The same is true for all spiritual circles. The ideal is not to transcend the circular system, but to uplift it, to transform the circle into a spiral, to find innovative ways of creating newness within the circular system, not beyond it.
As we approach the winter, God wants us to be aware just how temporary our livelihood and security really are, or can become.
For that one day we step out of ourselves and have an “out-of-body experience.” We are no longer part of this world as we know it.
Yom Kippur is considered to be a Super Sabbath (Shabbat Shabbaton in Hebrew) – a soul-searching opportunity for pious and evil people alike.
Our goal as humans is not to escape the physical, but to use it as a means of connecting to the transcendent.
Although one might think that the solution to this problem is to allow one’s child to recite the blessing on one’s lulav with the explicit condition that the child does not acquire the lulav, this is incorrect.
Almost always, the reason we are not willing to forgive offenses against us has almost nothing to do with the offense, and everything to do with it being done to us. Once we can internalize this, we can move to a God’s-eye perspective and forgive others more easily.
The Torah is a song? Torah certainly doesn’t feel like a song. We think of songs as relaxing, easy, accessible. Torah can certainly be that, but Torah is also so much more.
Wishing you a healthy, challenging and rewarding year
May this Shemita year hasten the coming of the Mashiach.; Shana Tova U’Mevurechet
The act of listening is a two-way street. There is the speaker – trying to communicate an emotion or problem – and the listener. What is the role of the listener?
Elul and Rosh Hashanah center around the concept of teshuva, and Parshas Nitzavim is clearly linked to this theme as well. The pesukim in Nitzavim discuss the theme of teshuva, the importance of choosing life - choosing what is right, and connecting ourselves back to Hashem. As Parshas Nitzavim is connected to the transition from Elul into Rosh Hashanah, let us delve into the idea of teshuva.
"The more you draw yourself to G-d, the more you must realize how far you are from Him. When a person believes that he has succeeded in achieving closeness to G-d and understanding of Him, it is a sign that he does not know anything at all." (Likutey Moharan I, 63)
Sometimes “tomorrow” never comes. Sometimes it is too late, but it is never “too soon,” never too early to own up to one’s failings and errors.
The second Temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred, represented by the fox, which the sages saw emerging from the ruins. With the cunning and guile of a fox, the evil inclination instigates and stimulates baseless hatred, dissent, and strife.
The elites – the Kohanim in the Beit HaMikdash and too many others – in their zealous self-righteousness, religious coercion, and insensitivity to the way they were being perceived by others, contributed to a terrible culture of animosity and hatred.
No laundries, no showers, no swimming, and no pastrami sandwiches. It seems like the big expression during the Nine Days is: "Just say no!" Please allow me, therefore, to change things up a bit. Here is a list of things you can say "yes" to during this period.
17th of Tammuz: Beginning 3 weeks of mourning for the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
Suggestion: Along with not eating and drinking let us "fast" today from other indulgences...
Ari talks about the holidays of Shavuot and Yom Kippur, the Shofar that connects the two holidays, and the indigenous people of the Land of Israel.
I’m planning to learn and teach the commentary of the Alshich HaKadosh to Megillas Rus. — Rabbi YY Rubinstein, noted author and lecturer
To be honest, I have never met a cheesecake I didn’t like, but over the last few years, I have replaced the vanilla in my cheesecake with bourbon, with fantastic results. It’s a subtle change, but a good one! — Sandy Eller, Monsey, NY
Lag BaOmer marks the date of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai's death. So why is it such a celebration?
Nearly every page of the Torah bursts with passionate descriptions about the beauty of the land.
The author of the book Ronit Treatman, the daughter of Israeli diplomats who speaks several languages and lives in Philadelphia, was inspired to write the book after she became involved with the Bnei Anousim, the tens of millions of people around the world descended from forcibly converted Spanish and Portuguese Jews through the organization Reconectar.
The fact that we can taste something as bitter is an affirmation of how sweet our lives generally are.
Rabbeinu Tam has an ingenious solution for how to have Seudah Shlishit on Erev Pesach: eat matzah ashirah [egg matzah].