Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
Posted on: June 18th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Now that I think about it, I made a big mistake. Instead of bringing Tevye to the Promised Land, I should have brought him to Las Vegas to meet up with Meir Lansky and Bugsy Siegel in building the town’s first casino. First he throws off his embarrassing tzitzis, then his milkman’s cap, then he shaves off his beard and finds himself a shicksa. Now that would have been a bestseller!
Posted on: June 17th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Though my parents were not happy when I told them that I was moving to Israel, I made aliyah anyway. While honoring one’s parents is an essential tenet of Judaism, if parents do not want a child to move to Israel, the child does not have to listen to them, since going on aliyah is a mitzvah, and parents are not allowed to prevent a child from carrying out a commandment of God.
Posted on: June 15th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
During the night, the Holy One Blessed Be He sits and roars like a lion, saying, “Woe to the children who I have exiled among the nations of the world” (Berachot 3A). It’s like a King who builds a beautiful palace for his children, but they don’t want to live there. They prefer to hang out with the harlots.
Posted on: June 14th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Shimon Peres had the decency to ask Mr. Obama to finally free Jonathan Pollard. The White House refused. But now that Shimon Peres, the symbol of Jewish Recognition and Acceptance, has been so accepted and embraced by the President of America, you would think that the Jews of America would finally raise their long silent voices and scream out for his release.
Posted on: June 14th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Starting this coming Monday, don’t miss The Jewish Press serializing of the novel, Tevye in the Promised Land, a wonderful faith-filled adventure for the whole family, covering the Tevye’s unforgettable journey to the Promised Land.
Posted on: June 12th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
We mustn't forget that the gentile nations do us a favor by allowing us to stay in their lands - until they expel us. One must realize that we are on foreign soil there. It is not our society, nor government, nor culture. Nothing is ours. Only in Israel are we at home with family, living according to our customs, and our uniquely Jewish year, living in the one place designed for our holiness, for our psychological health, even for our physical wellbeing.
Posted on: June 11th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Rabbi Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal was one of the respected leaders of Orthodox European Jewry before World War II, the head of the Beit Din in Budapest. Witnessing the horrors of the Holocaust, he discarded his fierce anti-Zionist ideology, and wrote a brilliant scholarly treatise on the vital necessity for Aliyah, titled "Eim HaBanim Semeichah."
Posted on: June 10th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Written in the form of a conversation between a Rabbi and a gentile king who is looking to find the true religion, The Kuzari lucidly explains the foundations upon which Judaism is based. What better time than “Book Week” to take another look at this wonderful classic? If you never studied its teachings, you’re missing a building block in your understanding of Judaism which the Gaon of Vilna made top priority for his students.
Posted on: June 7th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
For any reader who may be confused about the obligation to live in the Land of Israel, this sweeping halachic and Talmudic overview of Rabbi Kahane will surely put all uncertainty to rest. Because of its vital importance to each and every Jew, we will be presenting it in two installments.
Posted on: June 6th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Rabbi Meir Kahane, perhaps the most dynamic Jewish orator of our time, a speaker capable of inflaming hearts and inspiring the masses, a par-excellence TV debater who chopped the glib intellectual banter of opponents into tiny insignificant scraps, he had a bothersome stutter in his youth, which had to be mastered in order to fulfill his dream of reaching out to the Jewish People.
Posted on: June 5th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
“The non-observant Jew knows. Deep in his heart he knows. He knows that the path [he treads] is a false one, that the Judaism he professes is a mockery.... His moment of truth lies within him. His is the power to call it into being. Let him but dig deeply into his Jewish resources and draw from them the traditional Jewish qualities of courage, determination and sacrifice."
Posted on: June 3rd, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Why be a Jew!!! It is an agonizing cry from the souls of tens of thousands of young Jews who assimilate, integrate and disappear into the outer space beyond Judaism. It is THE cry, THE question. It is asked by young men and women who have seen the emptiness and the vapidness of the Judaism they grew up with.
Posted on: June 1st, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
The fact that a Reform Jew wishes to adopt a counterfeit form of “Judaism” is his affair. But the religious Jew is not bound by that. The State of Israel does not have to recognize on an official level the falsehood that every Jew may adopt on a private level.
Posted on: May 30th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
When a Jew makes Aliyah to Eretz Yisrael, the letters of his soul shift into high gear and multiply in size. All of his being gets bigger. He grows closer to God. Compared to the person he was in Galut, he becomes larger than life. He transforms into a giant, filled with greater valor, greater holiness, greater happiness and wisdom.
Posted on: May 28th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Those of you who can come, and there are millions out there, we are waiting to welcome you. And those of you who would like to come, but just can’t seem to put the right pieces together, then you can get involved, in every way that you are able, by encouraging others to come, by coming on frequent visits, by donating money, and by volunteering your time at organizations that have Israel at the top of their programs and agenda.
Posted on: May 24th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Yes, the Ribono Shel Olam, the Master of the World is a Zionist. So was Avraham Avinu, Moshe Rabeinu, Yehoshua, King David, Rabbi Akiva, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the Macabbees, all the Prophets of Israel, including Ezra and Nechemia who led a seemingly motley crowd of sinners back to the Land of Israel from Babylon to rebuild the Holy Temple.
Posted on: May 23rd, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
One of the questions a person is asked when he reaches his Heavenly rest is, "Did you yearn for Salvation?" If a Jew does not long for the Redemption, for Salvation from the exile, then something is wrong. If he is happy in the Diaspora, then his Judaism is out of focus, and he is out of touch with his soul's deepest yearnings. As The Kuzari poignantly declares, his prayers for Jerusalem and Zion are like the chatterings of a nightingale, melodious but empty of meaning.
Posted on: May 22nd, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
The thought that Eretz Yisrael is an accessory to Judaism, and not a central pillar in itself, is a tragic distortion which was caused by the nearly 2000 year exile of the Jewish People from the Land of Israel. After years of wandering - scattered among the gentiles, separated from our homeland- our orientation to the Land of Israel became distorted and confused.
Posted on: May 21st, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Do you have a teenager who is doing badly in school? Do you have a kid who hates to pray? Does the tiny kippah he wears come off his head the moment he’s down the block? This may be the reason. Nothing desensitizes a person from Torah more than an exposure to porn. Don’t delude yourselves – when it comes to computers, children are geniuses. They know how to navigate through the intricacies of the web like private eyes.
Posted on: May 20th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Here I was, just out of New York, not knowing what the Torah was really about, surrounded by tens of thousands of ecstatic davening Jews, with the choruses of “Amen, yihe shamai rabbahs” ringing in my ears like the blasts of the shofar on Mount Sinai. What can I tell you? New York and Hollywood were blown out of my brain, like a dream that never happened, just like the Psalm says: “When the Lord brings back the captives of Zion, we were like those who dream.”
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