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The Meanings Of Shema

19 Elul 5772 – September 5, 2012
It would be reasonable to assume that a language that contains the verb “to command” must also contain the verb “to obey.” The one implies the other, just as the concept of a question implies the possibility of an answer. We would, however, be wrong. There are 613 commandments in the Torah, but there is no word in biblical Hebrew that means “to obey.” When Hebrew was revived as a language of everyday speech in the nineteenth century, a word, letsayet, had to be borrowed from Aramaic. Until then there was no Hebrew word for “to obey.”

Why I Believe…

Some might call this Emunah Peshuta – simple belief. Perhaps. But it is not blind belief. I am not a blind believer. However, I can understand why someone would call my belief in the truth of Judaism blind.

The Proper Performance of Bris Milah

17 Elul 5772 – September 4, 2012
When it comes to Metzitza B’Peh, we are not discussing a Biblical Commandment, nor are we referring to a Rabbinical enactment from the Gemarah's time. We are referring to a hallowed Minhag from days of yore to use the mouth only.

Visiting Residents: the Daily Plea of Elul

13 Elul 5772 – August 30, 2012
As the year is coming to an end, with endless days filled with doing the very same commandments, we besiege G-d on each remaining day, asking for one vital ingredient for the one yet to come: May we never get used to our routine.

Ki Tetzei: The Rebellious Son

12 Elul 5772 – August 29, 2012
The Talmud asserts that the rebellious son of the verse below never existed and never will. Nonetheless, the Torah relates this law to advise parents in the most difficult of issues – raising children. To Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, the law and its lessons help reveal Israel's greatness.

T’shuva is the Real Tikun Olam

8 Elul 5772 – August 26, 2012
The expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden describes man’s existential plight. In effect, the sum of world history is mankind’s journey to return to the Garden. Not only man, but the world itself wants to return to its original state. This yearning is one of the most powerful forces of Creation. Thus the world “roars like a mighty lioness” to return to its original, ideal closeness to God.

Eidim Zomimim: Conspiring Witnesses

6 Elul 5772 – August 23, 2012
In this week’s parshah the Torah discusses the halachos of eidim zomimim. The Gemara in Makkos 2a explains that eidim zomimim is when one set of two or more witnesses testifies against someone, and another set of witnesses testifies that the first set of witnesses was with them and therefore could not have known their testimony. The Torah says that the later set of witnesses is believed and the testimony of the first set of witnesses is disqualified.

Torah Scrolls Returned to Polish Village

Two Torah scrolls, one complete and one incomplete, were found in Poland's Sokolow Podlaski district. The Torah scrolls found Aug. 20 are believed to have...

New Campaign: Tight Pants Are Sinful and Corrupting

3 Elul 5772 – August 20, 2012
We have grown accustomed to these letters being directed at Haredi women. Now, surprisingly, this letter is addressed specifically to the men.

Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Ten: Rabbi Kook

"No Jew is an atheist," Rabbi Kook answered. "No matter how confused our young people are with foreign ideas and creeds, the Jewish soul is always pure. Sometimes our eyes are blind and our ears are deaf, but our inner souls long for our God and our Torah. We carry the flame of our heritage eternally within our hearts. Nothing can extinguish it, not even two-thousand years of darkness and exile.

Of Truth and Belief

24 Av 5772 – August 12, 2012
As currently defined, an Orthoprax Jew tends to follow Halacha, but may question the existence of God or whether the Torah was given to us at Sinai .

A Radical Proposal for the Organizers of the Siyum HaShas

21 Av 5772 – August 8, 2012
With all the well-earned accolades and fanfare that surrounded last week’s monumental Siyum HaShas, one would expect to find numerous direct references in the Torah mandating the study of Torah. It therefore comes as a great surprise that there is not one direct statement in the Torah commanding its study.

Prayer to Come to the Land of Israel

12 Av 5772 – July 31, 2012
In our previous blog, we mentioned that Moshe Rabainu offered 515 prayers to Hashem, at the beginning of this week’s Torah portion, begging Hashem to let him enter the Land of Israel. Some people have trouble making up prayers if it isn’t written out for them in a siddur. So here’s a prayer I wrote for coming to the Land of Israel. Print it out and say it every day for the next 515 days. If it doesn’t work, crumple up the page, send it to me, and I’ll eat it.

Homosexuality and Going OTD

10 Av 5772 – July 29, 2012
We all sin. But not all of us sin the same way. By being so repulsed by people who have same sex attractions, we end up turning these people away - leaving them with a feeling of abandonment and being hated by their fellow Jews. Jews who are otherwise decent people. When decent society rejects you... how are you supposed to feel?!

HaRav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv, ZT”L

7 Av 5772 – July 25, 2012
The Jewish Press joins Klal Yisrael in mourning the death last week of HaRav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv, widely recognized as the Torah world’s foremost authority on Jewish law for nearly three decades – a scholar who set the tone and direction for resolving its most complex issues and who in many ways defined an era.

Are the Olympics for Jews?

Rabbi Kook explains that a weakening of the will is due in large measure to a lack of physical energy and strength. When a person’s willpower is weak, he can fall into many bad habits. As part of his overall mending, he must improve his physical health, as well as his moral and spiritual worlds.

Don’t Confuse Torah with Buddhism, My Friends

4 Av 5772 – July 22, 2012
The roots for the Destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem were planted long before the Destruction itself, on the night the Spies in the Wilderness returned from their ill-fated mission and convinced the Jewish People not to journey on to live in the Promised Land. That night was the 9th of Av. Their rejection of the Land of Israel was the rotten foundation which brought about our later National Destruction as an independent Nation in our own Land.

Matos-Masei: Virtue Of Men, Virtue Of Nations

29 Tammuz 5772 – July 18, 2012
In the confrontation between Israel and Midian, the Torah reveals the great void of virtue that separated the two nations. While Israel had fallen to great depths in the challenge of the Peor, Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, points out that it had risen again to great heights in the ensuing battle against a nation steeped in immorality.

Mashiach, Mashiach, Mashiach, Da Da Da Da DaDa

23 Tammuz 5772 – July 13, 2012
The Rambam himself, in his famous, “Letter of Teman,” writes: “Those who seduce themselves and say that they will stay in their places until the king, Mashiach, comes to the lands of the West, and only then will they depart and go forth to Jerusalem – I don’t know how the decree of destruction will be stayed from them. Rather, they are transgressors, and they cause others to sin."

The Messiah Ain’t JeZeus, That’s for Sure!

21 Tammuz 5772 – July 11, 2012
The task of the Mashiach is to save the Jews from its enemies and rebuild the Nation of Israel, yet the followers of Jezeus have slaughtered millions and millions of Jews and done everything in their power to keep Israel lowly and weak.

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