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Mashiach Now!

20 Tammuz 5772 – July 10, 2012
Some people don’t realize that Mashiach’s coming is a process that evolves over time. These people want everything to be finished at the start. They say that when Mashiach comes and does all the work of rebuilding the Land of Israel, and gathers all of the exiled Jews to Israel, and fights the wars of Hashem, and rebuilds the Beit HaMikdash, then they will come on aliyah. First, everything has to be perfect. First, the Mashiach has to do all the work.

Miracles In Moscow

15 Tammuz 5772 – July 4, 2012
“If you put Google, Apple, and Microsoft together, it still doesn’t compare to the miracles of Jewish renaissance I have witnessed in this country,” I said to two reporters from The New York Times and Moscow Times.

Getting Back Together

We all know we have to take the Three Weeks seriously. But at the same time we all just want the time between the 17th of Tammuz and Tisha B’Av to pass already.

First Of The Land

10 Tammuz 5772 – June 29, 2012
There are 613 mitzvoth – we all know that. We also all know it is impossible for one person to perform all 613. Twenty-five mitzvot can only be performed in the Land of Israel, which leaves many Jews out in the cold, shall we say. After all, the people of Israel and the Land of Israel are inextricably intertwined; they are in fact dependent on one another for survival. But Judaism has a solution or as a modern Israeli would say, a “patent.” Mitzvot can be performed by proxy; by taking a part in a mitzvah one merits a share in the whole.

Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Two: Golda

5 Tammuz 5772 – June 25, 2012
Tevye took the shovel and started to dig. The earth was hard, but after breaking through the frozen topsoil, the ground became looser below. Whoever would have dreamed of Tevye digging up his Golda?

The Last Secular Jew in Israel

2 Tammuz 5772 – June 22, 2012
As the first wave of bombers reached the shores of Tel Aviv, a wall of rain clouds appeared in the sky. Jerusalem vanished in an impenetrable fog. In the lead French bomber, the dials on the instrument panel were spinning wildly in circles. The mysterious fog darkened the cockpit. An unworldly thunder shook the plane like a toy. The terrified pilot tried to swing the giant bomber around, but the steering was jammed.

Days of Mashiach

29 Sivan 5772 – June 19, 2012
"I've come for my house," the man said. "My family wants to move back tonight." Ehud's voice stuck in his throat. He felt dizzy. He felt weak. Giving up his house was too much. Ehud felt his sons' eyes upon him, watching to see what he would do. "It isn't your house," Ehud said. "Yes it is," the man answered. "We bought it. We have a deed," Ehud insisted. "I have a deed too. The people you bought the house from weren't the legal owners."

My Hero, King David

24 Sivan 5772 – June 13, 2012
The Bible introduces us to many fascinating and inspiring personalities, righteous men and women whose example of piety continue to guide and uplift us to this very day. There are some, however, to whom we can relate in an especially powerful way and whom we can truly strive to emulate.

Towards A Zionism Of Destiny

17 Sivan 5772 – June 7, 2012
Some still think that the rightist leadership is actually capable of getting the State of Israel off the route previously charted out by the Zionist Left. They really think that the reason why our national train continues to speed down the Oslo track is because of the people in charge.

Face To Face With Miracles

16 Sivan 5772 – June 6, 2012
Our sages teach us that when we have left this life and face the Court on High, we will be called upon to answer for our lives. Among the questions we will be asked is, “Did you throughout your lifetime eagerly await and anticipate the geulah, the ultimate redemption?”

Dear Not a Jew -> Jew

22 Iyyar 5772 – May 14, 2012
Some people will tell you that if you put on tefillin in Brooklyn, you’ve reached the pinnacle of the Jewish journey, but it isn’t true. Other people will tell you we have to stay in exile until Mashiach arrives. But that isn’t true either. Hashem isn’t waiting for Mashiach. Before our very eyes, Hashem has brought millions of Jews back to Israel on His own, without waiting for Mashiach to do all the work.

Boundless Miracles Available For The Taking

18 Iyyar 5772 – May 10, 2012
Dear Dr. Respler: The holidays are a great time to learn about ourselves – the good, the bad and the ugly – and then try to make lemonade from the lemons, turn the positive into building blocks, and generally create good things from the lessons learned. The Yamim Tovim are saturated with kedushah, leading to beautifully crafted creations from what one learned and experienced during these holy, spiritual days.

Wakeup Call (Midot 1:9)

At about 4 a.m. on cold and damp autumn mornings in London, Dad would try to wake us in time for Selichot, the pre-Jewish New Year dawn prayers. As we heard Dad’s footsteps mounting the stairs, my brother and I would hide under our covers and mutter our displeasure at being disturbed.

The Merit Of Living In Israel

4 Iyyar 5772 – April 25, 2012
Yaakov Avinu received word that his brother Eisav was coming to greet him. He understood fully well that this was not to be a warm family reunion. Eisav came accompanied by a band of four hundred armed men, bent on revenge. The Torah says Yaakov was “very frightened,” so he prepared for war.

My Machberes

27 Nisan 5772 – April 18, 2012
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My Own Hashgachah Pratis

Several weeks ago I started a series on hashgachah pratis, or Divine Providence. Every believing Jew knows that events do not just unfold randomly; the story I told of two brothers named Yaakov and Yedidya clearly testified to that reality in a contemporary setting.

Sefira And The Battle With Our Evil Inclination

21 Nisan 5772 – April 12, 2012
During Pesach we experience liberation from slavery, followed by the dramatic encounter with Pharaoh’s army at the Red Sea. Then we trek through the desert to the great moment at Har Sinai.

Chad Gadya – Pesach & the Order of Things

13 Nisan 5772 – April 4, 2012
As the Seder night ebbs away – long after the Four Questions have been asked and answered, after the festive meal has been eaten and the post-feast drowsiness descends, after the evening’s mitzvot have been observed and the fourth cup of wine emptied – we raise our voices in a curious, delightful, seemingly whimsical song at the end of the Haggadah.

Pesach: The End Of Victimhood

6 Nisan 5772 – March 28, 2012
The Midrash (Shemot Rabbah 18:12) describes “leil shimurim,” the “night of watching,” the night before the redemption, as one of the glorious nights in Jewish history.

Purim Afterthoughts

21 Adar 5772 – March 14, 2012
Purim is the one Yom Tov all Jews can celebrate. Special knowledge is not required and the demands of its observance are easy enough.

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