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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
The Light of the Menorah
December 17th, 2020
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
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
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.
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?
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
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,
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
The Unique Yom Tov
December 10th, 2020
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
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
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
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
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