayer for rain into the Shemoneh Esreh.[1] On that very day this year, rain fell in the Land of Israel! “Af bri is designated as the name of the angel of rain, to thicken and to form clouds, to
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Beyond Comprehension
October 14th, 2021
“Aizehu Gibor … Who is strong? He who subdues his personal inclination, as it is said, ‘He who is slow to anger is better than the strong man, and a master of his passions is better than the conqueror of a city.’” (Pirkei Avos 4:1) Can you imagine the strength of
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The Institution Of Marriage
October 7th, 2021
Recently, Switzerland – known as one of the world’s most conservative countries -- conducted a national referendum legalizing the deviation from the Torah laws of marriage which is currently sweeping the world. (I am intentionally being vague, because I do not even want to dignify this
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Yes, The Sin is Mine!
September 14th, 2021
“Al chait .… May it be Your will, Hashem, our G-d and the G-d of our forefathers, that You forgive us for all our unintentional sins and pardon us for all our intentional sins and grant atonement to us for all our rebellious sins .… for the sin that we have sinned before
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Let the Year and its Blessings Begin!
September 2nd, 2021
Next year is Shmittah. The Gemora tells us that “B’motza-ai Shvi’is ben Dovid ba … after Shmittah the Son of David will come…” (Sanhedrin 97a) The “Son of David” is Moshiach.  But there have been
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Break Your Will
August 26th, 2021
“Even though I walk through the valley overshadowed by death, I will not fear evil, for You are with me….” (Tehillim 23) Human beings go through a lot. We cannot even begin to understand some of the pain that we ourselves and others endure. How did even one person survive
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A Week In Gehenom
August 19th, 2021
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I am overflowing with praise and gratitude to the Ribono shel Olam. But I had a week in Gehenom. I had spine surgery on Friday, August 6, the 28th Day of Menachem Av in the year 5781, the Year before Shmittah. This was
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Yisroel Neuberger: Stop Kvetching!
August 5th, 2021
By the time you read this, if things go as planned, I will have had spine surgery.  I would appreciate your prayers. My name is Yisroel ben Malka.  Jews pray for good health by using their mother’s name. Mothers are filled with compassion for their children. Did we not just read
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Fear
July 29th, 2021
There is a famous niggun with words attributed to Rabbi Nachman of Breslov: “Kol ha olam kulo, gesher tzar me-od … all the world is a narrow bridge, and the main thing is not to fear ….” These are powerful words. What exactly do they mean? Even if we do not
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"Anna"
July 22nd, 2021
This is the week of Shabbos Nachamu, a time of comfort after the unbearable suffering of Tisha B’Av. This Shabbos, we rekindle the fire of hope within our hearts, the hope and belief that Hashem will soon wipe away all our tears. At this time, I want to present a bitter-sweet
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There May Yet Be Hope
July 15th, 2021
There is a place in Yerushalayim where our Bais Hamikdosh used to stand, and we are wondering: “What happened? Why is it not yet rebuilt? Why has Moshiach not come?” My friends, it is not so difficult to understand.  Every year we read Parshas
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Real Fruit
July 8th, 2021
This Shabbos is Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av and the Nine Days begin.  We are in the U.S. for a few weeks. The United States has been a wonderful haven for Am Yisroel for hundreds of years, but things are changing here and all over the world.  We noticed
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The Loudest Sound in the Universe
July 1st, 2021
Dear friends, we are in the midst of the Three Weeks and we are concerned. All around us, frightening events are occurring. It says in Tehillim, “Yimotu kal mosdai aretz … all the foundations of the earth collapse ….” (Psalm 82) This is happening globally
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Torah is the Fence of the World
June 24th, 2021
In this week’s Parsha, Rashi asks why Hashem saw fit to “rest His Shechina on [Bilaam] a wicked non-Jew.”He answers from Medrash Tanchuma that Hashem wanted to prevent the [non-Jewish] nations from having an excuse for their evil by saying, “if we would
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There May Yet Be Hope
June 17th, 2021
The Month of Tammuz inaugurates the most tragic period in the Jewish calendar. As we begin this month, in the year 5781, extremely disturbing events are taking place among the Jews in the Land of Israel.  As I write, the State of Israel has formed a government whose agenda is hatred
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A Hole in the Ground
June 10th, 2021
This is the monumental rebellion.  How on earth can Korach rebel against his cousin, his friend, his leader, his beloved Rebbe, Moshe Rabbeinu? Can you imagine!  The generation of the Midbar merited to live with Moshe Rabbeinu, to learn from Moshe Rabbeinu, to be led by Moshe
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Are We Grasshoppers?
June 3rd, 2021
In the Long Island community where we used to live before we made aliyah, there was a recent rally on the theme, “We dare not be silent as our community is targeted by violent anti-Semitism.”  Could this happen in America? In my book, Hold On, I wrote: “There is
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What is Gaza?
