Divrei Torah


Following are select divrei Torah  published over the years by B’Ahavat Yisrael’s Associate Director, Rabbi Yisrael Kaniel:


In the Pursuit of Truth


How It All Started / In Full Form and Stature / Brotherhood… not…Mere Lip Service (Bereshit)
Digging for the Truth / Mixed Up Priorities / Late to Base (Noach)
Land of Milk and Honey / Miracles … / Beginning of a Rivalry (Lekh Lekha)
You and Me Together / At Knife’s Edge / Hurry to Your Fellow Man and … Know Him (Vayera)
Mourning a Loved One / A Test of Character … / Stay Out of Harm’s Way (Chaye Sarah)
G-d Bless You / A Peek into the Future / With the Crooked You Act Perversely (Toldot)
Magic, Myth or Something Else / Sacrificing for … Another / Leaving an Impression (Va’Yetze)
Story of a Sinew / The Miracle of Nature / We Will Overcome (Va’Yishlach)
An Evil Tongue / A Mind Focused / Be Wary of Good Intentions (Va’Yeshev)
Festival of Lights / Light at the End of the Tunnel / We Have G-d in our Corner (Chanukah)
Discerning and Wise Man / Do Not Jump to Conclusions / Stand Up on a Chair (Miketz)
Mutual Respect and Concern / Land of the Priests / I Shall Also Surely Bring You Up (Va’Yigash)
Persecution, Retribution and Intervention / He Blessed Joseph / Perfect Harmony (Va’Yechi)


True Paths of Peace / Heavy of Speech / Timing is of the Essence (Sh’mot)
Freedom of Will / Unable to Listen / Tomorrow will Come (Va’Eirah)
Guide to the Pedagogue / Stop Barking and Start Listening / G-d’s Word is Not a Suggestion (Bo)
Lesson in Humility and Leadership / Armed with the Truth / Great Hand (B’Shalach)
Changing for the Better / Matter of Honor / So That Your Days be Lengthened (Yitro)
Planting Seeds for the Future / Bearing Fruit / Praise the Good L-rd (Tu B’Shvat)
War and Peace / Authority to Heal / Heal Us and We Will be Healed (Mishpatim)
Giving is Receiving / Makings of a Table / Construction without Destruction (Terumah)
Those who Plant with Tears will Reap with Joy / For Glory and Splendor / Names… (Tetzave)
Observations on a Book / Day of Rescue / Not Just a Celebration of the Past (Purim)
Following the Crowd / Let’s Appreciate… / No Matter How You Turn It (Ki Tisah)
Working Together / Rejoice in Trembling / Gather Around (Vayakhel)
The Place the L-rd Shall Choose / Accountings of the Tabernacle / Accountability… (Pekudei)


Hands Off / Train the Youth / Authority after Sin (Vayikra)
Sacrifices / Of Sound Mind / Not too Big to Take Out the Ash (Tzav)
When the Bread Did Not Rise / …to Me for a Nation / Redemption Can be Swift (Pesach)
Prescription for a Diet / Humility not Stupidity / Greatness Does Not Preclude Humility (Shmini)
The Woman in Society / Showing One’s True Colors / First is First (Tazria)
Be All that You Can Be / Let Your Eyes Look Straight / Living in Isolation (Metzora)
There is a Time to Love / A Question of Priorities / Father in Heaven (Acharei)
You Shall Be Holy / Do Not Deny Another / Love Prevents Jealousy (Kedoshim)
Preserving Justice with Sensitivity / Higher Expectations / Counting the Days (Emor)
Break for Joy / What Counts / A Question of Joy (Lag BaOmer)
Spreading the Joy / Accepting Imperfection in Others / Watch What You Say (Behar)
You Can Run but You Cannot Hide / Our Brothers… / Path of Cruelty (Bechukotai)


Consider What You Have / The Righteous Shall Flourish / Look at the Big Picture (Bamidbar)
It Happened on a Mountain / As One / For the Love of G-d (Shavuot)
Each One’s Actions are Special / The Thought… / Be On Guard (Naso)
Want to be Normal / In All My House He is the Most Trustworthy / Tolerance… (Behaalotkha)
Signs… / Power of a Woman / Have It Your Way (Shelach)
It is How You Say It / What Comes to Mind… / The Lion and the Fox (Korach)
Keep in Mind Who’s Boss / Need to Scrutinize Our Actions / Impossible to Fathom (Chukat)
Give It to Me Straight / Need to See Things for What They Are / How Goodly… (Balak)
Never Lose Hope / Two Hands are Better than One / Like a Fig Tree (Pinchas)
Unquestioning Loyalty / Proper Proportions / Look to G-d (Matot)
Patience is a Virtue / Do Not Flatter the Wicked / On the Road to Growth (Masei)


