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Tag: Chazal

Israel and the Nations

6 Elul 5774 – August 31, 2014
It is in the nature of the Nations of the World to be hostile towards the Jewish People.

Life is in Its Struggles: Dealing with the Tough Questions

25 Adar I 5774 – February 25, 2014
When the "offensive" statements in our Talmud were stated, no one thought they were offensive.

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

23 Kislev 5773 – December 6, 2012
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‘Hurricane Season’

It’s been a rough few weeks. It began with the news of a heinous crime just blocks from where I live on Manhatan’s Upper West Side: a nanny viciously took the lives of her two young charges. Hurricane Sandy came next, contributing additional loss of life and financial devastation of a magnitude never before experienced by our East Coast brethren.

Asking For Advice

At the age of seventeen, Yosef was wise in the ways of the Torah and in the ways of the world. He was called a “ben zikunim” because even at such a young age he showed the brilliance of an elder scholar. He had already absorbed all the Torah Yaakov had learned in the many years he had spent in the yeshiva of Shem.

The Scholars Of Brodi

17 Kislev 5773 – November 30, 2012
A famous scholars of the beis midrash in the city of Brodi was Rav Avraham Gershon of Kitov. This modest and unassuming man possessed such wondrous qualities of goodness and knowledge that the great Nodah B’Yehudah referred to him, in part, as follows:

The One Chapter Book – Ovadiah

I always wonder about Jewish names. Some make it and some don’t. Some have mazel and others don’t. Some Biblical personalities’ names are very popular amongst the members of Klal Yisrael and then there are those personalities whose names never seem to be used.

Thoughts On Hurricane Sandy

9 Kislev 5773 – November 23, 2012
Usually, when I begin a speech, I start with something interesting, lighthearted or funny - to get your attention and lead into the speech itself. Permit me to deviate from that this week, because there is nothing funny, lighthearted or interesting about what so many of us are experiencing, and if not us, than our friends, loved ones and neighbors, and if not them, than people a few miles away from us in Long Beach or Far Rockaway who have lost everything to 14 foot waves, or a little farther away where helpless Senior Citizens are living without water or power in high rises on the Lower East Side.

The Fascinating Life of Our First Matriarch

25 Heshvan 5773 – November 9, 2012
From the moment she is introduced as Avraham’s young bride (Bereshit 11: 29,30,31) till her death in this week’s Torah portion appropriately titled Chayei Sarah -- The Life of Sarah , the fascinating image of our first matriarch is the subject of many intriguing Midrashic commentaries.

A Labor Of Love

17 Heshvan 5773 – November 1, 2012
I recently interviewed Mrs. Tziporah Lifshitz of Maaleh Adumim, Israel about the recent posthumous publication of the book A Day Is A Thousand Years, Human Destiny and the Jewish People, authored by her late father, Dr. Zvi Faier, and edited by Tziporah and her mother, Chaya.

Noach: Hashem Hates Thievery

2 Heshvan 5773 – October 17, 2012
In this pasuk, Hashem appears to Noach, telling him the world has turned to evil and He will now destroy all of life. Noach, his family, and the animals that remained pure will be the core of a new world. The reason for this destruction is stealing – “since the land is filled with robbery.”

Rav Elyashiv, Torah and Science

1 Heshvan 5773 – October 16, 2012
One of the biggest issues that has arisen as a result of the Slifkin controversy is the question of whether Chazal, the sages of the Talmud knew the actuality of nature. There are those who say that they did. They say that every statement recorded in the Gemarah with respect to science is an accurate reflection of nature itself. The science redacted in the Talmud is as valid as the Halacha - both being Mesorah.

Bereshit: The Triple Birth of Woman

29 Tishri 5773 – October 14, 2012
In this week's Torah portion, within the majesty and mystery of creation, the woman emerges in three successive stages.

A Colossal But Essential Pain In The Neck

26 Tishri 5773 – October 11, 2012
Seven years ago, I was approached by a group of friends with an unexpected request. Would I be interested in running for trustee of my local public school district?

Shabbat Chol Hamoed Sukkot

20 Tishri 5773 – October 5, 2012
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.

Torah Lengthens Life

13 Tishri 5773 – September 28, 2012
Chazal tell us that Torah is our life and the length of our days. Here is a story that proves this statement quite literally. In Yerushalayim there lived a family in which all the children passed away at an early age. Everything possible was done to protect the children from illness and the slightest danger, however, it was to no avail. Not one child lived past the age of 18.

A Lifetime Guarantee

6 Tishri 5773 – September 21, 2012
I rarely take the extended warranty when purchasing new electronics. I figure that this warranty must not be worth much if they feel the need to pressure me into buying it. They must know what I have learned the hard way: there is no such thing as a real guarantee. In my more naive days, I purchased this "peace of mind," as they call it, but never cashed in. Usually, by the time the item broke, I had forgotten about the extended warranty and purchased a replacement.

The Tale Of Two Armstrongs In Elul

26 Elul 5772 – September 12, 2012
Two major news stories involving two famous men named Armstrong occurred within days of each other recently. Was it random happenstance? Or was there hashgacha involved? We know that nothing happens outside Hashem’s realm and power. But did Hashem have a specific reason for these two events occurring together when they did?

L’Zera Yaakov Tizkor

20 Elul 5772 – September 6, 2012
A passage at the end of the Zichronot blessing in the Mussaf Amidah of Rosh Hashanah appears to have two slightly different versions. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim, 591:7) rules that this is the correct text: “V’akeidas Yitzchak hayom l’zaro tizkor.” It also rules and those who change the words and specify “l’zera Yaakov tizkor” are mistaken and guilty of changing the text instituted by Chazal. The source for this ruling is a responsum (chapter 38) by the Spanish and then Algerian Rivash (14th century).

The Mouse Is Smarter Than Me: Preparing For Rosh Hashanah

6 Elul 5772 – August 23, 2012
It is hard to believe that Elul is upon us and that the Day of Judgment is only one month away. In a short 30 days we must face our Creator and have our deeds evaluated in the hopes of a receiving a merciful blessing for a good and healthy year. We spend the month of Elul focused on repentance, and we learn the holy books of mussar to inspire us to grow and change.

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