May 27th, 2021
There is never “coincidence” when it comes to the weekly Torah Portion.  Each week, it is decreed in Heaven that words of Torah come to give us insight into whatever is going on at that exact moment in our lives or the life of the world.  Last week was the second week in
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Why Do They Hate Us?
May 20th, 2021
As I write from my home in Yerushalayim, I hear the sound of Israeli jets overhead. Missiles are falling. Arabs are rioting. This country is at war.  Not only that, but the world is at war against us.  Around the globe, demonstrators denounce Israel.  Why do they hate
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Fire on the Temple Mount
May 11th, 2021
This is Dovid ha Melech’s Yom Tov.  Dovid was born and died on Shavuos. We read Megilas Rus, the story of how Dovid arose from the “ashpos,” the trash heap of Moav to bring healing to the entire world. And we receive the Torah. Why is Dovid in particular
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We Are All Crushed
May 5th, 2021
Why is the Redeemer called “Moshiach?” It’s all about olive oil. “Moshiach”means “anointed,” as it says, “Shmuel took the horn of oil and anointed [Dovid] in the midst of his brothers, and the spirit of Hashem passed over Dovid from
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Barley and Wheat
April 28th, 2021
It says in this week’s Parsha, “You shall count for yourselves … seven weeks, they shall be complete. Until the day after the seventh week, the fiftieth day, you shall count, and then you shall bring a new meal-offering to Hashem….” (Vayikra 23:15)  We are in
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Fire!
April 21st, 2021
Is this the end of Corona? Is life returning to “normal?” We all desire a normal existence.  But it seems clear that Corona, like the Plagues of Ancient Egypt, came into the world to accomplish something, and we must ask: has that been accomplished?  I have often repeated
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Holy People
April 13th, 2021
This Shabbos is the twenty-fourth Yahrzeit of my beloved mother, Malka bas Aharon.  She was a heroic lady.  It takes courage to confront oneself, especially if you are living “the good life.” But she did it. She was a straight person, “Yashar” as they say in
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The Egg
April 7th, 2021
I have presented this moshul several times since having heard it years ago from Rabbi Naftali Jaeger Shlita”h, who told it over in the name of the Ishbitzer Rebbe. This is a such a classic that I feel moved to tell the story once again, and now is the time.  We are in the season of
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When You Reach the Bottom
March 24th, 2021
Rabbi Yaakov Galinsky zt”l was imprisoned along with other yeshiva bocherim in 1941 in a railway boxcar bound for Siberia. There was barely any air, food or water. The train rolled along for 2500 miles; the trip lasted over one month. When they finally reached this frozen wasteland, their
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Ten Drops of Wine
March 17th, 2021
“Baruch Ata … Blessed are You, Hashem, Who creates the fruit of the vine.” What is it about wine? Why does Purim overflow with wine?  Why do we drink Four Cups on Pesach?  Why do we inaugurate Shabbos with wine? Imagine: you had a stressful week. You feel pressed
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Who Is Hashem?
March 10th, 2021
This Shabbos we usher in Chodesh Nissan. In two weeks it will be Pesach!  This is the season of our liberation from personal and national slavery. There is a reason that Pesach is in the forefront of our thoughts every day, and that is because the battle against slavery has not ended. It will
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I Am a Neshoma
March 3rd, 2021
Why did our ancestors make a Golden Calf?  What does it have to do with us today, 3300 years later?  This was a very serious event. Because of it, Hashem was prepared to eliminate the entire generation which He liberated from Egypt. In the words of Rabbi S. R. Hirsch, Hashem said in
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Waking From a Bad Dream
February 23rd, 2021
Is rain in Israel such a big deal?  “Mashiv haruach u’morid hageshem …. He makes the wind blow and the rain descend.”  Egypt is watered by the Nile. No one has think about it. It just happens every year. The River floods and live-giving water revives the land.
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Elevate Everything On Earth
February 10th, 2021
The Chumash now becomes a different sefer. Up to now, we have been studying a historical account beginning with the creation of the world and leading up to the moment at which Am Yisroel stands before Hashem at Har Sinai. Now the Written Torah becomes explicitly a Book of Law. In the next many
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A Fearsome Storm
February 3rd, 2021
Even though Har Sinai is the lowest of the mountains, it is the eternal reference point. This is the peak we have been climbing since Beraishis.  Everything in history centers around Har Sinai. Not only is the meeting between Hashem and Am Yisroel the central focus of Jewish history, it is
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Panic!
