Heroism In A Time Of War

Some research indicates that heroism during war or, maybe more specifically, the acknowledgement of a soldier’s heroism, might be beneficial to the soldier himself, as it is associated with lower levels of post-traumatic stress symptoms (Stein et al., 2020).

An Ideal Jewish Army On A Full Stage

Baruch Hashem, we are witnessing a revolution in this area. Though no soldier can match the Vilna Gaon’s or P’nei Yehoshua’s piety, we have thousands of IDF soldiers who are both deeply committed to halacha and Jewish values and are genuine talmidei chachamim.

Concern, Not Contempt

Even someone who openly performs wicked deeds should not be disparaged in totality.

True Freedom

Many associate the freedom Rebbe Yehoshua mentions with the exemption Torah scholars enjoy from taxes and other communal responsibilities (Avot 3:5 and Bava Batra 8a). We exempt scholars from these responsibilities so they can be free to focus on their studies.

Building Positive Momentum – Avot 4:2

The reverse is true of sin, continues Rabbi Hirsch. It removes you from the pure and loving presence of your Father in heaven. It will awaken within you the torturing pangs of conscience...

The Pain, The Effort, And The Process

Many interpret the word tza’ar in the literal sense – pain or suffering. Our reward is proportional to the pain we endure.

Virtue Redefined – Pirkei Avot 4:1

We tend to define our own levels of wisdom, power, wealth, and honor by likening how much of these commodities we have in relation to others. According to psychologist Leon Festinger, when we make downward social comparisons, we tend to inflate our sense of self by reflecting on how much more we have than others.

Life In The Corridor

Rebbe Yaakov’s teachings aim to help us develop the proper perspective on our world. We should realize that it and its pleasures are not the ultimate goal.

Math And Doubt

Unlike niddah calculations, which may impact real-life halacha, the doubts and calculations in kinnim are generally removed from practical ramifications.

The Toll Of Torture

The Gemara comments that the prophet’s list increases in severity, making captivity the worst, even worse than death or famine.

Earning Our Lives

Being up at night without learning Torah is a misuse of the night. We work during the day and have free time at night; we should use this time to sleep or to learn Torah.

What We Want

Identification with Hashem’s will affects both the form and scope of our avodat Hashem.

Balancing Values

Wisdom is a broad term that can have numerous interpretations, including knowledge of Torah (Chazon Ish), spiritual ability to fulfill the Divine will (Rabbeinu Yonah), or a social intelligence wisdom (Sforno). Regardless of definition, wisdom needs the supplemental value of fear of G-d.

The Foundation(s) Of Our World

Torah is not the only pillar. Avodah is also important. Study alone is not enough to sustain the world and our existence.

Ambiguous Loss – A Lesson From Yaakov And Yosef

We might ask, why are these two things – giving up hope and aveilus – connected? After all, the likelihood of whether the loved one has died, which may be the more intuitive factor for beginning aveilus, does not change based on the subjective metric of losing hope, so why should this determine the threshold for commencing aveilus?

Essentials Of Judaism: The Hashkafa Of Pirkei Avot

Judaism is not just about individuals understanding and worshipping G-d. It is about belonging to a people who descend from and still identify with their avot and imahot.

Pesach – A Holiday Of Questions: A Look at the Haggadah Commentary of Rabbi...

Abarbanel’s unique method of Bible commentary is characterized by posing an extensive set of questions relating to a topical section.

Sharansky’s Seder Night Lesson

The Christian thinker Blaise Pascal was awed by the eternity of our people: “These people are not eminent solely by their antiquity, but are also singular by their duration, which has continued from their origin till now.

Olam Hafuch Ra’iti! – I Saw An Upside-Down World!

It is the notion that the Arabs, and in turn Hamas, cannot understand or accept that He hit me back. They cannot acknowledge the fact that the Israeli army is so powerful and is not subservient to them and that now they must recognize its superiority.

The Reasons We Suffer

Sometimes, suffering is decreed from above – often as a punishment for sin. Hashem punished the first man and woman for their sins on their first day of existence and has continued to do so ever since.

The Origins Of Suffering

When man ate from the tree of knowledge of good and bad, he realized his full potential to pursue sin. This choice damaged both him and the world.

A Time Of Confusion And Clarity

Though there would always be antisemites, we were confident that the educated and tolerant mainstream had learned the lesson of the Holocaust. We assumed we would never again be hypocritically singled out. We were wrong.

Fully Focused On What Matters

First, we should work on maintaining our focus on Hashem during tefillah and kriyat shema. After succeeding at this, we should aim to think about Hashem while learning Torah and reciting brachot.

Life In The Corridor

Though Judaism attributes great value to Torah learning and accumulating wisdom (Talmud Torah k’neged kulam), actions are more important.

What We Want

In addition to fulfilling mitzvot, we should want what Hashem wants, value what He values, and even feel what He feels.

Mixed Metaphors

While the commentaries glean nuggets of wisdom from analyzing the various nuances in the metaphors and the word choice, the essential theme is that although we are free to choose how we act and what we consume, we must remember that there are consequences to our actions.

Eretz Yisrael Today: The Lifeline Of Our People

Mitzvot performed in Eretz Yisrael have far greater significance and impact. Living in Israel, as I do, one can feel the vibrancy of the Torah and how it relates to our daily lives.

Of Lions And Hamas: My Hopeful Lesson Drawn From a Recent Daf Yomi Gemara

Somehow, what piques my interest about this more than anything else is how the King of the Jungle, symbolizing ferocity more than any other animal – or at least as much – could have possibly been relied on for protection, let alone could have reached an understanding about guardianship and payment for it.

Why We Do

Kavanah is also the great equalizer. Though we differ in terms of what we are able to invest and accomplish, we are all equally able to have the right kavanah.

For Heaven’s Sake: The Jewish People

Like the prohibition against idolatry, chillul Hashem is one of the few aveirot we are commanded to sacrifice our lives to avoid.


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