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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Divrei Torah

The Four Cups of Redemption

Perhaps the most fascinating halakha associated with the rabbinic commandment of daled kosot is mentioned in the first Mishna in Arvei Pesachim. The Mishnah (99b) states “…Even the poorest amongst Israel …must not drink less than the four cups of wine [on Pesach night] even if he/she [must receive a stipend] from the communal charity fund.”

The

The Intrinsic Unity of Israel

One of the central themes of the episode of Har Sinai is the immense unity that the Jewish people enjoyed as they encamped at the foot of the mountain. Rashi, in his famous comment citing the Midrash on the verse, Vayichan shom Yisroel neged ha har, extrapolates from the usage of the singular vayichan rather than the plural

That’s Cold!

Sometimes, when it’s late at night and the whole world is still, you can feel like you’re the only one alive.  As you roam around, you can sense the solitude, taste the peace and quiet, and usually, you go to the kitchen for a midnight snack.  Okay, so maybe that’s just me, and for some reason, I imagine that those of you who know me aren’t

“Uniformity and Uniqueness”

One of the interesting paradoxes of human life is our tendency to copy one another and to try to “fit in” with friends and acquaintances, while simultaneously trying to be distinct from others, and to be our “own person.”

The pressures of conformity are very strong in all human societies. People who are different are often treated as outcasts. And each

Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance!

One of the biggest challenges I have as a teacher and parent is motivating young people to sing and dance as they rejoice on Shabbat and on Jewish holidays.  One might think that it would be a greater challenge to make Talmud study relevant and to inspire today’s students to delve into the analysis of the intricacies of halachaZemirot

The Process of Sin

It is a word that one hears frequently these days, in many contexts. The word is process. It is a word that reflects our growing recognition that there are very few things in this world that occur in an instant, yesh me’ayin, something out of nothing.

When one faces a complex set of circumstances, he is well advised to assume that these

Holding onto our trip down memory lane

Last month, President Obama challenged our memories. On a stage full of mothers who have lost children in recent gun violence attacks, the president spoke of continued efforts to tighten gun laws. With resistance to such laws stiffening in Congress, the President reminded us that after the Newtown shooting, “the entire country was shocked, and the entire country