January 27th, 2021
Talk about panic. “Egypt pursued … and overtook them, encamped by the sea …. The Children of Israel raised their eyes and behold! Egypt was journeying after them and they were very frightened. The Children of Israel cried out to Hashem. They said to Moshe …. ‘What
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Total Dependance
January 20th, 2021
Corona is a year old.  This plague was first mentioned in the news on December 31, 2019. At first its significance was not understood, but since then it has turned the entire world upside down. We heard recently about a once-wealthy country where people have been basically confined to their
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The Code Word
January 14th, 2021
I shall harden Paro’s heart and I shall multiply My signs and My wonders in the Land of Egypt. Paro will not heed you, and I shall put My hand upon Egypt, and I shall take out My legions – My people, the Children of Israel – from the land of Egypt with great judgments. And Egypt
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Exile
January 7th, 2021
“Yosef died and all his brothers and that entire generation…. A new king arose over Egypt, who did not know of Yosef.” (Shemos 1:6-8) So Golus began. It all started with machlokes, a fight between the brothers! Several weeks ago, the high court of the European Union decided to
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Dreams
December 30th, 2020
Dreams play a huge role in Sefer Beraishis, especially in the lives of Yaakov Avinu and Yosef ha Tzaddik. Dreams can offer us a glimpse of Shomayim and affect our actions in this world. Now that Sefer Beraishis is concluding and we must say farewell to our Avos and Imahos until next year, it is
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Where is Moshiach?
December 23rd, 2020
Anyone who has read my columns over the years will know that Vayigash is, for me, the most emotional Parsha in the Torah.  “Ani Yosef! Ha-od avi chai? …. I am Yosef. Is my father still alive?” Imagine the brothers’ shock when they hear these words. Jaws drop. Eleven
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A New Moon In The Sky
December 18th, 2020
So here we are the Eighth Day, and a New Moon is shining in the night sky!  We have conquered darkness and depression and we have found a path to escape from the tyranny of our feelings, which mislead us constantly. There is hope where we thought there was no hope. There is Shalom Bayis where
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The Light of the Menorah
December 17th, 2020
Greetings Friends,  Here are some thoughts for the Seventh Day of Chanukah, continuing our discussion:  When a wife says in her heart, “I cannot stand to look at my husband,” she is following her feelings, her Yetzer ha Ra.  Of course, it works two ways. A husband can
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Am I A Slave?
December 16th, 2020
Dear Friends, here is a message for the Sixth Day of Chanukah, continuing in our series:  Every morning we say “shelo asani eved,” which means that I am thanking Hashem for not making me a SLAVE!  Ever since we were expelled from Gan Eden, we have been slaves to the Yetzer
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The Great Battle
December 15th, 2020
Greetings, Dear Friends,  Here is the message for the Fifth Day of Chanukah, continuing in our series …. Shalom Bayis breaks down when we follow our heart and eyes and not the Holy Torah. When our feelings govern our behavior, we are on the slippery road to Gehenom.
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Going After Your Heart
December 14th, 2020
I mentioned the wife who is repelled by her husband.  What does this have to do with Torah sh’baal pe and the Yetzer ha Ra?  Everything!  Every day we say in the Shema, do not go after “your heart and your eyes.” What happens when you go after your heart? You
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The Oral Torah
December 12th, 2020
Many marriages are struggling these days. The light has gone out of the house; often the husband and wife do not know how to restore it. Recently someone told me about a couple that has been married for many years, but the wife actually feels repelled by her husband. This is a very dark scenario,
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The Aishes Chayil
December 11th, 2020
During Chanukah, when we light the menorah and the flame is burning, Jewish wives are not allowed to work, as it says, “Women customarily refrain from work as long as the [Chanukah] lights in the home are burning.” (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:3)  We remember the remarkable courage
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The Unique Yom Tov
December 10th, 2020
Dear Friends,  This Chanukah, I plan to send out one message (written and video) for each of the eight days. Here is the message for the First Day.  Leah and I wish you a Yom Tov … and an entire life! … filled with light and blessing!    Chanukah is the only
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The Dust Storm
December 2nd, 2020
We begin every day with these brachas, so they must be important. “Blessed are You, Hashem … Who gives the heart understanding to distinguish between day and night.” “Blessed are You, Hashem, that I am not a slave!” “Blessed are You, Hashem, Who clothes the
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Do You Think I Am A Calm Person?
November 25th, 2020
The opening scene of this week’s Parsha always thrills me. I see Yaakov Avinu in this vast world with the stars above him, setting out on the journey which will change world history forever. He is completely alone; there is no one else … until he becomes aware of the malachim going up
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Bereft... Memories of Rabbi Dovid Feinstein ZT"L
November 19th, 2020
In the spring of 2019, my dear friend and colleague Reb Tsemach Glenn took me to the Lower East Side of Manhattan and introduced me to the Gaon ha Rav Dovid Feinstein zt”l. If you have read my book, From Central Park to Sinai: How I Found My Jewish Soul, you will know that I was raised on the
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We Do Not Have the Strength
February 16th, 2020
“They shall make a Sanctuary for Me….” (Shemos 25:8) We need a Sanctuary, a place where the Shechina can rest, where our souls can find rest, a place we can trust, a place where Truth prevails.  In this week’s Parsha, Hashem commands us to build the Mishkan, the
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