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Hashem Will Help

14 Tishri 5774 – September 17, 2013
The zaidie sat at the head of the dining room table. I was a small child and unaware that my friend Esther’s grandfather was the revered rosh yeshiva at Yeshiva University, Rav Moshe Aaron Poleyeff, zt”l.

Shabbos – A Day With Hashem; Sincere Repentance

10 Tishri 5774 – September 13, 2013
Every Shabbos we look forward to the delightful seudos where we enjoy delicious food and drinks, sing zemiros, say divrei Torah, and spend wonderful time with our families. This coming Shabbos, Yom Kippur, will be quite different. We will spend most of the day in prayer and repentance, begging Hashem to forgive us for our sins, and we may forget that it is also Shabbos. However, from the fact that we ask for forgiveness “on this day of Shabbos,” we see that there is an integral connection between Shabbos and the atonement of Yom Kippur.

The Connection Between Yom Kippur And Sukkot

This shemirah is represented by the sukkah - a fragile structure made of cheap, flimsy wood, without a door, without a lock, without an alarm system.

Rav Bina’s Yom Kippur Message – 5774 (Video)

The Yom Kippur video message of Rav Bina, the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh at the Kotel,

Teshuvah Is Easy; Change Is Difficult

9 Tishri 5774 – September 12, 2013
With the entire nation gathered at the foot of Har Sinai, Moshe Rabbeinu went up to receive the Torah. When he came down forty days later, the Jewish people were in a very different state from when he had left them. Through the influence of the mixed multitude, they were engaged in a form of idol worship. While it’s true that the vast majority of the people didn’t actively engage in the act, for such a people so soon after hearing, “I am Hashem Your G-d,” directly from our Creator, this was so egregious that it was considered as if they had each participated. The only hope was for Moshe to beseech Hashem for mercy.

Open Parking Lots On Shabbat (Part I)

Question: Is it proper for Orthodox synagogues to have their parking lots open on Shabbat?

Q & A: L’David Hashem Ori (Part II)

Question: In “L’David Hashem Ori” – which we recite from the beginning of Elul until Shemini Atzeret – we read the following: “Bikrov alay me’reim le’echol et besarai – When evildoers approach me to devour my flesh.” Why does the verse use the word “me’reim”? Why not use “resha’im” or “anashim ra’im” instead? Tzila Kleinbart Brooklyn, NY

Confused Cell Phone

Yossi and Ezra shared an apartment. They had many things in common, which made them good roommates. One thing they shared that sometimes caused problems, though, was identical cell phones.

Daf Yomi

Hashem’s House Is No Different ‘Everything…But To Leave’ (Pesachim 86b)

The Mitzvah To Eat On Erev Yom Kippur

There is a mitzvah to eat on Erev Yom Kippur. The pasuk says that we should do ennui to our soul on the ninth day of Tishrei. The Gemara, in Yuma 81b, explains that the pasuk cannot be referring to the ninth day because we know from other pesukim that the ennui is on the tenth of the month. Therefore the Gemara explains that the pasuk is teaching us that whoever eats on the ninth day is considered to have fasted on the ninth and tenth days.

Rosh Hashanah Miracles and Blessings

Obviously it is our choice to accept or deny that G-d is leading us on our path. Yet that choice will determine the meaning of our lives.

Flawless

8 Tishri 5774 – September 11, 2013
Approximately 30 days before Shavuos, my fondest friend, Joshua, a prominent diamond importer, invited me to his Fifth Avenue office. “Chaim, I want to show you a beautiful stone. Maybe you have a customer, and I am sure you could use the broker’s commission” (usually not more than two percent).

Fast of Gedaliah

4 Tishri 5774 – September 8, 2013
On Sunday, Jews will be refraining from food and drink from dawn until sunset to commemorate the Fast of Gedaliah.

Down-To-Earth Deeds Develop Into Diamonds

1 Tishri 5774 – September 4, 2013
"An animal also has an instinct to care for its young, but you are doing more than that. You are performing chesed, an act of kindness for another human being. Does it matter that he also happens to be your son?"

Sweeter Than Honey

One of the beautiful customs of Rosh Hashanah is to eat an apple dipped in honey and other sweet foods as a way of asking Hashem to make things sweet for us in the coming year. People also wish each other a healthy and sweet New Year. However the best way to make the year sweet for ourselves and for others is to become “sweet” people, remembering to smile and treat each other in a sweet and friendly way.

Shabbos Shuvah: The Wonder Of Words

Why do we call this Shabbos, Shabbos Shuvah? Is it because it’s the only Shabbos during the Aseres Yemei Teshuva? That can’t be the reason. After all, we don’t call this Shabbos, Shabbos Teshuvah. It’s specifically called Shabbos Shuvah. So you’ll tell me, shuvah, teshuvah—same thing, right? Both mean repentance. But we will see that the difference between teshuvah and shuvah is all the difference in the world.

The Shofar’s Eternal Call

"When we were liberated, we blew the shofar again and my father took it with him."

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