I have always been amazed by the “popularity” of the Pesach holiday. People who may not enter a synagogue more than three times a year will find themselves at a Pesach seder. Jewish families engage in the greatest display of Hachnasat Orchim on this majestic evening as they invite distant relatives, co-workers, friends and even
Calling Pesach the holiday of freedom seems to be very paradoxical. We clean our houses, cars and offices in such onerous and arduous fashion, that even the most meticulous cannot tolerate it. We do all of this so we can rid ourselves of every crumb of chametz in our midst. This is rather bizarre. Why is this how we prepare to celebrate the
The Sages tell us, “There are three partners in man—the Holy One, blessed be He, the father, and the mother” (Kiddushin 30b). Couples who are able to conceive naturally with little or no struggle often experience this sentiment. They live and feel God’s hand blessing them with a new healthy child.
One of the potentially biggest themes in the Exodus from Egypt and the seder night is language. Psychologists and anthropologists have deemed language to be one of the biggest cultural influences, capable of keeping close neighbors separate and driving complete strangers together, all based on a few words. During the Jews’ subjugation by
Rav Joseph Soloveitchik, zt”l once delivered a marvelous shiur regarding the great controversy between the Pharisees and the Sadducees. In the 23rd chapter of Vayikra the laws of the holidays are recorded.
Following is a new section with the cryptic verse, “You
As a boy, and up until today, I was always intrigued by the concept and tradition of the 36 hidden righteous. I remember people speaking of them with great reverence, in whispers and undertones. Unfortunately, nowadays, they are spoken of in the wrong context and freely, whether out of ignorance or misconception and sometimes in the most
This past week at my shul, Ohr Torah, we celebrated the amazing achievements of our graduates at our annual Graduation Kiddush, spelling out the well-earned honors and awards of each individual. In the modern world’s challenging environment it is very hard to excel and we should take every opportunity to celebrate those milestones and
The holiday of Purim celebrates the story told in the biblical book of Esther. Yet, as we read the Megillah, some people ask whether the story is historically accurate. Historians have long questioned the historicity of the events described in Esther. The Megillah reads more like a political thriller than a historical record or even a
Every Friday night we say in Eishet Chayil, “Gimalat’hu tov vilo ra—She bestows good and never bad all the days of her life” (Mishlei 31:12). In the simple pshat, this is referring to the female gender; however, allegorically, it is referring to Torah.
Rav Avraham Genechovsky zt”l,
This week’s haftarah is taken from the second perek in Sefer Yehoshua, which actually relates events that took place even before those found in the first chapter. The first chapter includes the commands that Yehoshua gave to B’nai Yisra’el to prepare for entering Eretz Cana’an within three days. The story of the spies sent by the
The haftarah that we read from Sefer Zecharya this week is one familiar to us, for it serves as the reading for Shabbat Chanukah as well. The obvious connection to both Shabbatot is the theme of menorah, which is the source of our eight-branched chanukiah and the seven-branched menorah of the Mishkan that opens our parsha. The connection