IN THIS WEEK’S PARSHA: Shoftim

The Torah portion begins by saying, “You shall appoint judges and officers for yourself.” The Judges rule how to behave and the officers enforce it and ensure people act as they have been told. R’ Moshe Feinstein says that the word, “lecha, for yourself” is very important. We must each […]

IN THIS WEEK’S PARSHA: SHLACH

The Torah gives us the mitzvah of Tzitzis, the command to place fringes on a four-cornered garment. The fringes would include one made of Techeiles, wool dyed a special shade of blue. It was intended to remind us of the sea, which would remind us of the sky, which would remind […]

Parshat Behar

(Based on Sichas Shabbos Parshas Behar 5725) At the very end of this week’s Parsha, we see the laws of non-Jews owning Jewish slaves. Megillat Esther (7:4) compares Am Yisrael in galut (exile) to the case which we see in our Parsha of a Jew being sold into slavery to a non-Jew.  When one […]

Parshat Emor

In the first Pasuk of our Parsha, we see a double language between the words “Emor” and “VeAmarta”, “Speak” and “Say”. Rashi explains the double language to mean that aside from teaching the Kohanim to observe the following mitzvot (“Emor”), the Kohanim should be warned to educate their children in […]

PARSHA: Vayera

‪#‎PARSHA‬ ‪#‎VAYERA‬ ‪#‎GOODSHABBOS‬ Life is full of tests (just in case you hadn’t noticed!). When referring to our great-grandfather Avraham, we are told that he also went through tests, ten of them and overcame them all. Why is this aspect of Avraham so important and, in general, how can we get a […]

3 LEVELS OF FORGIVENESS

‪There are three Hebrew synonyms: “Selichah,” “Mechilah,” and “Kapparah,” all related to the idea of “forgiveness.” What does each mean? ‪SELICHA‬ usually translated as “forgiveness” is the first step which must be taken if someone has committed a sin, whether it be against G-d or against Man. To ask for […]

LISTENING TO THE SHOFAR

Shofar is one of the very few mitzvos that emphasize listening לשמוע קול rather than performance of the mitzvah. When Hashem hears the shofar, it “reminds” Him of one of the high points in His relationship with Israel: the pledge of “na’aseh v’nishma, We will do and we will hear.” […]

WRITE THE STORY OF YOUR LIFE 

View each day as a page in your autobiography. You have the ability to fill each page with beautiful stories of spiritual growth and kind deeds. Past pages are already written, but you can revise their significance by learning from your mistakes. In a panoramic view of your life, those […]

ELUL: ‎I AM FOR MY BELOVED MY BELOVED IS FOR ME

Perhaps the most famous allusion of Elul in all of Tanach is that voiced by Shlomo HaMelech in Shir HaShirim, ‘אני לדודי ודודי לי’ ‘I am for my Beloved and my Beloved is for me’. As it is well known, the first letters of each of these words, when combined, […]

ELUL: THE MONTH OF PREPARATION AND REFLECTION

If you had an important court date scheduled – one that would determine your financial future, or even your very life – you’d be sure to prepare for weeks beforehand. On Rosh Hashanah, each individual is judged on the merit of his deeds. Whether he will live out the year […]

RETURN OF THE INNER SPARK

צריך האדם לבקש רחמים מהקב״ה לחדש זאת הרשימה בלבן בר״ה וע״ז מבקשין כתבנו לחיים One of the consequences of the restoration of the Jewish soul every Rosh Hashanah is the return of that inner spark of sanctity that somehow has lain dormant all year. Liberated from his material impulses, every […]

SHALOM ALEICHEM

A short thought based on a question from Naftali Skaist. When we return home from Shul on Shabbos night, we traditionally sing “Shalom Aleichem” welcoming the angels into our home, for them to witness the special Shabbos spirit and, according to the Talmud, to receive their blessing. But almost as […]

WHAT IS PESACH SHENI?

What is Pesach Sheni? A year after the Exodus, Hashem instructed the people of Israel to bring the Karban Pesach on the afternoon of the fourteenth of Nissan, and to eat it that evening, roasted over the fire, together with matzah and bitter herbs, as they had done the previous […]

ALL FOR THE BEST

Ultimately whatever happens to us is for our good. The Talmud relates a story about two people who wanted to travel by boat. One broke his foot and was unable to make the trip, while his friend got on the boat. The one who missed the boat cursed his misfortune. […]