Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Divrei Torah

Kosher World

At the core of Jewish identity lies kosher dietary laws and kosher eating. Almost every “identified” Jew maintains some minimal standard of a kosher diet. Kosher laws themselves are Divine will and do not change with the passing of time; they are eternal and immutable. However, the manner in which we experience these guidelines

It’s Talking to You

This parsha begins with Moshe Rabbeinu providing an outstanding motivation intended to re-focus our goals and pursuits in life: “See that I place before you today a blessing and a curse; the blessing if you will listen to the commandments...the curse, if you don’t listen to the commandments…(Devarim 11:26-28). Interestingly,

Thousands of Bachurim at Camp Experience Dirshu Learning This Summer

“For three and a half weeks you are zoche to experience and understand what a talmid chacham meant when he said, ‘Dirshu ruined my life!’ Here at Camp Rayim you have gotten a taste of what it means to learn Torah with accountability and to love it!”

Those were the words of Rav

The ‘Little Things’ Count

Joe Wallis was a very successful weapons and aircraft dealer. He was once giving a tour of his facility to a prospective purchaser, a representative of a helicopter manufacturer, who asked about two identical buckets of bolts. Wallis explained these were special bolts to hold helicopter rotor blades in place. One bucket was filled

Reframing Life With Bitachon

Last week we discussed the idea of having an emotional emunah: Understanding emotionally, and feeling strongly that Hashem is the only One in complete control of our lives. We gave a suggestion of how to reach that, and that is by using the imagery of a baby in its mother’s arms - to imagine and feel the security and trust of the

We Could All Use a Little Inspiration

I was recently approached by a friend who had been a baal teshuva (a non-practicing Jew, now an observer) for the past 16 years. He is now entertaining doubts about his decision because he cannot be perfect in his ways. He simply cannot learn Torah every day, for example. He had no yeshiva background. Furthermore, the drashas he

A World Without Awe

Worrying about a possible religious erosion once he is retired, Moshe exhorts the Jewish people toward the trait of yirat shamayim. He presents this trait as foundational but also as a portal- excellence at yirat shamayim serves as a gateway to general religious success. This trait should ideally enable moral development, mitzvah

Europe Prepares for Dirshu World Siyum and European Convention

Forty-five years ago, Rabbi Simcha Bamberger came to Manchester, England as one of the city’s first four kollel yungeleit. Rav Osher Westheim, one of the prominent Rabbonim in Manchester at that time, asked him if he could perhaps say a shiur. When Rabbi Bamberger proposed a Daf HaYomi shiur, Rabbi Westheim discouraged

It’s Not Only the Destination, It’s the Journey

A few months ago, my wife and I were invited to a wedding at the Roemer Synagogue in Teaneck, New Jersey. As I usually do before taking a trip like this, I quickly typed in my destination into Waze once I was in the driver’s seat, and a few seconds later we were on our way – with each required turn being clearly broadcast

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