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 […]

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. […]

“WHO IS WISE?”

“Who is wise? One who learns from every man… Who is strong? One who overpowers his inclinations… Who is rich? One who is satisfied with his lot… Who is honorable? One who honors his fellows.” – Ben Zoma, Ethics of the Fathers, 4:1 This is my favorite quote because it […]

IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

“If I am not for me, who is for me; and if I am (only) for myself, what am I. And if not now, when?” – Hillel, Ethics of the Fathers, 1:14 I find this to be the most inspirational and motivating message. I was created for a specific purpose […]

PEARLS OF LIFE

Once there was a gentile who came before Shammai and said, “Convert me to Judaism, on the condition that you teach me the entire Torah while standing on one leg.” Shammai took a measuring rod and chased him away. The gentile then came before Hillel with the same request. “What […]

ALL FOR THE BEST: Rabbi Pliskin

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. […]

PARSHA: Bo

‪#‎PARSHA‬ ‪#‎BO‬ ‪#‎SPARK‬ Different Strokes for Different Folks And so that you may relate in the ears of your son and your son’s son that I made mockery of Egypt and my signs that I placed among them – that you may know that I am Hashem. (Ex. 10:2) God sent 10 […]

PARSHA: Vayetzei

‎#PARSHA‬ ‪#‎VAYETZEI‬ “And Yaakov worked seven years for Rachel and they were like a few days because of his love of her.” The famous question. Isn’t waiting for the person you love like an eternity? Did you every read a really great book? Remember when the fat side was the pages […]

WHAT IS ELUL?

“Elul” is the Sixth Month of the year, counting from “Nisan,” called in the Chumash, “the first month.” Counting from “Tishrei”, the month of Rosh HaShanah, “Elul” is the twelfth, and last month in the year. Like the names of the other months of the Hebrew Calendar, “Elul came up”, […]

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 […]

ELUL: 3 Levels of Forgiveness

3 LEVELS OF FORGIVENESS ‪#‎FORGIVENESS‬ ‪#‎ELUL‬ 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. […]

ELUL: Forgiving Others

‪#‎FORGIVENESS‬ ‪#‎FORGIVEOTHERS‬ ‪#‎ELUL‬ I hereby forgive everyone who offended or angered me, or sinned against me (Prayer on Retiring). Since we pray to Gd to forgive our mistakes, certainly we should be willing to forgive others who have offended us. Forgiveness must be more than perfunctory. A man once heard his Rabbi […]

ELUL: Just Apologize

JUST APOLOGIZE ‪#‎APOLOGIZE‬ ‪#‎MECHILAH‬ ‪#‎ELUL‬ ‪#‎SPARK‬ Sincerely apologizing is the best way to overcome the resentment and negative feelings of someone who is angry with you. However, at times it can be very difficult to apologize. When you tell yourself, “Just apologize,” it can become easier. If you really did something wrong, you have […]