G-d in Heaven and on Earth / …Appreciate What We Have / …Another’s Feelings (Devarim)
Time to Contemplate / Turn for the Worse / Hungering for What Was (Fast Days / Tisha B’Av)
One Day in Seven / Nobody Should be Pushed Away / Marriage Made in Heaven (VaEtchanan)
Rewarding the Good / It is Heavenly / Song to G-d (Eikev)
Takes All Kinds… / You Shall not Recognize the Gods of Others / Stork is not Kosher (Re’eh)
A Matter of Order / Doing that which is Upright in the Eyes of G-d / Obligation to Relate (Shoftim)
When You Go Out to War / Do Not Turn Your Back / Fair is Fair (Ki Tetze)
Of Visions, Signs and Authors / Get the Message / Let Us Not Get Carried Away (Ki Tavo)
Standing and Moving / You Shall be Only Above / Stop and Think (Nitzavim)
Turn to G-d / More Than a Piece of Paper / Strive for Consistency (VaYelekh)
When the Year Begins / How are You Doing? / Understanding our Position (Rosh HaShana)
Remember the Days of Yore / Forgetting / The Rope of Jacob (HaAzinu)
Day of Atonement / Mistakes Happen to the Best of Us / Turn Over a New Leaf… (Yom Kippur)
Four Species and a Hut / Back to Basics / Appreciating the Simple Life (Sukkot)
Gift to Hold On To / Like Writing in the Torah / Best Wishes … (V’Zot HaBracha)


Putting Things into Proportion

About the Author:

Born in New York to Yerushalmi parents, a nephew of Haifa’s late Chief Rabbi Yehoshua Kaniel, and link in a rabbinic lineage dating back to Rashi and Abravanel, Yisrael (Kane) Kaniel studied in Yeshiva Toras Chaim of South Shore and Yeshiva Derech Ayson of Far Rockaway, after which he graduated magna cum laude from Yeshiva College in 1982 and in the same year received his Master’s degree in Jewish Philosophy from Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School. Prior to his graduation, in addition to the ongoing Torah and Talmud studies, he engaged in an independent study of the entire Babylonian Talmud and Holy Scriptures along with other rabbinic literature, and, in 1985, he completed a program of study for rabbinic ordination at Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.

During and following his studies, Rabbi Kaniel served as a librarian in two of New York’s most extensive Judaica libraries as well as a rabbi-cantor at several synagogues in New York. During this time, Rabbi Kaniel also contributed Torah-related articles in Hebrew, English and Yiddish to various periodicals, and published In Quest of the Truth: A Survey of Medieval Jewish Thought. Rabbi Kaniel, later, embarked on a career in the field of software engineering, in which he served in several key positions and rose to the level of Senior Programmer Analyst in major software houses in the U.S. and Israel. After making aliya in 1992 and being employed for some 14 years in software development and maintenance, Rabbi Kaniel took the opportunity in the year 2000 to combine his varied talents as Manager of Operations in the newly formed B’Ahavat Yisrael organization for the sake of helping to provide for the varied needs of fellow Jews throughout Israel.

Once having begun his responsibilities at B’Ahavat Yisrael, Rabbi Kaniel received a number of requests to share with the extensive list of readers of the organization’s materials his own thoughts and insights on Jewish Law and Lore. Subsequently, he began publishing weekly divrei Torah containing ideas and comments relating to a given Torah portion or Jewish holiday. The articles accumulated over time, and, for the benefit of the Jewish population at large, the essays in the following pages have been collected and compiled from selected divrei Torah of those that Rabbi Kaniel produced, during the course of his work for the benefit of his brethren, arranged according to the weekly Torah portions read in Jewish congregations and the Jewish holidays celebrated by observant Jews.

באהבת ישראל – ע”ש המנוחה שמחה בוסנר ז”ל – ע”ר 58-034-129-5