Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
Posted on: March 14th, 2012Judaism → Parsha
The name Bezalel was adopted by the artist Boris Schatz for the School of Arts and Crafts he founded in Israel in 1906, and Rav Kook wrote a touching letter in support of its creation. He saw the renaissance of art in the Holy Land as a symbol of the regeneration of the Jewish people in its own land, landscape and birthplace. Judaism in the Diaspora, removed from a natural connection with its own historic environment, was inevitably cerebral and spiritual, “alienated.”
Posted on: March 7th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Lessons In Emunah
I lost control of my car while driving in Brooklyn when a speeding taxi slammed into me. I thought my life was about to end when my car slammed directly into a tree. Baruch Hashem I survived, even though the taxi driver never stopped to help me.
Posted on: February 29th, 2012Judaism → Parsha
There is a deeper message in Parshat Tetzaveh - the principle of the separation of powers, which opposes the concentration of leadership into one person or institution. All human authority needs checks and balances if it is not to become corrupt. In particular, political and religious leadership (keter malchut and keter kehunah) should never be combined. Moses wore the crowns of political and prophetic leadership, Aaron that of priesthood. The division allowed each to be a check on the other.
Posted on: February 29th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Lessons In Emunah
Shabbat is a time of menuchah, of rest. It is also a time of simcha, of happiness. We are often too busy during the week to stop and think about how we can do something simple to bring simcha into someone else’s life. When we can combine the menuchah of Shabbat together with its inherent simcha, we can bring ohr laYehudim, light to all of us.
Posted on: February 22nd, 2012Judaism → Parsha
It is not what G-d does for us that transforms us, but rather what we do for G-d. A free society is best symbolized by the Tabernacle. It is the home we build together. It is only by becoming builders that we turn from subjects to citizens. We have to earn our freedom by what we give. It cannot be given to us as an unearned gift.
Posted on: February 22nd, 2012Judaism → Columns → Lessons In Emunah
My children were growing up and leaving the nest. Wanting to fill up my days with a challenging project, I heard through a friend that a local high school needed an English teacher.
Posted on: February 15th, 2012Judaism
First in Parshat Yitro there were the Asseret Hadibrot (the Ten Utterances, or general principles). Now in Parshat Mishpatim come the details.
Posted on: February 15th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
Baruch, from the village of Radovitz, was a sharecropper who barely eked out a living. His income was at the mercy of the infamously cruel Poritz, who owned the Radovitz environs.
Posted on: February 15th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Lessons In Emunah
I thank Hashem that my daughters play “shampoo gemach", and I take pride in our community, which stresses gemachs and acts of gemilas chesed. Families try to find ways to help others, and people go out of their way to search for opportunities to practice kindness.
Posted on: February 8th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Lessons In Emunah
Recently, I discovered a frum website, www.jewish-e-books.com, that allows one to download hundreds of Jewish books – both in English and Hebrew. Having written a sefer myself, I was able to get it put on their website.
Posted on: February 2nd, 2012Judaism → Parsha
In September 2010, BBC, Reuters and other news agencies reported on a sensational scientific discovery. Researchers at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University of Colorado showed through computer simulation how the division of the Red Sea might have taken place.
Posted on: February 1st, 2012Judaism → Columns → Lessons In Emunah
My friend Mrs. Rosen (not her real name) asked me to share her story. A widow for several years, she recently moved back to the community where she grew up so that she could help her elderly parents.
Posted on: January 26th, 2012Judaism
There is a fascinating moment in the unfolding story of the plagues that should make us stop and take notice. Seven plagues have now struck Egypt.
Posted on: January 26th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Lessons In Emunah
The following inspiring story was told to Rochelle Rothman by her close family member. It truly shows how Hashem runs the world, and helps us in all of our endeavors.
Posted on: January 20th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
Reb Elimelech M’Lizhensk was considered one of the finest students of the Baal Shem Tov’s successor, the Maggid MiMezretch. When the Maggid passed away, his disciples gathered for the funeral and then had to decide who would succeed their master.
Posted on: January 20th, 2012Judaism → Parsha
The parshah of Va’eira begins with some fateful words. It would not be too much to say that they changed the course of history because they changed the way people thought about history. In fact, they gave birth to the very idea of history. Listen to the words:
Posted on: January 19th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Lessons In Emunah
Reb Pinchos, born in Romania, moved shortly after birth with his parents to Vienna. As a teenager, he learned in another city and took his Gemara with him. Pinchos remembered how his rebbe always liked to teach from his Gemara.
Posted on: January 11th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Lessons In Emunah
Here is an amazing story. I recently made a bar mitzvah for my second son. I went to have my daughter's hair done in Flatbush, and had to be at the hall two hours later.
Posted on: January 4th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Lessons In Emunah
It’s lately become a family joke. During the course of a day, something occurs that touches me. My kids see the wheels turning in my head and ask, teasingly, if I have another idea for one of my columns. It can be a simple kindness, or it can be one of the miracles that Hashem has wrought for us.
Posted on: December 29th, 2011Judaism → Parsha
What do porcupines do in winter? asked Schopenhauer. If they come too close to one another, they injure each other. If they stay too far apart, they freeze. Life, for porcupines, is a delicate balance between closeness and distance. It is hard to get it right and dangerous to get it wrong. And so it is for us.
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