Hungering for What Was

Five times during the course of the year, aside from the Biblically enjoined day of Yom Kippur, observant Jews the world over engage in fasting: Tzom Gedaliah, Asara b’Tevet, Ta’anit Esther, Shiv’ah Asar B’Tammuz and Tish’ah B’Av.  On Ta’anit Esther, we limit our physical pleasure as Esther and the Jews of the time limited their […]

Not Just a Celebration of the Past

Divrei Torah - we celebrate on Purim

On the day of Purim, observant Jews include in their prayers three times a day their appreciation to G-d: “For the miracles, and for the salvation, and for the mighty deeds, and for the victories, and for the battles which You performed for our forefathers in those days, at this time.  In the days of […]

Praise the Good L-rd

Divrei Torah - New Year of trees

On a daily basis, observant Jews the world over praise the Al-Mighty G-d as they bless Him for all the good that they enjoy.  Our Sages tell us (Babylonian Talmud, Berakhot 35a), “Whoever derives benefit from this world without a blessing [whereby one recognizes the source of our blessing] is tantamount to stealing from G-d.”  […]

We Have G-d in our Corner

Divrei Torah - holiday of Chanukah

On the holiday of Chanukah, observant Jews round the world declare their appreciation to G-d in the Shemona Esrei prayer: “For the miracles, and for the salvation, and for the mighty deeds, and for the victories, and for the battles which You performed for our forefathers in those days at this time.  In the days […]

Hurry to Your Fellow Man and Get to Know Him

Divrei Torah - hospitality towards another or caring for another or tending to another’s needs

In the beginning of the Torah section of VaYerah (Bereshit 18:2-6), we read: “And he [Abraham] lifted his eyes and saw, and behold three men were standing over him, and he perceived and he ran toward them from the entrance of the tent and bowed toward the ground.  And he said…’Let some water be brought […]

Miracles: Past, Present and Future

In the Torah section of Lekh Lekha, G-d appears to Abraham and reveals to him what He has in store for Abraham and his offspring.  “And He said to Abram, ‘Know with certainty that your offspring shall be aliens in a land not their own, and they will serve them, and they will oppress them […]

Mixed Up Priorities

In his comments on the Torah portion of Noach (VeHigadeta, Bereshit pp. 137 – 140), R. Yaakov Galinsky wonders about the verse (Bereshit 9:20), “And Noah, the man of the earth, debased himself and planted a vineyard.”  As Rashi points out ad locum, the Sages opined that, after leaving the ark that saved him and […]

Best Wishes before a New Beginning

In the supplication preceding the obligatory passage of Shema read in the morning by religiously observant Jews the world over, we find, “Our Father, the merciful Father, Who acts mercifully, have mercy upon us, instill in our hearts to understand and elucidate, to listen, to learn, and to teach, to safeguard, to perform, and to […]

Strive for Consistency

In the Torah portion of VaYelekh, amongst Moses’ parting words before his passing, we read (Devarim 31:12-13), “Gather together the people – the men, the women, and the small children, and your stranger who is in your cities – so that they will hear and so they will learn, and they shall fear the L-rd […]

Stop and Think

In the beginning of the Torah portion of Nitzavim, Moses, before he passes on, addresses a gathering of the People of Israel and begins to tell them (Devarim 29:9), “You are standing here today.”  On this verse, Rashi comments that Moses gathered together the people to stand together as he is about to transfer the […]