The terms of Jewish history were about to shift from Divine initiative to human initiative. This is what Moses was preparing the Israelites for in the last month of his life. This is the epic significance of Nitzavim
During The Three Weeks between 17 Tammuz and Tisha B’Av, as we recall the destruction of the Temples, we read three of the most searing passages in the prophetic literature, the first two from the opening of the book of Jeremiah, the third, next week, from the first chapter of Isaiah.
The significance of the two identical sums, the one he had just lent his friend and the reduced fee for the moving wasn’t lost on Shlomo
At this point I am reasonably happy that he returns home eventually and is still semi-coherent (at least some of the time).
The Air Force’s defense was that the Constitution only protected a genuine religious law; not a personal preference. Wearing a yarmulke, they argued, was not the law.
Chanukah teaches the secret that greatness is how you respond-It’s how you fight&sacrifice for RIGHT
I had no way of seeing it coming - a "quick" traffic light and I was caught in the middle of a sea of cars. The second I started to run I was horrified to see the car closest to me race in my direction. I felt doomed. The few seconds it took me to run past the car were filled with the terrible thought, "This is it. That car is going to hit me."
In biblical days, the prophets were astir while the world was sleeping. Today, the world is astir while the synagogues are sleeping. Blessed are the young people who are waking up.
We were fortunate enough to have our brother-in-law, sister-in-law and their children fly out from the east coast and join us for one such summer expedition. And it subsequently turned out to be by far the most memorable of all.
This morning I entered the bank. While waiting on line, I noticed a small commotion. A number of people were standing around a young crying boy who was holding an Israeli 50-shekel note in his hands.
Have you ever been to an upsherin, a hair-cutting ceremony? I had never been to one until I was invited by my gentleman friend, Sy, to attend one in honor of his great-grandson, Gabriel, given by his grandparents, Steve and Robin Kerzer. Even Sy, an Orthodox Jew, had not heard of it. Both of us knew it was the custom not to cut a boy’s hair until he was three years old, but we had no idea what was involved.
Mommie was distressed because praying for the welfare of her dear family was the foundation of her belief in HaKodesh Boruch Hu, whom she served everyday of her life in innocence and in purity.
Kedoshim is not just about order. It is about humanizing that order through love – the love of neighbor and stranger. Love needs order.
The start of the school year had already passed. Our youngest son was waiting for community leaders to determine what should be done for the students of his beloved school that had recently fallen apart due to lack of funds. The result turned out to be better than anyone could have ever expected.
She knew it wasn’t easy or pleasant to stand around asking for money and so many people were far worse off than she was.
Given that the fever had already passed – and getting the medication down my fussy baby’s throat would be a challenge of its own – I finally decided to wait it out.
It was an exceptionally hot and humid day in Toronto. I was driving the car with my bubbie sitting next to me, and baby Shmueli in the back. I suddenly remembered that I needed a small item at the local supermarket. I gently asked my bubbie if she would stay in the car with the baby while I ran into the store. My bubbie warmly replied, "Go, my shefele [sweetheart]."
The drama of younger and older brothers, which haunts the book of Bereishit from Cain and Abel onwards, reaches a strange climax in the story of Joseph’s children. Jacob is nearing the end of his life. Joseph visits him, bringing with him his two sons, Manasheh and Ephraim. It is the only scene of grandfather and grandchildren in the book. Jacob asks Joseph to bring them near so that he can bless them. What follows next is described in painstaking detail:
It was Moses who mediated with God.
It was Erev Pesach, three hours before Yom Tov. I was at the checkout counter at the local supermarket. The gentleman in front of me was trying to pay his $48 bill. I noticed that he gave the clerk a credit card that was declined. He offered a second credit card, with the same result. The saleswoman then asked the young man how he planned to pay, to which he sheepishly replied, "May I write a check?"
A flash of red caught my eye, and I looked up and saw a cardinal perched on the picnic table on my deck. What a miracle, I marveled. You’re beautiful. Thanks, Hashem. And then my mind’s wheels began to roll, and it struck me that several miracle stories had come my way this week. The stories prodded me to think of and feel Hashem’s presence as a more tangible and vivid reality.
In the early 1970's, my father, HaRav Moshe Aharon Shapiro, z"l, served as rabbi of a kosher, shomer Shabbos hotel in the Catskills. During one of those summers, my brother-in-law invited us to use his bungalow over the July 4th weekend. On Sunday we drove from the bungalow colony to visit my parents, arriving at the hotel between Minchah and Ma'ariv.
Jacob’s blessing of Ephraim over Manasseh had nothing to do with age and everything to do with names
It was the night of Motzei Shabbos before Rosh Hashana, and my husband and I were invited to a pidyon haben in Lawrence at...
It was getting late, the plane was set to take off soon, and the boy had no idea what to do.
The current situation with Syria reminds me of an episode that occurred in January 1991 in Toronto. I had taken my son for swimming lessons while my wife stayed in the car, anxiously listening to the news about Israel. Those were very tense times, with Iraq threatening to attack Israel with chemical weapons, God forbid.
Another installment in the ongoing Rubashkin saga
“C’mon, Abba, do me a favor and stop saying, ‘That’s all I need...’ Look at me: I’m healthy and happy. It’s a mitzvah to be happy. Be happy, Abba.”
Baruch Hashem, I have plenty of family in Israel, but Miriam’s host was not “family” per se, though her host would differ with me on this fact, rather someone whose family had an impact on me over 50 years ago!
Recently, an entirely new scientific basis has been given to morality from two surprising directions: neo-Darwinism and the branch of mathematics known as Games theory. As we will see, the discovery is intimately related to the story of Noah and the covenant made between G-d and humanity after the Flood.