Powerful Seeds

The seed alone cannot produce the tree, it needs earth, or soil. And these two components alone cannot either produce a tree, they require water, sun and other nutrients.

A Simple Transaction

He had deposited Shlomo’s real, original check into his account, and when it had cleared he had made up this weird story to get an additional 3,600 shekels out of Shlomo!

Negative Capability

A pattern is beginning to emerge: Avraham was learning that there is a long and winding road between promise and fulfillment. Not because G-d does not keep His word, but because Avraham and his descendants were charged with bringing something new into the world

Brushstrokes Of Kindness

With hope and a prayer, and the longing of a daughter to save her mother from the abyss of sadness, Laura drove straight to Minnie’s home and knocked on the door, her arms filled with unexpected packages.

Our Purpose

We must continue to educate the world about Who the single creator and ruler of the world is. But how are we to do so?

A Palace In Flames

Avraham is the father of faith--not as acceptance but as protest

The Noachesque Perspective

Sometimes when we are locked in our little boxes, we, like Noach in the ark, need a window. When we think our world is crumbling and that we are doomed to a fate that is too difficult to bear, the Almighty tells us to make a window.

Beginnings

Rav Yerucham explains that the beginning of everything defines what it will be. We find that in the beginning of the parsha, Noach is referred to as an ish tzaddik tamim, and now he is referred to as an ish ha’adama.

Fine Tuning

Every so often I would sit down at the baby grand piano in my childhood home and play a few songs. I had learned enough to play piano on an intermediate level.

A Wedding With The Spirit Of Geulah

It was one of the few weddings, maybe the only one I’ve been to, where people weren’t talking to each other or on their cell phones during the chupah.

The Genesis Of Love

The Torah is telling us something very powerful. Never think of people as things. Never think of people as types: they are individuals. Never be content with creating systems: care also about relationships.

Kol Hane’arim

The thunderous, urgently repeated “Ya’amod” precipitated a virtual kibbutz galuyos that made my heart skip a beat and my breath catch in my throat.

Studying The Torah

Keriat haTorah, properly understood, is a performative act. It is a weekly recreation of the revelation at Mount Sinai. It is a covenant ratification ceremony like the one Moshe performed at Sinai:

Far And Near

To my shock, you see, after 21 years of living and working in the U.K., Rivkie, Yossi, and family announced that they were returning to live in the U.S.

Perhaps The Chofetz Chaim Never Imagined; But He Did Predict

If the walls have ears (as the Midrash points out) then how much more so, human beings.

The Universality Of Sukkot

It is almost as if Sukkot were two festivals, not one.

Power Of The Lulav

We see from this Midrash that the mitzvah of lulav is connected to the process of forgiveness of Yom Kippur. It is the final step that we must perform before Hashem can forgive all of our aveiros.

Saved By A Cop Stop

It was already nearly a year, and I nearly despaired of ever seeing the money. I kept trying to recover it, calling him periodically.

The Cry On Yom Kippur

The moment when all we can say is gevalt. All we can do is cry out. That’s what the shofar was on Rosh Hashanah and will be at the end of Yom Kippur: The sound of our tears... The sound of a heart breaking. No more excuses. No more rationalizations and justifications. Ribbono Shel Olam, forgive us.

How Teshuvah Works

Says Rav Elchanan, we see that even without the middas harachamim when one regrets his previous actions, even his mitzvos, he will not be held accountable for them.

Stepping Up To The Bimah

Because of his strong kesher to my husband, he and his family had opted to join our shul for Rosh Hashanah. So, serendipitously, he was available – not to mention ready, willing, and able – to don all the hats that had suddenly been vacated.

Why Don’t We Do Teshuvah On Rosh Hashanah?

Why don’t we find the teshuvah process to be a part of the Rosh Hashanah davening, as we do on Yom Kippur?

Not Beyond The Sea

When you cannot see Him, it is because you are looking in the wrong direction. When He seems absent, He is there just behind you, but you have to turn to meet Him. Do not treat Him like a stranger. He loves you. He believes in you.

The New Rav In Town

When she proffered a 20-shekel note to the bus driver, she couldn’t fathom why he wouldn’t accept it.

Spreading The Light

I then handed her the Shabbos candles and she froze right there. She said, “Now I will light. Thank you very much,” and then proceeded to kiss my wife on both cheeks .

A Nation Of Storytellers

A large part of what Moshe is doing in the book of Devarim is retelling that story to the next generation, reminding them of what G-d had done for their parents and of some of the mistakes their parents had made. Moshe, as well as being the great liberator, is the supreme storyteller. Yet what he does in this week's parsha, Ki Tavo, extends way beyond this.

Yesh Din

Wanting to help with the maintenance of the building, Chava agreed to be in charge of collecting funds once a year for the upkeep of the roof.

Who Will Stop The Anti-Semitism?

Most of us were not around before the last World War began, but from what we know it shared many shocking similarities with the events occurring right now.

Does The Torah Care About Animal Welfare?

Animals are part of G-d’s creation. They have their own integrity in the scheme of things. This would not have been news to the heroes of the Bible.

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