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An Etrog Tree Doesn’t Grow in Brooklyn

If it did it would die. Just the way the Diaspora is destined to die. The etrog tree doesn’t belong in Brooklyn. The climate isn’t right for it. It’s the same with the lulav, hadasim, and aravot. The four species which we are commanded to take for ourselves on the Festival of Sukkot are indigenous to Eretz Yisrael, just as the Torah is indigenous to Eretz Yisrael, and the Jewish People are indigenous to Eretz Yisrael. We belong in Eretz Yisrael. All of the holidays are intrinsically connected to Eretz Yisrael. The Torah was designed and fashioned by the Almighty to be observed in Eretz Yisrael.

Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter 15: Guardian of Israel

As a sign of his grief over Tzeitl, Tevye tore his shirt and sat on a low stool in Hodel's house in the traditional custom of mourners. He maintained a stalwart expression to disguise the hole he felt in his heart. His strength came from Golda. She appeared to him in a dream and told him not to worry.

Title: Land of My Past, Land of My Future

Title: Land of My Past, Land of My Future Author: Michael Kaufman Publisher: Targum Press, 2012

Homeward Bound

L eading up to the holiday of Sukkot, we’ll wrap up our condensed look at Rabbi Kook’s teachings on t’shuva with a few blogs on two of the holidays most important themes – Eretz Yisrael and Torah.

Miriam Ben-Porat: A Woman of ‘Firsts’

Miriam Scheinsohn was born on April 26, 1918, in Vitebsk (Belorussia), the youngest of eight children (she had three sisters and four brothers). Soon after Miriam’s birth the family moved to Kovno (Kaunas) in Lithuania, where her parents owned a textile factory.

Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter 13: Tzeitl’s Last Wish

"What are we going to eat?" Shmuelik asked Tevye as they changed into their Sabbath clothing. Tevye did not understand the question. "What do you...

Migron Headache

How can it be that in this clear time of Redemption, when millions of Jews have returned to the Land of Israel from the four corners of the world, in the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy that crises and setbacks like the evacuation of Migron still occur?

The Gangte Family: Formerly of Neve Dekalim; Now Of Nitzan

The family: My name is Avin Gangte. I am a member of the Benei Menashe community hailing from the north-eastern states of Manipur and Mizoram in India. I am married to Hagit who is also from the same community and we have five children.

Yael Nitzan: The Museum Of Israeli Women

TV producer and author Yael Nitzan’s decades’ old dream is becoming a reality. Through the generosity of the Haifa municipality, an empty 200-year-old palace, once owned by an Arab sheikh, will be turned into “The Museum of Israeli Women.” Although in other countries there are museums documenting the accomplishments of women, Israel, with the world’s highest ratio of museums per person, has none dedicated to the women who contributed to the founding of the State of Israel and to its development.

An Appreciation: Remembering HaRav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv, A Torah Giant, On His Shloshim

It’s hard to believe that for the past 30 days we have been living in a world without HaRav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv, zt”l, who...

Tears For Shavel

Recently, my wife Clary and I traveled to Lithuania to experience what remains of one of Judaism’s most magnificent centers of learning. My journey, organized by Zvi Lapian of Israel and led by the eminent historian and distinguished scholar Dr. Shnayer Leiman, took me to what was once the world’s center of Torah learning.

Tens Of Thousands Celebrate Historic Siyum HaShas

Neither the threat of rain nor heavy traffic prevented the huge throng of enthusiastic participants from attending the 12th Siyum HaShas last Wednesday, August 1 at MetLife Stadium. The event, which attracted more than 90,000 people, was in celebration of the conclusion of the seven-and-a-half year learning cycle of the Babylonian Talmud.

Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Eight: The Holy Land

Who knew what new disasters would arise on the way to Alexandria, Tevye thought? Eretz Yisrael was so close, they could almost reach out and touch it. Jews were already pushing and shoving to climb down the ladder of the ship. They jumped into the small rowboats as if the chance might never come again.

