Israel feebly begged Hamas to end the barrage, promising that "quiet will be met with quiet."
My mother, the eldest daughter of Reb Yaakov Kamenetsky, zt”l, was niftar last month at the age of 92. She took her last breath in her home in Efrat, Israel, next door to the shul that was my father’s for 24 years before his passing in 2007.
This past Shabbos, as we read the weekly Torah portion of Bishalach, my son suddenly said to me, “Dad, I have a feeling Sharon is going to pass away today, because we just read his name in Az Yashir [the Song of the Sea] where it says ‘arik charbi.’ ”
On the Shabbat when we read the portion of Chayei Sarah, Chevron residents are joined by thousands of people from all over Israel and around the world in celebrating Father Abraham’s purchase of the Cave of Machpelah and its surrounding fields as a burial place for Sarah Imeinu.
I just celebrated the 29th anniversary of my aliyah to Israel. I have experienced two intifadas, the disastrous results of the Oslo agreements, the assassination of a prime minister, and the tragic expulsion of thousands of our citizens from their beautiful homes in Gush Katif.
My father had gone to the hospital to get a simple procedure to clear the arteries. The procedure failed and the doctor made a terrible mistake in what he did next. The botched effort caused my dad to have not one but two heart attacks.
In Israel today there is a new generation whose members may not be outwardly observant but who are intrinsically religious and have the utmost respect for the Torah and its scholars.
For days and weeks before Pesach, we meticulously clean our homes, making sure that not a crumb of bread might, God forbid, be found when we begin the festival of matzahs.
Let me tell you how special it is to live in Eretz Yisrael. The other day I decided it was time for me to say the entire Book of Psalms – Tehillim. I’m the father of ten children and fifteen grandchildren (b’li ayin hara), so the power of Tehillim is where I turn, for my family’s needs.
An Israeli company should make “Arafat's Dead Sea Tonic” with this warning: “may cause severe vomiting or even death.”
“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.
What were you thinking on Tisha B’Av, the saddest day of the year? The day when we mourn the destruction of our two Temples; our expulsion from Spain, England and France; the Crusades, the Holocaust; our two thousand years of wandering the earth?
As Americans prepare to vote, allow me to hold up a banner with the words of the wisest man ever. The words are those of King Solomon (Koheles 1:9): “What was will be, what was done will again be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”
We’ve just read the Torah portion about Pinchas, an amazing tzaddik who performed an unusual act instinctively and for the sake of Hashem and His honor.
As I write this, Defense Minister Ehud Barak has just announced, during a televised press conference, his decision not to run in the coming elections and to leave politics.
While the phrase “Let It Be” implies doing nothing, “Lu Yehi” implies working toward a goal.
You know, it’s amazing. Here we stand before the Heavenly Judge, asking for a year of health for our families and for the nation plus everything else good. That’s what judgment day is for all of us. The unique text of the liturgy for the High Holy Days begins with the daily Ata Kadosh – You are holy…and “holy ones [that’s us] praise you daily.”
Isn't it comforting to know that our God loves life, grants life, and promises eternal life?
In recent years, the way people greet each other in Israel has changed. For as long as I can remember the greeting was always, “mah shlomcha,” which is equivalent to “How are you?” The Israeli answer was generally, “B’seder, Baruch Hashem,” equivalent to “I’m OK, thank God.”
As I put on my tefillin, I knew we needed a miracle.
God decided to cast Truth down to earth and went on to create the world.
Hoshana Rabbah is, according to tradition, the day the judgment of Yom Kippur is sealed and finalized. There are some changes in the morning prayers. We circle the bima seven times with our lulav and esrog and then we put them down and take five aravos and beat them on the synagogue floor as if to say, “These are being beaten instead of me.”
As we prepare for Rosh Hashanah, the ten days of repentance, and the awesome day of Yom Kippur when our judgment is sealed for the coming year, it’s so important for me to tell my readers how much I love the Ribbono Shel Olam, the Master of the Universe.
Hashem simply goes beyond the letter of the law in His love for us.
I write this column with my bags packed. I’m lighting four candles in Israel and my fifth I will light Wednesday evening at about 9 p.m. in the lobby of the Avenue Plaza Hotel in Boro Park. I’ll have my guitar in hand, and everyone is invited.
The post-election coalition negotiations are underway and it may take several weeks for the country to finally have a new government, with Prime Minister Netanyahu once again at its helm.
To me, the biggest joke of it all was the gleeful announcement by Rabin that “We are no longer an am livadad yishkone, a nation that dwells alone!”
I hollered over and over again, waving a clinched fist toward the heavens.
Fortunate are we to have Rosh Hashanah for repentance, a shofar to awaken heavenly mercy.
My most recent column elicited a fascinating response from an American woman. Before I share that letter and my reply, I will briefly reiterate the substance of that Dec. 28 column, which was titled “My Reasons to Be Jolly.”