What does this have to do Yom Kippur?
Human history – like any great piece of literature – presents a story that is not only inspiring and dramatic on the surface but also allegorically rich with hidden meaning and deep moral lessons.
Although it is difficult to imagine, it seems that Dovid HaMelech – the exalted individual, leader of the Jewish nation, fearless warrior of Hashem – was afraid that he had possibly accrued so many sins that he could no longer repent.
Many of us, after making an honest and blunt cheshbon hanefesh, a personal reevaluation of our behavior during the past year, might be filled with despair and despondency at our chances for a good judgment.
All of this would be true even if it were not so that a general education is required for gaining an appreciation of G-d’s wisdom, philosophy, ethics, and laws.
The heavens have been programmed by G-d to supply rain. Instructing them not to do so is against their nature. It is only harsh and insistent words that will convince the heavens to go against their own nature.
Rav Kook examines the opening concepts of the parsha: The heavens should listen, the earth will hear, teachings fall like rain and sayings soak in as the dew. He explains that in our world, we find things in a pure state of nature and we also see them altered by the intervention of men.
Hashem wants us to visit Him every day, to have a loving daily connection with Him and to ask Him for what we need. A relationship that even when we have what we need, we continue to visit the palace.
Moshe relates that people are now coming into the store to talk about the sign, but not to seek an apology.
When we ask Hashem on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur for renewed life and menuchas hanefesh, a contentment of spirit, our petition is much more effective and successful if we give Hashem a strong reason to grant our request.
Even at a time of such great danger, he forgot his own pain and suffering and only desired to be involved in a heavenly pursuit. It is that devotion that stirred the mercy of Heaven, saving him and all the passengers from certain death.
I just want to ask a simple question. Who said anything about tying Yitzchak up? Hashem certainly didn’t tell Avraham to tie Yitzchak up; He told him to offer Yitzchak as an olah.
On Rosh Hashana we blow the shofar, recite distinctive prayers, and perform Tashlich to recognize the Creator of the Universe as the source of all mercy and forgiveness.
Hakhel was not performed on the Shemittah year, but rather in the year that followed.
More than merely fostering personal piety among Jews, tshuva that begins with a reawakening of Hebrew identity will lead Israel to express kedusha in every sphere of national life.
This night proved that Judaism does not belong only to grandma, but also to her grandchildren.
Repentance is not the cause of tension in our lives; it is the soothing balm.
Although he had been raised in Pharaoh’s palace and had never in his life actually seen Eretz Yisrael, Moshe was held accountable for allowing himself to be referred to by others as “an Egyptian man.”
God pardons like a mother, who kisses the offense into everlasting forgiveness. -Henry Ward Beecher
It’s only the yeitzer hara that fools us and makes us think that we have so many better things to do.
An individual who seeks to be a baal teshuva, to return to Hashem, must recognize that he needs Hashem for every single nuance of his life.
Hashem performs a miracle of accounting because if He did not, none of us would survive the coming year.
Imagine a seventy-year-old man who is bringing Bikurim for 57th time...
The two friends have been studying together every day for 42 years and are completing the Talmud for the sixth time.
During our exile – and indeed our exile goes back to the original exile from the Garden of Eden – the forces of corruption that hold us back from realizing our true potential and separate us from our Creator suffuse the world of our experience.
Woe to that nation whose literature is cut short by the intrusion of force. This is not merely interference with freedom of the press but the sealing up of a nation's heart, the excision of its memory. -Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
When we make the mental calculation of whether we can improve, we tend to think only about our ability. Then, we might correctly assess that it’s beyond our ability.
When one contemplates all the misfortunes in our sedra, it is a cause for trepidation, yet the Torah states clearly that these adversities are because you did not serve Hashem, your G-d, amid gladness and goodness of heart, when everything was abundant (Devarim 28:47).
The performance of our Torah's ritual precepts must be contextualized & experienced within the larger meta-narrative of Israel's story & mission.
Actually, happiness is not necessarily the correct English translation for the word simcha.