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The Cult of Obama

In retrospect, the Cult of Obama had much in common with other cults. Like them it recruited young volunteers on campus. Its recruitment materials leaned heavily on books by its beloved leader. It promised them that a new age was coming and that they could be a big part of bringing it about.

OU To Host Annual Marriage Enrichment Retreat

The Orthodox Union will hold its seventh Marriage Enrichment Retreat from Friday, July 13through Sunday, July 15 at the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa in Kerhonkson, New York.

How Your Children Will Ruin You Financially

Your child’s wedding should be a simcha, and not a financial disaster.

I’m Going Back to Hollywood

Now that I think about it, I made a big mistake. Instead of bringing Tevye to the Promised Land, I should have brought him to Las Vegas to meet up with Meir Lansky and Bugsy Siegel in building the town’s first casino. First he throws off his embarrassing tzitzis, then his milkman’s cap, then he shaves off his beard and finds himself a shicksa. Now that would have been a bestseller!

Rabbinate Lifts Restrictions on Tzohar Rabbis Officiating at Weddings

Israel's Chief Rabbinate has agreed to lift restrictions on rabbis from the Tzohar organization conducting weddings. Under the agreement inked Thursday, Tzohar rabbis who meet...

Spicing Up Your Marriage

Dear Dr. Yael: After 30 years of marriage, some things that bothered me before are now magnified. While my husband was trying to make a...

Being Enmeshed: Insights Into Concurrently Holding On And Letting Go

I once heard a story about a single man struggling to find a spouse. His main challenge was his insistence that a potential mate permanently welcome his widowed mother into their marital home. A friend suggested that he speak with the great authority, Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt’l. The man shared with the Rav his delicate predicament. The Rav validated the man’s approach as acceptable. Sometime later, the man met his bashert, the special woman willing to live with his mom. They returned to Rav Shlomo Zalman for his blessing. Surprisingly, the Rav called the man aside and told him that they cannot live with his mother anymore. The young man was shocked. After all, on the previous visit, the Rav had supported his desire to find a woman who would accept their living with his mother.

Beha’alosecha: Light And Reason

Each detail in the Torah is laden with meaning. Surely the service vessels of the Temple had great importance and consequence over and above their routine service. In the description of the menorah that stood in chamber outside the Holy of Holies, Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, found layer upon layer of meaning.

Jewish Tradition and the Secrets of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

What can explain the "Shades of Grey" phenomenon? Why are so many married women reading about submission in an age of feminine liberation?

Israel Recognizes Reform, Conservative Rabbis – Bloggers Start Your Engines!

First, the key points, as listed by Australian blogger Gary Dunn: Israel to Pay Wages of Reform, Conservative Rabbis Although the court ruled in 2009...

New Knesset ‘Tzohar Law’ to Curtail Chief Rabbinate’s Control on Weddings Passes First Reading

The new law will end the obligation of Jewish couples to be wedded only by the rabbi of their locale, permitting them to choose any recognized Orthodox rabbi in the country to perform their marriage.

Rabbinic Court Annuls 20-Year Marriage: Witnesses not Shabbat Observers

In a precedent setting decision, the Chief Judge of the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court Rabbi Eliyahu Abergel this week freed a woman from her aguna status (separated from her husband but unable to marry another) and annulled her marriage because the witnesses who signed the ketubah were not Shabbat observers. The plaintiff's husband had fled Israel to Florida and was refusing to sign a get.

To Polish A Diamond

Rav Ezriel Tauber says that a husband and wife are like two rough diamonds. A rough diamond can become a priceless, pure jewel, but only if another diamond is used to remove the impurities. So HaKadosh Boruch Hu puts together two perfectly matched rough diamonds. He makes sure that they have their little differences. The friction from these differences scrapes away at their impurities so they gradually become multi-faceted, pure, shining jewels.

Stuff Couples Say! Stuff My Date Says!

Beineinu and Choice of the Heart will be holding their annual Symposium this Thursday night, May 17th, at Heichal Shlomo in Jerusalem. The focus of the symposium is creating successful relationships through a combined spiritual and practical approach. 

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: What If Government Recognized Civil Unions, Left Marriage to Religion?

What business does the government have entering a church, synagogue, or mosque to legitimize or define the spiritual nature of a person's marriage? We are supposed to have separation of church and state in America. Far from harming religion, this change would encourage non-religious people to entertain the concept of how religion can enhance and enrich one’s life, and be an invitation to engage in further religious learning, traditions, communities, and beliefs.

Parashat Emor: Learning Compassion

The Talmud tells us that compassion is one of the three traits that distinguish the nation of Israel (the others are shame and kindness). The Torah abounds with commandments that exercise this quality, and Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, explains that they are given for exactly that purpose.

Obama Endorses Same-Sex Marriage; Rabbis Debate Homosexuality

President Obama on Wednesday went on the record with a statement that he now supports same-sex marriage, a reversal of his longstanding opposition. While US public opinion on this issue has seemingly reached a point of no return, the debate within Orthodox Judaism has centered on accepting gays rather than legitimizing the gay agenda. But a few cracks have appeared even in that wall.

North Carolina Bans Gay Marriage

North Carolina approved a constitutional amendment on Tuesday defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, eliminating the possibility of same-sex...

Vatican Rep Wants Alliance With Jews, Muslims, to Combat Gay Marriage

A Vatican representative has issued a call for the world’s foremost religions to unite to take a stand against gay marriage. Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the...

Women’s Rights in Egypt

Islamist Members of Parliament in Egypt are trying to deprive Egyptian women of their basic rights by introducing several controversial draft laws that, if passed, will bring Egypt back to the Middle Ages.

Mazal Tov! The Weddings In Israel

For Israel's Anglo olim (immigrants), the name Givat Shmuel conjures up a marriage scene to rival that of New York's Stern University for Women. Home to hundreds of young English-speakers studying at the adjacent Bar-Ilan University, Givat Shmuel has produced a vibrant, growing community of overseas students – and a reputation for their enthusiastic coupling. Each year, the community watches as many new couples are formed, engagements are announced and weddings are celebrated.

Getting Your Children To Sleep

Dear Dr. Yael: I am having a very difficult time putting my children to sleep at night. My four-year-old son constantly barges out of his room after he has been put to bed. This usually goes on for about an hour - no matter how many times I put him back in bed or threaten to punish him. I also have an eight- year-old who is afraid of bedtime because she can't sleep.

Insights From The Plague Of Leprosy

Although the tzoraas affliction is no more in contemporary times, it teaches lessons that are eternal. Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, explains that foremost among these lessons is the greatness of Torah leaders and their wisdom. Another lesson: The opportunity the affliction presented to the afflicted for repentance and seld-improvement.

Shemini – Strange Fire

The commentators discuss the meaning and implications of the “strange fire” brought as an offering by Nadav and Avihu. In his discussion of this perplexing passage, Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, discusses their early demise and observes that their death served a greater purpose (through the sadness that ensued) and that despite receiving a divine death penalty, the Torah regards them as great people.

Pesach: Splitting The Sea

The miraculous splitting of the Sea of Reeds was one of the pinnacles of Israel’s closeness to Hashem. It raises a question, though: Why? Hashem typically hides His presence somewhat, conducting the world in a discrete way and never revealing His presence so openly. As Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, explains, this spectacle on the Sea of Reeds was performed with two great purposes in mind.

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