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11 Elul 5778 -
? Wednesday, August 22, 2018


How Low We Have Fallen

It seems like almost yesterday when, after the Camp David accords initiated by President Carter, former Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin, a"h, told me, "Rebbetzin, I have just returned from an American concentration camp. The pressure that President Carter exerted upon me was greater than anyone can imagine. And then, to top it off, he wanted to put Jerusalem on the bargaining table as well. When I vehemently objected, he tried to reassure me by telling me that we would not be negotiating, but merely 'discussing' Jerusalem." After all, the president added, 'There's no harm in discussing.'

The Five-Star Hotel Called Life

When Avraham Avinu was informed that his nephew Lot was captured, he waged war against the combined armies of the four kings. Miraculously, he was victorious and freed Lot.

Shabbat Chol Hamoed Sukkot

Each year, amid the ebullient joy manifest during the holiday of Sukkot, we read the megillah of Kohelet. With its realistic perspective on the world, Kohelet provides us with the means to not only properly calibrate our joy, but to accurately understand the role of joy and happiness in the world.

Which Mitzvah Comes First?

The Gemara in Pesachim 58b derives from the pasuk in this week’s parshah, “V’arach aleha ha’olah” that the tamid must precede all other korbanos. The drasha is from the letter “hei” that signifies the known one – in this scenario, the korban that is known to be the first korban.

Must One Honor His Grandfather?

Rav Akiva Eiger is assuming that the logic of the halacha that both the son and his mother are obligated to honor his father and therefore he must honor his fathers wishes first, is a mathematical equation.

We Can Make A Difference

The High Holy Days are over. It was an awesome spiritual time - when we probed or souls, asked profound questions and tried to determine what our lives are all about. We made resolutions - each in our own personal way - committed to being better Jews. We promised to become better ambassadors of Hashem, more meticulous with mitzvot, more devoted and zealous in doing acts of loving kindness, and in general, become more dedicated to our Torah and all that that implies. And now comes the big question: Are we still determined to make that change?

Unshakable Faith

One must be honest and straight in business dealings and in any interchange involving another person, no matter what his color or creed.

The Ever-Amazing Reb Elimelech (Part XVIII)

After Reb Elimelech had restored the glory of his colleague, Reb Shmelkeh of Nikolsburg, he departed home to Lizhensk. He was en route when a voice descended from Heaven and proclaimed, “In the merit of your helping Reb Shmelkeh you have the privilege of blessing whomever you desire during the next 24 hours. And your blessing will be fulfilled.”

The Universality Of Wisdom

In parshat Yitro, Israel receives its first system of governance: a hierarchical structure of authority with Moses at the top. Why did this important development come, as it were, from outside?

The Pursuit Of Joy

Happiness is not the central value of the Torah. Occurring ten times more is the word "simcha," JOY

Conversion To Judaism

Although the conversion ceremony involves more than circumcision and immersion, these are the two essential requirements, without which the conversion is ineffective.

The Universality Of Sukkot

On the one hand, Sukkot is the most universalistic of all festivals with the sacrifices brought by the 70 nations; on the other, it is the most particularist of festivals, the festival of a people like no other, whose only protection was its faith in the sheltering wings of the Divine presence.

Encouragement

We know that the measure of goodness is greater than that of punishment.

Reaping The Fruits Of His Labor

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.

Q & A: The Hereafter – Olam Haba (Part XIV)

Question: How do we know there is an olam haba – a world to come? L. Papirmeister

Fasting, Halacha And Common Sense (Yuma 73b)

A sick person who is told by a doctor (or feels on his own) that refraining from eating and drinking on Yom Kippur will or may aggravate the sickness to the point of danger, is required by halacha to eat and drink on Yom Kippur.

The Sin of the Spies – Perspective

The message of the Biblical account of the Spies has tremendous relevance today, here in the modern State of Israel. With a nuclear threat from Iran, enemy states on its borders, the ever-constant fear of terrorism, and pressure from the International Community, Israel is not without its challenges. But it’s also the ‘Start Up Nation,’ with a healthy, growing economy when most of the world’s economies are failing.

Shevua She’chal Bo

The sefer Harirai Kedem suggests a different understanding of the machlokes.

Closing Our Eyes To The New Haman (Part I)

I dare not remain silent. I dare not ignore the wake-up calls and the catastrophe they portend. So I ask you to read my ensuing columns on the subject with open minds and receptive hearts. I will limit myself to the wake-up calls we have witnessed over the past couple of years, though they began considerably earlier.

My Mother’s Bashert

On the 6th of Adar, 5667 (March 20, 1907) Shoshe and Rabbi Avraham Halevi Shapiro welcomed Moshe Aharon, their sixth (and last) child, into the world in the little town of Nesvizh, near Baranovich, in Russia.

More Than A Tour

As has often happened in the past, I am writing this article on an El Al plane en route to New York. At least once a year, we have a Hineni tour to Eretz Yisrael. They are always amazing and life transforming. Every day is unique and has its own flavor; every day is miraculous and spiritually elevating -this year's tour was no exception. My granddaughter, Shaindy Wolff Eisenberg, who is in charge of our Hineni activities in Israel, suggested we make this tour a "Navi event, that we trace the paths of our patriarchs and prophets.

An Open Hand

Heshy's head was swirling with the many new requests. Is it better to give more charity or loans? How much should I lend? To whom? What risks should I take?

The Breakfast Of Champions (Part III)

With absolutely nothing to lose, including his employment for the coming year, Dan Zweifel devised a strategy for a team that could not seem to catch an offensive rhythm and for players that had protracted shooting slumps and 10-minute-long droughts. His solution, his only recourse, was defense.

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