Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook – A Brief Synopsis

Rav Kook was incensed over the relinquishing of ownership of the Western Wall. "No one," he declared, "possesses that power of attorney."

We The People

In what sense were the Jews in France and the Jews in Spain responsible for one another? What constituted them as a single nation?

Settled Citizens

According to Rabbinic tradition, the infinitive verb “la’gur” connotes living in a certain place under a temporary arrangement.

Unlocking Our Fortune

I turned to the safe and placed my hand on the lock. With one robust yank, the old safe opened wide. It hadn’t even been locked!

The Jews’ Fate – And G-d

When Jews are defeated and sent into exile, it is not only a tragedy for them. It is a tragedy for G-d.

Strange Aliens

I used to think that the English word “bizarre” is related to “zar,” but the Oxford English Dictionary maintains otherwise.

Corona and Surrendering

That evening, while her husband was out, in the private recesses of their bedroom, Esther sobbed, “Hashem, I am not asking You why You put us in this trying economic situation. I am asking You what You want me to do.”

Early Shabbos Issues

If one made early Shabbos and postponed beginning the meal until after nightfall, he would be obligated to recite Shema prior to eating.

Sprints And Marathons

All the high ideals in the world count for little until they are turned into habits of action that become habits of the heart.

Say Uncle

The semantic range of “dod” later expanded to include lover or companion, as the word seems to mean throughout Song of Songs.

Caregiver David

My inability to lift myself from lying on the grass with his children happened before I began phone calls for him to put feet on a stepladder and change a ceiling light bulb.

Counting The Omer And Early Shabbos

In order to nullify one’s acceptance of Shabbos we must weigh all of the affects it will have and determine whether it is beneficial for him.

How To Praise

Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai was a great teacher because five of his students became giants in their own right. The mishnah is telling us how he did it: with focused praise.

Thank You, Jabber Achmadi

And so it was that the rabbi thanked the bestial terrorist for his sick act of atrocity, for it was precisely that act which became the extraordinary link to the doctors' saving the rabbi's life.

How Should One React To Tragedy?

How are we to understand Aharon’s silence? ... Does it mean that he couldn’t say anything, didn’t have any urge to say anything, or that he desperately wanted to cry out but controlled himself?

Reticence vs. Impetuosity

The real contrast here, though, is the difference between Aaron and his two sons. They were, it seems, opposites. Aaron was over-cautious and had to be persuaded by Moses even to begin. Nadav and Avihu were not cautious enough. So keen were they to put their own stamp on the role of priesthood that their impetuosity was their downfall.

Lessons in Law of Attraction

I was in a place of bittul – of nothingness. I woke up each morning in a daze, not knowing what to do with myself. Life seemed eerily silent except for some annoying noise I heard every morning that I couldn’t place.

A V’nahafoch Hu Pesach

Did I mention that my daughter-in-law has seemingly unlimited excess energy, and is one of the best cooks and bakers I know?

Why The Religious Did Not Embrace Political Zionism

The real motivator for the British was to win over the Jews, and Zionism seemed like a promising card to play.

Don’t Wait For Rosh Hashanah

From a Jewish calendrical perspective, Rosh Hashanah, the Ten Days of Repentance, and Yom Kippur embody a fresh start perspective with change embedded in the framework of the new year.

A Moment Of Hesitation

There are times when each of us has to decide, not just “What shall I do?” but “What kind of person shall I be?”

The Sickle And The Grim Reaper

Israeli archaeologist Dr. Shmuel Yeivin (1896-1982) writes that some scholars have proposed that “chermesh” is a “sickle” while “magal” is a larger “scythe.”

Nachat For Hashem

It took approximately two weeks, but finally a doctor checked him out. He was given permission to sit down for guard duty, and he didn’t take part in various physical exercises and marches. There was no way that he could train other soldiers with this medical issue.

Setting The Stage

Rav Yeruchum continues to say that before the geula, Hashem will take away anything that anyone could possibly think of relying on. This is in order for us to realize that the only thing that we can rely on is Hashem.

A Place For Failure

Perhaps one of the goals of the requirement to bring these sacrifices is to create psychological safety for sin and failure. The institution of sacrifices balances the normalization of failure with responsibility and accountability.

Leadership In Judaism

Politics involves difficult judgments. A leader must balance competing claims and will sometimes get it wrong.

Against All Odds

Against all odds, again – since my husband was not religious – I got my wish. Miracle number one.

Geula Or Galus: Your Choice

Yes, in recent months many people have received large sums of money from various government programs and it seems that this may continue for some time. But how long can this last?

Vision and Details: Parshat Mishpatim

So the Torah is a unique combination of nomos and narrative, history and law, the formative experiences of a nation and the way that nation sought to live its collective life so as never to forget the lessons it learned along the way. It brings together vision and detail in a way that has never been surpassed.

Animal Sounds (Part II)

Rabbi Pappenheim traces “yehgeh” to the root hey-gimmel, which primarily refers to diligence and consistency, making its derivative “yehgeh” refer to a lion consistently crying.


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