I’m wrapping up my trip to the U.S., a visit that for the first time in many years happened to coincide with Christmas.
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.”
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.
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’m writing this on the day before Israelis vote for our Knesset, but one thing I can presume is that unless a cow is seen jumping over our ten-day-old new moon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be asked by Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, to form the next government.
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.
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.”
Isn't it comforting to know that our God loves life, grants life, and promises eternal life?
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.
I want to share a Holocaust story as told to me by Heshy Frank, owner of Quality Carpet and my radio sponsor for the past 32 years.
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.
As I put on my tefillin, I knew we needed a miracle.
I’d like to offer the following question: At the Pesach Seder we read about the four sons – the wise, the wicked, the simple and the one who does not know how to ask – but where is the righteous son, the tzaddik?
God decided to cast Truth down to earth and went on to create the world.
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.”
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!”
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.
An Israeli company should make “Arafat's Dead Sea Tonic” with this warning: “may cause severe vomiting or even death.”
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.
“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.
Israel feebly begged Hamas to end the barrage, promising that "quiet will be met with quiet."
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.”
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.
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.”
Hashem simply goes beyond the letter of the law in His love for us.
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 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.
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.
Here we are again – Shavuos, the yom tov commemorating the giving of the Torah, God’s greatest gift to mankind. If someone were to say to me, “It’s unbelievable that Hashem gave us His amazing Torah,” I would respond, “That’s the wrong way to put it. ‘Unbelievable’ means ‘not to be believed.’ The correct expression is, ‘It’s beyond belief’ – meaning more than belief. Hashem loves His charming nation beyond words.”