Place yourself in the shoes of one of your ancestors on the day we were freed from slavery in Egypt. After hundreds of years of bondage, you have seen God punish your oppressors with 10 miraculous plagues, completely destroying their once-great civilization. Moshe has said that God is leading you on a three-day journey to Israel,
There are times in life when we are seemingly challenged beyond our capacity to cope. We may be dealing with a sick parent, a wayward child, a financial calamity or problems with a spouse. This may lead to feelings of despair and discouragement to the point where, even if a solution presents itself, we may be too despondent to even see the opportunity. This
It all started on visiting day during the summer of 2015.
The Friedmans were driving in the Catskills on Route 17, between Exits 96 and 97, when their car began emitting an awful smell. Mr. Friedman pulled over to the side of the highway to see if he could determine what the problem was. As soon as the car stopped, his children bounded out
In Parshat Vayigash we read how Yaakov was introduced to Pharaoh. When Pharaoh first sees Yaakov he is amazed to see someone who looks so old. He asks him his age but uses an interesting choice of words. He says, “How many are the days of the years of your life?”
Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch
The fast of Asara b’Tevet (“the 10th of Tevet”) is unique when compared to the other fast days that are mentioned in the Prophets. Even though everyone agrees that when the other fasts fall on Shabbat they are pushed off, when it comes to Asara b’Tevet there is the unique opinion brought down by the Avudraham that even
As we descend the steps from the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem to the Western Wall, many visitors come across the gold replica of the Menorah. The Temple Institute has recreated many of the artifacts and utensils that were once used in the past two Temples, the Beit Hamikdash. Our religion and traditions are inextricably tied to the
Some messages are simply too important to miss. One such message, I believe, emerges from two words in the Talmud’s short discussion of the Chanukah festival. While overwhelmingly vital and powerful, however, this communication is easily missed. We have to be sensitive enough and honest enough to note it.
There’s a common theme connecting the double whammy of commercialized holidays, which are also known as the Thanksgiving-Black Friday-holiday frenzy. These holidays are about appreciating what we have, who we are with and all of the good things in life. We celebrate the past with friends and family and enjoy the company of others
There’s a concept brought down in Eruvin 31 that mitzvot lav lehanot nitnu, mitzvot were not given for pleasure. Yet Rashi explains that when God told Avraham to go from his land, it was “for [his] benefit and for [his] good.” Is God perhaps negating the rule of mitzvot lav lehanot nitnu —for Avraham is gaining pleasure
The first week of Congregation Ohr HaTorah’s boys’ Motzei Shabbat learning program saw over 50 boys attend with their fathers/grandfathers. The program takes place weekly in Yeshiva Bais Mordechai of Teaneck, with 45 minutes of learning followed by pizza and raffles.
Shabbat Parshat Lech Lecha 5778
After Yom Kippur, a young man approached me to thank me for what he said was truly “an inspirational service.” “Rabbi,” he said, “this was my best High Holiday ever—you can count on me being here next year again.” “Next year?” I asked, “what