Hashem Provided A Minyan

Over the years, it has been a family tradition to visit the graves of my forebears at least once a year, usually just before the High Holy Days. My son and daughter usually accompany me, and we visit the graves of their mother and grandparents.

Living With The Past, Not In It

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness...” (Dr. Martin Luther King).

Greatness Is Humility

One of the more unusual aspects of being a chief rabbi is that one comes to know people one otherwise might not.

Overcoming Obstacles B’Simcha!

Family members, Baruch Hashem, came through lending the hosts two portable generators, which at the very least, could keep the seudot meals safe.

Just One Tekiah!

Blowing 30 times (the minimum amount to fulfill the mitzvah) for every Jewish patient, literally took the wind out of me.

Parshat Vayikra: The Trouble with Sacrifices

Perhaps the institution of sacrifice is grounded in deep symbolism, the meaning and urgency of which escapes our modern mentality.

Signals Of Hope

Sometimes Hashem performs tiny miracles that serve only to show His love for us and remind us that He is here with us in our moment of difficulty.

A Change Of Name, A Change Of Mazal

I happily assured her that I did in fact have no doubt that the change of name had a lot to do with their new status.

Building The Mishkan Today

Moshe Rabbenu wanted to build the vessels for the Mishkan before the actual Mishkan. Betzallel countered, that the derech haolam – way of the world – is to first build a house and then build the furniture.

Should One Count Sefirah Before Or After Aleinu?

Perhaps this also explains why many have the custom not to recite Aleinu after Shacharis on Shabbos (since we do not leave shul until after the conclusion of the next tefillah – Mussaf).

Sing And Song (Part I)

In what is possibly a separate explanation, the Malbim writes that “shirah” is a more general term that can refer to song both in a religious sense and in a secular sense, while “zimrah” refers specifically to a religious song that speaks of G-d’s praises.

The Continuity Of Death And Life

In the Torah, law and narrative are intertwined for the very profound reason that G-d’s law is not arbitrary. It speaks to the human condition, arising out of human history.

Mazel Tov To My Baby On Her Marriage!

Avigail took the plunge into marriage, and we are so proud of her! My walk down the aisle with Avigail by my side was a visceral reminder of the days when she was by my side in another place and another time. Let me share the story with you.

Sages And Saints

A society takes all types... Shabbat Shalom!

The Double Plague Of Measles

Unfortunately, we do not have a single halachic authority that everyone abides by, and as a result each person can rely on whomever they choose.

Esau’s Other Face

Rav Kook believed that just as in the Torah, Jacob and Esau and Isaac and Ishmael were eventually reconciled, so will Judaism, Christianity, and Islam be in future. They would not cease to be different, but they would learn to respect one another.

Arbitration Vs. Litigation

We must never forget that when Aaron was left to lead, the people made a golden calf. But never forget that Moses needed an Aaron to hold the people together. In short, leadership is the capacity to hold together different temperaments, conflicting voices and clashing values.

Sefirat HaOmer: The Secret to Human and Rabbinical Autonomy

Nothing is more dangerous for a person than to remain spiritually stale, and for this reason we are required to count the 49 days of the Omer. To prepare ourselves for the upcoming celebration of Shavuot and the giving of the Torah, we are asked to climb a ladder of 49 spiritual steps, each day adding another dimension to our souls.

Travel Insurance

As a borderline CDO (OCD alphabetized) sufferer, I really wanted to have every last thread tied up securely before we hit the road.

Mitzvah Brings Mitzvah

Somehow, though I loved being in Israel, I didn’t feel that way at all.

The Ever-Amazing Reb Elimelech (Part XVIII)

After Reb Elimelech had restored the glory of his colleague, Reb Shmelkeh of Nikolsburg, he departed home to Lizhensk. He was en route when a voice descended from Heaven and proclaimed, “In the merit of your helping Reb Shmelkeh you have the privilege of blessing whomever you desire during the next 24 hours. And your blessing will be fulfilled.”

Jewish Practice In The U.S. Military (IV)

Law-abiding, mild-mannered, Rabbi Dr. (Psychology) Simcha Goldman was unprepared to obey the direct order of his commander that he could NOT wear his yarmulke outside the hospital. Strike 2 on Goldman

Fear Of G-d Dispels Other Fear

The Jew, who had a deep faith in Hashem, answered, My life is in G-d's hands. If He does not want me to die, you will not be able to kill me.

Gratitude

He sat in his prison cell sulking. I'll call him Steven. Time was playing tricks on him. It seemed like only yesterday, but at the same time like a lifetime ago, that he was married to a wonderful woman and had children who were the joy of his life. He had a high-powered job on Wall Street and luxuries that the average person couldn't imagine.

From The Home Front

It used to be that when our youngest boys were about to go outside and it was cold, I’d sometimes remind them to take a jacket. Now I remind our youngest son, Yisrael Meir, to take pepper spray.

A Jewish Soldier

It was a difficult battle. Many were seriously injured and some did not survive, but Tomer came out alive and unharmed.

Der Mensch Tracht…

Although I spontaneously burst out crying that my beloved Tatty was no more, part of me acknowledged that positive development as well.

The Torah And Free Knowledge

The Jewish people had universal compulsory education 18 centuries before England did.

Blood, Idolatry, Or War

Rambam: Eating blood's forbidden because connected to idolatry;Ramban: We're affected by what we eat

The Challenge of Yitro: Would You Convert?

Yitro confronts us for the first time with a new phenomenon: to be a Jew by choice. By doing so, he presents all Jews with a major challenge: how to become a Jew by choice even when one has been born into the fold.

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