Timely Recognition

The original Asara B’Teves was a yom hadin (judgment day) on which it was decided whether there would be a churban that year.

The Gift Of Shabbat

The reality is that sometimes our children need to unwind, to take a rest from the vicissitudes of life and once again focus on what’s really important – their family and loved ones.

The Ben Franklin Effect

One is allowed, and perhaps even obligated, to hate someone whom one has seen transgress a commandment.

What’s On Your Mind?

Always thinking of Hashem guarantees us longevity, as Mishlei states, Yiras Hashem tosif yamim - Awareness of Hashem adds length to one's days.

Jumping For Passover

What does “Pesach” mean? Rashi (to Exodus 12:11 and 12:13 and Isaiah 31:5) explains that it is an expression of dilug and kefitzah (types...

Be A Man

The Vilna Gaon argues that man stopped resembling G-d in the generation of Adam’s grandson Enosh when idol worship began to develop.

Getting Older; Respecting Age

In American society we are all caught up with the idea that youth is very important. We are always trying to perceive ourselves as younger.

Avot 1:7

The overall message of this mishna seems to be one of social caution. If we want to learn and maintain good behavior, we need to stay away from any people that can inhibit that growth.

Don’t Forget To Say Thank You

What if you find it difficult to forgive someone?... How can you sincerely forgive someone who hurt you in such a terrible way?

Are Younger Siblings More Successful?

While each relationship has its own dynamic that adds to the drama, the fact that the younger sibling takes the spotlight away from the older sibling is a theme that cuts through all of them.

Being the Best, Being Me

I am the best! You are the best too! There were over 600,000 neshamos at Har Sinai, and each one was different. In order to be inspired to grow we must sense the best in ourselves; in order to be a mentch we must see the best in others.

Spousal Devotion

Why should someone who curses a parent be punished more severely than one who hits a parent?

What True Leaders Do

As a young man, raised with royal treatment in Pharaoh’s palace, Moshe Rabbeinu didn’t allow himself to relax in splendor. Rather, he went out to his suffering brethren and shared in their fate.

Do You Have An Internal Locus Of Control?

Like the Slonimer Rebbe, Rabbi Yerucham Levovitz (Daat Torah p. 205-206) does understand "levado" as meaning alone. But based on the Midrash, he assumes that being alone is constructive. How can it be constructive?


In our story a couple of kids discover Chanukah within the walls of a gym.

Don’t Believe What You See

The beginning of the parsha is startling in its simplicity: see the blessing and the curse in front of you and choose the blessing.

Manna & The Variety Effect

Bnei Yisrael couldn’t be longing for free food in Egypt because, says the Midrash, there was no free food in Egypt.

Why Is There So Much Chutzpah Nowadays?

Chazal tell us that brazenness will increase during the pre-Messianic period. And yet, a pillar of Torah life is deference to the previous generation. So how do we reconcile the two points and explain the level of chutzpah among us?

With A Melody In My Heart And A Pain In My Soul

Those Jewish souls that society had given up on as lost were cast into the vast ocean of apathy and indifference.

Not For A Million Dollars

What price would YOU place on performing a mitzva?

‘Hurricane Season’

It’s been a rough few weeks. It began with the news of a heinous crime just blocks from where I live on Manhatan’s Upper West Side: a nanny viciously took the lives of her two young charges. Hurricane Sandy came next, contributing additional loss of life and financial devastation of a magnitude never before experienced by our East Coast brethren.

We’re Talking Too Much

Some people are returning to shul after enjoying casual porch minyanim and are bringing the cavalier attitude they had on their porches with them.

Your Spouse May Have A Point

Opposing insights are worth reflecting on. To handle different viewpoints in a marriage requires maturity, and every couple is advised to attain this maturity sooner rather than later. For you can either respect your spouse’s "illogical opinion” or suffocate the person you selected to marry.

The Fourth Dimension

Some Jews have a custom to greet others on the first night of Rosh Hashanah with the words “Le’shanah tova tei’katev ve’tei’chatem le’alter le’chaim tovim u’le’shalom.

Who Are You?

If G-d graces you with a particular strength, for example wealth, physical strength, wisdom, memory, a pleasant voice, and the like, offer it to G-d, utilizing it for the purposes of holiness.

For Heaven’s Sake (Part II)

The Medrash takes this further by asserting that the Jewish people themselves embody G-d’s glory, and that one of the purposes of their galut is to spread G-d’s word throughout the world.

Q & A: Hachana (Part III)

QUESTION: Is it halachically permissible to pack on the Sabbath or Yom Tov for a trip to be taken on the next day?Moishe Halberstam, Esq.Brooklyn, NY

Renewing The Face Of The Earth

I sleep every Tisha B’Av night on a narrow cushion in front of the Me’aras HaMachpelah in Hebron. I do this because the following chiddush came to me many years ago: When the spies went to Israel, the pasuk says “vayavo ad Chevron” – “and he came until Hebron.” He instead of they. Rashi says only Calev ben Yefuneh went to Hebron, to pray to Avraham Avinu that he not fall for the plan of the spies.

Shabbos Mevorchim Shevat

This coming Shabbos we bentch Rosh Chodesh Shevat, which falls on Shabbos Kodesh (January 12). The highlight of this month is of course Tu B’Shevat, the New Year of the trees. As the mind conjures up images of spring, I can spot nary a sign of spring from my vantage point here in the northeastern part of the U.S.

For Heaven’s Sake (Part I)

These sources seem to imply that the world was created for our own personal development rather than for G-d’s honor. How can we reconcile these contradictory understandings of why the world was created?


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