The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
Posted on: September 12th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
When you are sick, do you go to the doctor, or the student of the doctor? So why go to Uman where Rebbe Nachman is buried, when you could go to the cities in Israel where his teachers are buried?
Posted on: September 11th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Rabbi Kook explains that this misplacing of priorities between the means and the goal stems from the sin of the earth during the days of Creation. By understanding the depth of this teaching, we can learn to be happy, not only when we finally attain our goals and ideals, but also at every moment of our lives.
Posted on: September 10th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Even if you haven’t yet atoned for all of your sins, Don’t worry! Be Happy! As long as you are sincerely trying, this is what really counts.
Posted on: September 7th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Dear Friends, the clock is ticking down to Rosh HaShanah. You can hear the shofars blasting all over the world. T’shuva may seem like a towering mountain too high to climb, but it’s really not as hard as you think.
Posted on: September 6th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Today, the “evil thing” in our communities and homes is the onslaught of immodest websites and images on the Internet.
Posted on: September 5th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
The true champions of life are not the basketball players, not the Hollywood stars, not even the Prime Ministers and Presidents. The real heroes are the masters of t’shuva.
Posted on: September 4th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Even people who have tasted all of life’s secular pleasures insist that the experience of t’shuva is the world’s greatest joy.
Posted on: September 2nd, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
How can it be that in this clear time of Redemption, when millions of Jews have returned to the Land of Israel from the four corners of the world, in the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy that crises and setbacks like the evacuation of Migron still occur?
Posted on: August 31st, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
There is an old aphorism which claims that two things in life are certain: death and taxes. To this, Rabbi Kook would add a third certainty — t’shuva.
Posted on: August 30th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
When a man understands that his personal t’shuva advances the redemption process of the world, his motivation to mend his own life is enhanced.
Posted on: August 29th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Rabbi Kook teaches that t’shuva encompasses man’s physical being, his moral life, religious life, and his highest, most ideal intellectual endeavor. T’shuva is man’s path to wellbeing, to physical and emotional health, as well as his path to the deep self-discovery which connects him to God. T’shuva can happen suddenly, in a burst of illumination […]
Posted on: August 27th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Rabbi Kook explains that t’shuva comes about in two distinct formats, either suddenly, or in a gradual, slowly developing fashion. Both of these pathways to t’shuva are readily found in the baal t’shuva world. Some people will tell you how their lives suddenly changed overnight. Others describe their experience as a long, challenging process which unfolded over years. Many factors influence the way in which t’shuva appears.
Posted on: August 26th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
The expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden describes man’s existential plight. In effect, the sum of world history is mankind’s journey to return to the Garden. Not only man, but the world itself wants to return to its original state. This yearning is one of the most powerful forces of Creation. Thus the world “roars like a mighty lioness” to return to its original, ideal closeness to God.
Posted on: August 22nd, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
The Gemara teaches that t’shuva existed before the world was created. In a similar vein, Rabbi Kook writes that the spirit of t’shuva hovers over the world and gives it its basic form and the motivation to develop. It is t’shuva which gives the world its direction and its inner energy to constantly progress. The desire to refine the world and to embellish it with beauty and splendor all derive from the spirit of t’shuva.
Posted on: August 20th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
While t’shuva is normally translated as penitence or repentance, the root of the Hebrew word t’shuva means “return.” T’shuva is a return to the source, to one’s roots, to one’s deepest inner self.
Posted on: August 19th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
The month of Elul is known for being the time of the year most favorable for t’shuva - generally known as penitence or repentance. But t’shuva is much more than feeling bad over the transgressions which we have committed. Rabbi Kook teaches that t’shuva is the force that makes the world go around.
Posted on: August 17th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
If a Jew is thrown into prison and he doesn’t have tefillin, then he can’t perform the mitzvah of putting on tefillin. But the mitzvah of tefillin isn’t cancelled because of this. The very first morning that he gets out of jail, he once again must perform the mitzvah of putting on tefillin
Posted on: August 14th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
About a month ago, I received an email from a 16 year-old girl from Europe, saying that she was on the way to the airport to fly to Israel. She said that her mother read my blogs at The Jewish Press and hoped that maybe I could help her, not knowing where else to turn. She wants to finish high school in Israel, make aliyah, and go into the army. Her present high school is all gentile and Moslem and very anti-Semitic. Could I help her, she asked?
Posted on: August 10th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
After finishing a meal in which we ate bread, we are to thank God for the food and for the Land which He has given us, as we say, “Blessed are Thou, O Lord, for the Land and the sustenance,” and even if a Jewish astronaut were to eat a pastrami sandwich on the moon, or on Mars, he would still thank God for the pastrami sandwich and the Land of Israel.
Posted on: August 8th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
These days, it’s pretty hard to know who really is Jewish. Let’s take the example of the singles-bar scene in New York. A lot of times a Jewish guy will start talking to girl (call her Debbie) and during the conversation, he’ll ask if she’s Jewish, and she says, “Sure,” when she isn’t Jewish at all. So I have devised an almost foolproof test to determine if a person is really a Jew.
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