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Question: Many people stay awake Shavuot night and learn Torah. Is this proper considering that one’s davening the next morning may lack kavannah as a result? Wouldn’t it make more sense to get a good night’s sleep and then learn with more fervor the next day? No Name Please (Via E-Mail)
Sefer HaChinuch: The Torah commands us to count the Omer so we can relive the Exodus from Mitzrayim. Just as the Jews back then anxiously anticipated the great day when they were to receive the Torah, so too we count the days till Shavuos, the Yom Tov that commemorates the giving of the Torah. To the Jews then, accepting the Torah on Har Sinai was even greater than their redemption from slavery. So we count each day to bring ourselves to that sense of great enthusiasm, as if to say, “When will that day come?”
Our roundup today concludes with parental anxieties, which all of us with and without children share. It reminded me of the joke about a...
The Obama Administration's policy toward Syria is turning into a scandal on both strategic and humanitarian grounds.
Connecticut Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, announced Tuesday that in order to avoid a repeat of what Barbara Cadranel had to...
The Palestinian news agency Ma'an reprts that Islamic Jihad leader Sheikh Nafeth Azzam on Monday urged PA President Mahmoud Abbas to walk out on...
Growing up, I remember my father’s Rosh Hashana ritual. He read the story of Rabi Amnon of Mainz, who had his tongue, hands and legs cut off for refusing to convert to Christianity – for choosing to remain a Jews. I would run away from the table sobbing in terror. Even at the tender age of six, I knew that being Jewish made oneself a member of an endangered species.
Mrs. D., the mother of two children under the age of four, came to see me – she was in the seventh month of her third pregnancy. This baby was unexpected. She had “difficulty” after her last pregnancy, and already tearful, she wanted me to get to know her now, so that I could help her later, when the depression hit. She was not sure she would be able to handle it all again.
To view government as a form of deity or an inevitable friend of the poor and downtrodden is an illusion. Government is not a magic box, but a can of worms. To see it as a player, with its own interests, that should be as distrusted as any bank or corporation is the purest form of common sense, the very triumph of common sense over ideology and dogma that made America great, its people free, and real democracy possible.
The world is full of people without a sense of humor, as was discovered recently by Vanya Heiman, Anat Vershovsky and Amit Shimoni, all students from the "Bezalel" Academy of the Arts, who created the clip "Der Mensch" for the Visual Communication Department at the Academy. It was only supposed to be a genre exercise…
US Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Queens, Manhattan) released the following statement on the retirement from Congress of her friend and colleague, Congressman Gary Ackerman: "Gary Ackerman...
Shortly after returning from France, MK Rabbi Israel Eichler (United Torah Judaism) said anxiety surrounds the French Jewish community: "There is a constant tension, the Jewish community is living in a prison-like situation." Eichler said France poses "a great danger to Jews."
Outside the battered wall of the kindergarten, we met with registered nurse Carol Simantov, from Levittown, Pa., who has seen up close the wages of this war. But to my surprise, she harbored no resentment, not even anger. Instead, she spoke wistfully about her friends back inside the Gaza strip, who are suffering under the yoke of the Hamas government.
The Iron Dome is another, hi-tech manifestation of the siege mentality that guides Israel's cultural and political narrative. From media to academia to politics, Israel’s celebration of this so-called “strategic” weapon system - that neither neutralizes its threats nor enhances Israel's geo-political position – is an indictment of the degree to which Israel has accepted this siege mentality, and of its resignation to a permanent defensive posture.
Klal Yisroel stood at Har Sinai and accepted the Torah in a state of supreme purity and complete unity. Every Jew reached a level of prophecy and witnessed an unparalleled revelation of G-d. Then Moshe ascended Har Sinai for forty days so G-d could teach him the laws and details of the Torah.
The Jewish nation has no such concept as “religion” in the formal sense of the term, as we reject the notion of anything lying outside the realm of HaShem. It is Israel’s mission to elevate every sphere of Creation by infusing it with kedusha and bringing it to its highest potential in our world.
If Syrian TV News can't be trusted, who can we trust?
After a “natural” disaster, people speak with reverence. Even arrogant individuals, after living through a hurricane, tidal wave, or earthquake, have a sense of humility. Their reality has been changed, and they view life differently. Yet, when Pharaoh and Mitzraim experienced the makkos, that wasn’t their reaction.