Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Divrei Torah

Corona Diary #2 : Praying for Jews and Praying for Humans

By Rabbi Moshe Taragin

During the past few weeks, we have all prayed as never before. Most of us have been unable to attend our normal houses of prayer. Nonetheless, the level of fervor and passion with which we pray is unprecedented. 

Facing this global pandemic, we pray in a universal manner—for humanity at large. This pandemic has highlighted

Coronavirus Diary Week #1

The current coronavirus crisis has toppled the world order, sent stock markets plummeting and has reshaped human consciousness. For many it is, and will remain, the most shocking event of their lifetimes. We certainly don’t know why God is challenging humanity, but we acknowledge that the crisis challenges us to reconsider our modern

The Month of Nissan: Learning From Our Previous Redemption

As I write this dvar Torah for the coming week, I don’t know what will be. Hopefully, we will all soon be together in Yerushalayim with Mashiach and the Beit Hamikdash rebuilt! It’s now the month of Nissan. It’s the month of miracles. Anything is possible.

Ninety years ago, when Rav Shimon Schwab

Talmudic Advice on Epidemics

While we have lived through multiple pandemics (SARS, Ebola, AIDS to name a few), most of us have not experienced it as personally and directly as we are with coronavirus. It is worthwhile to review what the Talmud teaches about living through an epidemic. We have to keep in mind that even in the times of the Gaonim, over a thousand years

Hashem Still Answers

It is known that as Jews we are stronger in numbers. We are supposed to be united and be a nation with one heart and when we are all united together Hashem hears and answers our tefillot. When a parent sees his children working together, how can he deny them. The parent is Hashem and us, the Jews, are his children.

HaGaon HaRav Shimon Galei With an Urgent Message of Chizuk, And the Imperative of Kabbolas Ol Torah in Times of Crisis

“Everything has changed, nothing is routine or normal in my life anymore,” said Moshe R*, a ben Torah from Brooklyn. “The bais medrash where I daven is closed, the bais medrash where I learn is closed, my workplace is closed, my children are home from school... The only thing that remains constant in my life is my Torah

The Crowning Glory of Shabbos

After Maariv on Motzei Shabbos, someone next to me said, “Oh good! Only six more days to Shabbos!” I thought that was so refreshing! A similar perspective comes from Rabbi Effy Buchwald, founder of NJOP. He runs a beginner’s program called “Turn your Friday night into Shabbat.” On the other hand, many people can’t wait until

Getting Our Money’s Worth

This week’s parsha discusses the idea of donations: “Take from yourselves an offering for the Lord; every generous-hearted person shall bring it—Hashem’s offering: gold, silver, and copper.” Rabbeinu Bachya in the beginning of the parsha discusses the idea of tzedakah, describing how while on one hand a part of us wants to refrain

How a Fly Changed History

In last week’s parsha, we read that a census would be taken by having the Jewish people donate a half shekel each. This would prevent a plague from taking place (Shemot 30:12.) Rashi explained that actually counting people, such as in the days of King David, would cause the influence of an evil eye to descend upon the people and

Paris Siyum on Brachos: Torah Never Stops, No Matter What

As someone who has covered many siyumim in various locations around the globe, I have been granted a unique bird’s-eye view into the unparalleled growth that has taken place from the previous Siyum Hashas cycle seven and half years ago to this one. But while there has been Torah growth everywhere, a revolution has just

R' Jachter: May We Conduct a Get Via Video-Conference?

An Issue Raised in 1990 and 2020

Many halachic issues have been raised during the current crisis. In one highly sensitive situation that faced our Beit Din (the Israeli Rabbinate recognized Beth Din of Elizabeth), a request was made for the husband to appoint a scribe, witnesses and agent via videoconferencing.

I responded that I raised the

A Purifying Process

Two weeks ago, I wrote about a good friend with a long-time employee who left my friend’s family business, taking all the customers with him. It was devastating, but my friend stayed amazingly calm. After Shabbos, he wrote me a post-script, listing a few corrections and wonderful insights.

“For the