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| The Goal of the Exodus - Don’t Slander! .: Viewed: 349 times :.
"You shall not defile yourselves through any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. For I am G-d who elevates you from the Land of Egypt." (Vayikra 11:44,45)
What is the connection between the Exodus from Egypt and the prohibition of eating insects? Why does the Torah juxtapose these two subjects? HaRav Mordechai HaCohen in his sefer, Al HaTorah, gives a profound explanation. Certain...
Published: March 26, 2019
| G-D’s Kiss of Death .: Viewed: 286 times :.
"And Nadav and Avihu, the sons of Aaron, took both of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense, and offered strange fire before Hashem, which He did not command them. And there went out fire from Hashem, and devoured them, and they died before Hashem." (Vayikra 10:1-2). Many Torah commentators have pondered why Nadav and Avihu died.
Was the "strange fire" sufficient cause for...
Published: March 18, 2019
| PURIM - The Endless Miracle! .: Viewed: 283 times :.
On Purim, as on Chanukah, we recite Al Hanisim. In this thanksgiving prayer, the stories of the miracles of both Festivals are related in a short and concise synopsis.
However, there is an obvious difference. In the Al Hanisim of Chanukah there is a finale, "Afterwards your sons came to Your House, they cleansed Your Sanctuary, purified Your Place of Holiness and lit lights in Your Holy...
Published: March 12, 2019
| Haman’s Anger Management .: Viewed: 360 times :.
Of all the abilities that human beings possess, perhaps none is as mysterious as our talent for compartmentalization. Each of us is multiple people, and different ones emerge in different circumstances and relationships.
If we can never fully know somebody, it's not simply because his exterior does not match his interior. It's because we have so many chambers inside, and some are more...
Published: March 6, 2019
| PURIM - Thanking G-d for Our Struggles .: Viewed: 317 times :.
This week was Purim Katan, thus a Purim article is appropriate.
During the festival of Purim we recite the Al Hanisim prayer. The prayer reads, "and for the miracles and for the salvations and for the mighty deeds and for the victories and for the wonders and for the consolations and for the BATTLES which You performed for our ancestors in those days, at this time."
In this declaration...
Published: February 19, 2019
| Can You Take It With You? .: Viewed: 349 times :.
Is there a way to take it with you? Jack Benny famously said, “If I can’t take it with me, I’m not going.” But as we all know, he went anyway.
The Torah states in Parshat Terumah, “Speak to the children of Israel and have them TAKE to Me a contribution.” (Shemot 25:2)
Why does the verse state “TAKE to Me” rather than “Give to...
Published: January 30, 2019
| STEP - BY - STEP .: Viewed: 364 times :.
“You shall not ascend My Alter on steps.” (Shemot 20:23) Why does the Torah prohibit climbing up to the Alter on steps?
Rashi explains that the Torah commands here to build a ramp for the Alter and the ramp must be smooth and inclining without steps. Had there been steps leading up to the Alter, the Kohen would have to raise his legs as he mounted the steps. This would be a...
Published: January 23, 2019
| Why Name Parshat Matan Torah after a GER? .: Viewed: 382 times :.
Yitro, Moshe's father-in-law, is the name of the Parsha in which we read the account of the most important event in Jewish and World history, the Giving of the Torah. It is remarkable that this Parsha has as its title, the name of someone who was not even born a Jew. Yitro was a pagan idol worshipper, but only later in life abandoned his paganism and recognized the One True G-d.
Published: January 18, 2019
| The CURE For Election Fever .: Viewed: 367 times :.
Many people in Israel are now afflicted with Election Fever. This "malady" causes politicians from different political parties to verbally abuse, shame and attack each other. This is classic Lashon Hara V' Sinat Chinom.(Baseless hatred.) How can we who support different political parties avoid falling into this vicious cycle?
The Chofetz Chaim offers a profound explanation of the root of...
Published: January 10, 2019
| Time - Life’s Most Precious Gift .: Viewed: 388 times :.
“This month shall be for you the beginning of all the months.” (Shemot 12:2) This verse contains the very first Mitzva that Klal Yisrael received as we were about to become a free and independent nation, right before the Exodus from Egypt.
Seforno explains that this Mitzva of Rosh Chodesh was presented first because its essence – that we Jews are masters over our time...
Published: January 3, 2019
| Is it Halachically Okay to Question G-d? .: Viewed: 1349 times :.
Last week the OU Israel Center showed a thought provoking and disturbing film called “G-d On Trial”. The film is about Jews in Auschwitz who hold a “trial” accusing G-d for allowing the Holocaust.
But over 3,300 years ago, the greatest of all prophets, Moshe Rabbeinu, also accuses and questions G-d. "Why G-D, have You brought evil on this people? Is this why You sent...
Published: December 27, 2018
| Yosef’s Brothers and the Blood Libel .: Viewed: 406 times :.
We Jews have been accused of various heinous crimes throughout our long and tragic history. Perhaps, the most devastating accusation we have faced is the Blood Libel - murdering Christian children and then using their blood for baking Matzoh on Pesach. Of course, this vile accusation is absolutely ludicrous and false.
The Torah warns us numerous times never to taste any blood. We are...
Published: December 20, 2018
| How to Deal with the Terror Tunnels .: Viewed: 432 times :.
King David tells us in Tehillim 100, “to serve G-d with joy”. The Mishna in Avot 1 tells us that we should “greet and welcome everyone with a joyful countenance”. Avot D’Rabbi Natan 13 states that a happy and pleasant facial expression is considered equal to giving a person the most treasured gift in the world.
I just returned from a mini Chanukah vacation in...
Published: December 13, 2018
| Chanukah - 8 Days a Week .: Viewed: 363 times :.
The Beatles had a number 1 hit song called 8 Days a Week. Were they singing about Chanukah?
2,182 years ago the Greeks had outlawed Torah observance among the Jewish People in Israel. They made it a capital punishment to observe the three Mitzvot of Shabbat, Milah and Nidah, which happens to be an acronym of SHEMEN (oil) (שמן). Parshat Vayeishev always falls out around Chanukah time. Thus...
Published: November 29, 2018
| Yakov’s Weird Wedding .: Viewed: 493 times :.
The father of the first Jewish family, Yakov, was the victim of a last minute switch on his wedding night. His father-in-law, Lavan, substituted Leah, the older of his two daughters, for Rachel, the one whom Yakov loved and worked for. Yakov discovered the deception only after he had consummated the marriage with Leah. Yakov, choosing to accept his Mazal (fate), remained with Leah and later...
Published: November 7, 2018