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Shabbos: A Day With Hashem: The Inside Story

11 Tevet 5774 – December 13, 2013
On the ninth of Teves Ezra HaSofer was niftar. The Gemara (Megilah 15a) tells us that Ezra was actually Malachi – the last prophet. With his passing, the glorious era of nevuah, prophecy, came to an end.

Yosef’s Immunity And Its Message For Our Times

The belief in the power of the evil eye and the desire to ward off its deleterious spell are rooted firmly in Jewish historical consciousness. Indeed, the Talmud is replete with numerous references to the notion of ayin hara and takes its existence for granted.

Vayechi: Who Is Joseph’s Real Father?

When Joseph agrees to bury Jacob in Canaan, Jacob bows to him in relief - why?

Sensitivity Of A Tzaddik

10 Tevet 5774 – December 12, 2013
Yaakov Avinu spent the final seventeen years of his life in Mitzrayim. While there he lived in peace for the first time in many years and remained in that state for the rest of his life. Near the end of his days he called in his beloved son Yosef and made an impassioned request: “Please do not bury me in Mitzrayim.”

Why Did Yosef Have To Swear?

This week’s parshah begins with Yaakov Avinu on his deathbed. He called for and requested of Yosef not to bury him in Mitzrayim, but rather in Eretz Yisrael. Although Yosef agreed to fulfill this request, Yaakov asked him to swear that he would keep his word, which he did.

Q & A: Standing During Birkot Keriat Shema (Part II)

Question: I have noticed that some people stand during the Birkot Keriat Shema. I was always under the impression that one is supposed to sit for Shema and its berachot. Is there a source that allows one to stand during this part of the prayer? Menachem (Via E-Mail)

Daf Yomi

In One’s Grasp ‘Ein Ma’avirin Al Hamitzvos’ (Yoma 33a)

The Chosen People In Kiddush

How come Kiddush for Shabbat contains different phrases regarding the Jewish people’s chosenness than Kiddush for Yom Tov?

Delayed Order

Mr. Sofer completed his book order with an online company. The vendor offered special, fast shipping for an additional cost, but he opted for regular free shipping. "Delivery within three weeks," stated the site.

Winter Wonderland

We had inadvertently parked in the lot of a nearby church...

Generations Forget and Remember

It is not difficult to understand the care Joseph took to ensure that Jacob would bless the firstborn first.

Yahrzeit – a Time to Remember

My tatte had a magnificent voice that had the power to pierce the most hardened heart.

Parshas VaYechi

9 Tevet 5774 – December 11, 2013
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Inside-Out

4 Tevet 5774 – December 6, 2013
In our story a couple of kids discover Chanukah within the walls of a gym.

Parshas Vayigash: Why did Serach Live Such A Long Life?

Shemos Rabbah states that Yaakov transmitted the “secret of the redemption.”

A Rosh Chodesh Celebration

Just as the moon waxes and wanes and then totally disappears from view before returning to the night sky, so, too, the Jewish people.

Closing One’s Eyes For Candle Lighting

3 Tevet 5774 – December 5, 2013
Question: Why do women cover their eyes when they light Shabbat candles?

4 For 100

People thronged from all over Israel to take advantage of this opportunity.

Wakeup Call (Yuma 28a)

At about 4 a.m. on cold and damp autumn mornings in London, Dad would try to wake us in time for Selichot, the pre-Jewish New Year dawn prayers. As we heard Dad’s footsteps mounting the stairs, my brother and I would hide under our covers and mutter our displeasure at being disturbed.

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