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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Divrei Torah

Proactive Sensitivity

Imagine the scene: All of Yaakov’s children surrounding the coffin of their beloved father, standing reverently, tearfully, at the entrance to the Mearat HaMachpela…and in the opening to the cave stands Uncle Esav with a big sword in his hand. “Yaakov buried here?” he thunders, “Over my dead body! If I couldn’t have the

Yosef and Binyamin: Reunited at Last

What an emotional scene plays out before us when Yosef is reunited with Binyamin, his long-lost blood brother, whom he has not seen in 22 years. There have been no letters, no pictures…certainly no emails or texts! This was a raw, powerful moment. They hug and they cry together. But Rashi indicates the tears were not of joy, but

Toldot: Fighting Fires and Loyalty to the Land

In our sedra, as famine hits Canaan, our forefather Yitzchak is forced to leave his promised land for the more fertile countries to its south. He gathers up himself, his wife, sons and all of their belongings, and heads off to Gerar. All of a sudden, Hashem appears to him in a dream and warns him: “Do not go down to Egypt...

Recognizing Our Bonuses

There is a section in the Talmud (Berachot 7b) that says that no one thanked God since the creation of the world until Leah thanked God for her fourth son, Yehudah. This is a very puzzling statement. How could this be true?

The Avot and other Imahot were blessed with so many reasons to thank God. What

Ohr HaTorah to Host Chanukah Boutique on December 18

Congregation Ohr HaTorah, located at 36 Rector Court in Bergenfield, is hosting their first Chanukah boutique on December 18 from 10 a.m. until 12 noon. Vendors include Petit Chic, Ali’s Labels, the Hat Spot, Yarmulkes and Bows, Bejeweled by Chavie, Buttons and Bows NY, Something Special from Queens and Jujubee Gifts. Find an array of

They Walked Before God

The book of Genesis presents us with different people, among them Noach and Avraham. One common description of these two men is that they walked before God.

What is the meaning of walking before God? Both Noach and Avraham were in generations that did not believe in God, who were corrupt, far

Examining Parshat Noach

We encounter Noach in this week’s parsha, who symbolizes an entity of rest (the root word being menucha), whose chief mission was to carry on the world in its already existing state. He is about bridging the gap of generations, not introducing chidush.

However, when analyzing the Book of

The Torah’s Perspective on Friendship in Marriage

As we continue to explore the role of friendship in marriage, it strikes me how relevant this topic is to the month of Elul. During this period of time, when we are preparing to be forgiven for our sins, we are expected to pay close attention to our interpersonal relationships; this obligation is reflected in the well-known acronym for Elul: “Ani L’Dodi, V’dodi

‘Arise and Shine’ in Parshat Ki Tavo

Throughout these post-Tisha B’Av weeks, we have emphasized the point made by Tosafot (Megilla 31b) that the words of consolation and the visions of the future redemption found in these haftarot become increasingly powerful and optimistic with each passing Shabbat. Today’s reading, the sixth of the seven haftarot, does not disappoint us as it opens with the

Engaged in the Search

If only real life was as simple as the child’s game of “hot and cold”! When searching for an item, the child is prompted when they are close to finding the object or become more distant from it. There is a sense of confidence that is instilled within the searcher each time they are told that they are “getting warmer.”

In reality, when a person loses

The Great Sephardic Yichud Controversy

Three of the greatest Sephardic authorities of the prior generation, Rav Ovadiah Yosef, Rav Shalom Messas and Rav Ovadiah Hakayah, all agree that Sephardim should continue to follow their age-old tradition to defer yichud until after the wedding. According to Sephardic tradition since the time of the Radbaz (16th century), a Sephardic chatan and kallah do not retire to

Ki Tavo: The Battle of the Jersey Tomato

It was the last thing Morah Yehudit taught Josh in Chumash class when the school year ended in June. Bikurim. After the Israelites conquered the land, the farmers were to take their first ripened fruit to the Beit Hamikdash, the Temple, and present it to the Kohen. It was a beautiful symbol of how the