Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Divrei Torah

Making Ourselves Into Holy Vessels

Ezzy and Milt were neighbors in an apartment building. One day, Milt asked Ezzy to tell him why he has a small “case” hanging on his doorpost. Ezzy explained the mezuzah represents God watching over the people who live in the home. Milt was taken aback. “Where can I buy one? Do they sell them in a Judaica store?” It was a

A Bizarre Nickname for the Temple Mount

Moshe desperately pleads with God to be granted entry to the land he has coveted for 40 years; despite his furious prayers his request is denied. Despite the power of prayer to sway the Divine will, God reserves the right to deny our petitions. Sometimes He replies with a “yes” and other times with a “no.” Still other times

Papa’s Progeny

Last week was the season of siyums across the Jewish world, as many carnivores flocked to meals in restaurants, homes, camps, and shuls where masechtot were completed and meat was served during the Nine Days. If you were among those desperate consumers of flesh, before you could take a bite you had to hear some strange words being

Emotional Emunah

“Ein od milvado”—There is none other besides for Him.” This week’s parsha advances the core idea of belief in God: “And you should know today and take it to your heart that Hashem is God in the heavens above and upon the earth below, there is no other” (Devarim 4:39).

This pasuk

Senior Roshei Yeshiva Address More Than 2,500 Bachurim Entering Yeshiva Gedolah

More than 2,500 bachurim craned their necks to catch a glimpse of the Rosh Yeshiva as he arrived. There was a palpable hush in the audience as the venerated Rosh Yeshiva of Ponovezh, HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, shlita, slowly made his way into the Armanot Chein Hall in Bnei Brak this past Thursday night, 8 Av/August

Motorcycling With Wounded IDF Veterans

If someone stood watch outside your home in order to make sure you were safe, you would surely thank them. If they kept the bad guys from hurting your wife and children you would certainly appreciate them. If they were injured while doing so, or even took a bullet for you, imagine how grateful you would be. You would probably feel

Dangers of Criticism

Near the end of his life, Moshe Rabbeinu gathered klal Yisrael together to rebuke them for the sins they committed in the 40 years of wandering in the desert. The question is, why didn’t Moshe rebuke them years earlier when the events first took place? Rashi explains that Moshe learned from Yaakov Avinu. Yaakov didn’t admonish

Jews Who Oppose the State of Israel

One of the most gratifying aspects about the State of Israel is the sweeping support it engenders across so many varied Jewish communities. It is reassuring that despite the myriad differences that divide us, our beloved state so deeply unites us. It is equally frustrating to encounter Jews so severely disaffected and alienated by

A Goal Worth Pursuing

One night, as I was davening Maariv, I saw two professionals who have the same type of medical practice sitting at a table learning Torah together. “Wow,” I thought to myself, “this is very special. Two competing professionals learning together as chavrusa.” The next time I met Dr. Z., I remarked how beautiful it was to see

Anger Moneygement

When a person is involved in working on his middot, many times we need to pull out our book of tricks and use various methodologies and alternative tactics to overcome certain character traits...

Elazar Hakohen in this parsha introduces the laws related to hechsher keilim (kashering utensils).

Obtaining Positive Yields

When Yaakov Grossman got engaged to his fianc? Aliza, their dream was to start the beginning of their marriage in Eretz Yisrael, with Yaakov spending his day immersed in Torah learning in the Mir yeshiva. The challenge was how would they be able to afford this dream?! Even with Yaakov giving haircuts, as he did when he was single,

Preserving Zeal

Pinchas is celebrated for his courageous intervention and is lavishly rewarded with priesthood. Indeed, special circumstances call for special measures, and his intrusion into this debacle halts a raging plague that had already claimed 24,000 lives. Moreover, his actions terminate a public desecration, or chilul Hashem, preventing