If You Launch It, They Will Come: ArtScroll On The iPad

For the Siyum HaShas in MetLife Stadium, community leaders, security officials, and even dogs (K-9 units) spent months getting ready for the close to 100,000 in attendance on Wednesday afternoon. However, members of ArtScroll have been focusing on what happens after the celebration. In honor of the 13th daf yomi cycle, ArtScroll has begun to launch its newest edition of the Babylonian Talmud – a digitized version for the iPad.

So Happy Together

The day following our oldest daughter’s wedding in Eretz Yisrael was the day we had planned for my husband to return to his job in the U.S. I was staying for another week in Israel with the rest of our children and my dear mother in order to participate in the remaining wedding celebrations.

The Twelfth Siyum HaShas Of Daf Yomi

This coming Wednesday evening, August 1, will see the largest convergence ever of American Jewry at a daf yomi Siyum HaShas celebration. The event, the Twelfth Siyum HaShas, to be held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford in the New Jersey Meadowlands, is sponsored by the Daf Yomi Commission of Agudath Israel of America.

‘And From Zion The Torah Will Go Forth’: Rabbi Yosef Sholom Elyashiv’s Impact On...

The New York Times once asked Rabbi Moshe Feinstein how he became a posek hador, one of the generation’s foremost authorities on Jewish law. Rabbi Feinstein answered that, “people came and asked me questions and they liked what I said and it was accepted, and then more people came and eventually I became widely accepted as a posek.”

Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Six: A Wagon of Worries

"If you want to read a truly important book, you should read ‘The Jewish State,’ by Theodor Herzl. He was a prophet who spoke to the Jews of today," said Ben Zion. "The Lord has many messengers," Nachman answered. "In our time, God chose Herzl to bring the message of Zion to our exiled people. But it wasn't Herzl who invented the Zionist movement. It comes from our holy Torah and the Jews who have been following its call for thousands of years."

Machtesh Ramon

Machtesh Ramon is considered by some to be the most exquisite site on the planet. Located south of Beersheba in the Central Negev, not only is Machtesh Ramon the most spectacular geological sight in Eretz Yisrael, it contains within it some unique geological formations that are not found anywhere else on earth.

Parshat Pinchas

When national tragedy struck on November 22, 1963 Vice President Lyndon Johnson was inadequately prepared to assume the presidency. The Kennedy people had done their best to sideline him throughout the first three years of JFK’s term. Thus, he was not in the know in regards to many of the important initiatives Kennedy had proposed, but that would now become his responsibility. Additionally, there was substantial personal ill will between LBJ and Kennedy’s people - especially JFK’s younger brother Bobby, the attorney general.

Psalms, Scuds And Shamir

Let me tell you how special it is to live in Eretz Yisrael. The other day I decided it was time for me to say the entire Book of Psalms – Tehillim. I’m the father of ten children and fifteen grandchildren (b’li ayin hara), so the power of Tehillim is where I turn, for my family’s needs.

Lollipops Don’t Fall From The Sky

Last week I published a letter from a thirty-eight year old single woman who lamented that despite her having become a ba’alas teshuvah, forsaking her secular life, committing to Torah and mitzvos, going to rabbis, receiving berachot – in short, doing all the “right” things – she has failed to find her bashert, her soul mate. She wondered where G-d was and what all her sacrifices were all about. She was angry at G-d and regarded all her efforts as having been for naught. “My joy in Judaism has disappeared,” she wrote. The following is my response.

A Short Man But A Giant Prime Minister

Former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir passed away last weekend. In the course of my career as a correspondent for The Jewish Press at the UN and in Israel, as well as a parliamentary aide and spokesman for Israel’s first science minister, Professor Yuval Ne’eman, I met with dozens of world leaders, ministers, high-ranking officials and ambassadors. None of them left as indelible a mark on me as did Shamir.

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