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Our Holy Visitors

9 Tishri 5773 – September 25, 2012
Sukkos comes to us as a beautifully wrapped gift from Hashem, right when we can use some pampering. Having just completed an exhaustive round of appeals to our Father in heaven to forgive our iniquities and grant us yet another chance to prove ourselves worthy of His beneficence and mercy, we emerge as newborns – clean and pure and free of the stain of sin.

Arabs Objecting to Bar Mitzvah Torah Reading by the Kotel

8 Tishri 5773 – September 23, 2012
The Al-Aqsa Institute said that Israel invented new methods to Judaize Islamic holy relics in Jerusalem.

The Atrocity of Ignorance and Fanaticism

Recent anti-Christian acts are due to a culture of hatred of the goy (non-Jew) that permeates certain circles.

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.

Rosh Hashanah: A National, Not Personal, Holiday

We are used to assuming that Rosh Hashanah is a holiday of repentance and atonement, a holiday of judgment, and the holiday when our fate for the coming year is determined. The Selichot prayers before and after Rosh Hashanah add to the sense of personal days of judgment, an obvious truth.

Daf Yomi

5 Tishri 5773 – September 20, 2012
The Lady Of The House ‘One Blesses First On The Wine…’ (Berachos 51)

The Last Command

By now Moses had given 612 commands to the Israelites. But there was one further instruction he still had to give, the last of his life, the final mitzvah in the Torah: “Now therefore write this song and teach it to the people of Israel. Put it in their mouths, that this song may be My witness against the people of Israel” (Deuteronomy 31: 19).

What is More Virtuous: Paying Taxes or Giving Charity?

3 Tishri 5773 – September 19, 2012
Being forced to pay taxes does not make us more virtuous people. If it did, our founding fathers would have thanked George III for his coercion.

Why Me…Why Not me?

27 Elul 5772 – September 13, 2012
Just a few short days ago we were in summer mode, vacationing in the mountains, at the cottage, or on the road visiting family, friends or sightseeing. But with the start of September and school, we become all to aware that the Yamim Noraim - the Days of Awe – are upon us, that sobering period of time when a year's worth of our actions and activities will be evaluated by our Creator. His ultimate assessment and judgement will affect the quality and quantity of the days of our lives.

Netzavim: Choose Life

“The life and the death I have given before you…in order that you should live, you and your seed.… And you shall choose life” (30:19). “Choosing life” is one of the highest accomplishments (Shaare Teshuvah III:17). This means that not only does Hashem allow us the free will to choose (a principle that materialist psychologists deny), He also gives us the information that we possess free will.

Ki Savo: Emulating The Creator

20 Elul 5772 – September 6, 2012
Many passages in the Torah appear at first glance to be repetitious. Often, each iteration has a unique and deep message. Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, finds such a case (in the passage of the Blessings and Curses) in the Torah's instruction to keep Hashem’s commandments and walk in His ways. Also in the passage of the Blessings and Curses, Rabbi Miller highlights the great blessing of a long life.

The Intricacies Of Selichos

There is a custom to say Selichos before Rosh Hashanah. Sephardim have the custom to say Selichos during the entire month of Elul, while Ashkenazim follow the custom of the Ramah (Orach Chaim 581:1) to only say Selichos for a minimum of four days prior to Rosh Hashanah – beginning with Motzaei Shabbos. The Ramah quotes from the Kol Bo that certain communities had the custom that the ba’al tefillah should also be the chazzan for the remainder of the day. The Magen Avraham explains that this is because of the general rule that when one begins a mitzvah he should complete it.

One Is Hashem: Imbuing Your Child With Emunah And Bitachon

14 Elul 5772 – August 31, 2012
We asked several experienced mechanchim for their insights on how to shepherd children from their first “Modeh Ani” to the understanding that Hashem alone holds the key to every aspect of their existence. Here are the key principles they shared.

My New Year’s Resolution – With Strings Attached

12 Elul 5772 – August 29, 2012
“Rabbi, is there any religious requirement for Jewish men to wear mezuzahs around their necks?” “Rabbi, if you yourself are clean-shaven, why does this inmate claim his Jewish religion prohibits him from using a razor on his face?”

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.

How To Throw A Party

30 Av 5772 – August 17, 2012
For my upcoming birthday, instead of waiting for my friends or my husband to make me a “surprise” party, I decided to throw one myself. I settled on a cozy and intimate evening, celebrating my birthday with professional cake decorating and fruity cocktails with my nearest and dearest. But as with every gathering I plan, things started to get out of control.

Preventing Wedding Waste And Wedding Waist

With the Three Weeks and its social restrictions as they pertain to simchas behind us, heimishe Yidden everywhere are "dusting off" their party clothes, taking their jewelry out of the safe and getting ready to attend a multitude of weddings - with some people invited out on an almost daily basis.

Can Somebody Tell Me Why?

If a Jew is thrown into prison and he doesn’t have tefillin, then he can’t perform the mitzvah of putting on tefillin. But the mitzvah of tefillin isn’t cancelled because of this. The very first morning that he gets out of jail, he once again must perform the mitzvah of putting on tefillin

Daf Yomi

28 Av 5772 – August 15, 2012
What About Ma’ariv? ‘The Bridegroom Is Exempt From Kerias Shema’ (Berachos 16a)

A Megillas Esther In An Ir Hanidachas

In this week’s parshah the Torah teaches the halachos of an ir hanidachas – a city where a majority of the inhabitants serve avodah zarah. The halacha is that all of the city’s inhabitants are killed and all of their possessions are burned.

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