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Rosh Hashanah Miracles and Blessings

8 Tishri 5774 – September 12, 2013
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."

Daf Yomi

Location! Location! ‘On and Off His Forehead’ (Pesachim 77a)

A Diamond With A Flaw

Hashem told Moshe to engrave the names of the twelve shevatim onto the stones of the Ephod as a remembrance. Rashi explains that this was so that the memory of Reuven, Shimon, Levi, etc. would be invoked when the kohen gadol did the avodah, and Hashem would then remember their righteousness.

Until When Can We Tip The Scales?

The Mishnah in Rosh Hashanah 16a says that on the first day of the year (Rosh Hashanah), every human being passes in front of Hashem and is judged. The Gemara there (16b) says in the name of Rabbi Kruspadai that there are three sefarim opened on Rosh Hashanah – one for tzaddikim, one for reshaim, and one for beinonim. The tzaddikim are inscribed for life, the reshaim are written for death, and the beinonim must wait until Yom Kippur to see what the judgment on them will be. If they are “zocheh,” they will be inscribed for life; if not, they will be marked for death.

Q & A: L’David Hashem Ori (Part I)

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

Why Is Everyone Standing?

Question: Why does the congregation stand every time the shofar is blown?

Virus Attachment (Part Two)

Rabbi Dayan asked Ruby and Zev to sit down. "Remind me what the issue was," he said. "It's been a while since we spoke." "Zev sent me a computer virus as an email attachment," said Ruby. "Supposedly, the file was a 'helpful computer program,' which he told me to install. The file was a virus, though; when I clicked on it, it attacked my computer! The repair cost $250. I think that Zev should pay for the repair.”

The Blessing Of The Black Mark

29 Elul 5773 – September 3, 2013
Avi and Rachel had always assumed, as most people do, that within a year or two of their marriage they would be blessed with a child. But, as we know, that isn’t always the reality.

‘Apple’ Ices

25 Elul 5773 – August 30, 2013
Enjoy this” sweet” new idea for a “Sweet New Year”! A refreshing and very simple idea to finish off any Yom Tov meal.

Leather – Nail Head Sukkos Wall Hangings

I’m excited to introduce my new Sukkos decoration concept. I couldn’t help but notice the variety of interesting leathers and vinyls available on the market. Sorting through the many different colors and textures, it dawned on me that I could easily create Sukkos décor using one of my favorite combinations, leather and nail heads.

Netzavim-Vayeilech: ‘Perfectly Candid’

"A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small Tennessee town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.

Nitzavim-Vayeilech

Peter Drucker famously said, “Long range planning does not deal with future decisions, but with the future of present decisions.” Sadly, history is replete with examples of leaders who have not only ignored this principle, but who have lost focus of their immediate goals. By doing so, they not only fail to think about the second and third layers of effects, but they fail to consider the possibility of unintended consequences.

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