Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Divrei Torah

Gratitude: It’s for the Birds

How much in life do we take for granted? How often do we say “thank you” or otherwise express our gratitude? Our traditions in Judaism and our lessons from the Tanach give us a fascinating lesson in the value of showing gratitude.

There’s a customary minhag to feed the birds on Shabbat Shira. This

The Secret to Happiness

Tu B’Shevat, the Rosh Hashanah of the trees, informs us of the deep connection between nature and spirituality.

Mankind intuited that trees are essential to our existence, even prior to our perception of rain cycles, photosynthesis and the myriad of functions trees serve for humanity. The allure of

Klal Yisrael Prepares for Dirshu’s Colossal Celebration of Authentic Torah Achievement

“Our Father is making a simcha! This is a simcha of Hashem Yisborach Himself, who is saying, ‘Chazu banai chavivai—Look at my dear children who forget all their difficulties and immerse themselves in Torah to such an extent that they have taken tests on all of Shas!!’”


Time After Time

Parshat Bo chronicles the dramatic redemption of the Jewish people from a 200-year nightmare of backbreaking slavery and oppression. The great “night of redemption” is punctuated by celebratory rituals that ultimately become incorporated into the Pesach Seder. However, before the Jews are informed of these ceremonies, they are

Where Do You Belong?

Lot was commanded not to look back at the destruction of Sedom and Am Yisrael were also commanded for the future not to return to Egypt. What is the meaning of this command?

In both cases, it seems that they absorbed quite a bit of the foreign culture that surrounded them. According to our

Knowing Your Place

When we were living in Eretz Yisrael, my mother, a”h, was very sick. My wife and I visited as much as possible, but flying a few times a year with four little children to America was very difficult and expensive. For this and other reasons, we started thinking about moving back to the U.S. I spoke with one of my rebbeim, Rav Reuven

An Extra Measure to Prevent Chilul Hashem

Moshe Rabbeinu, when informing the Egyptians of the tenth plague that would arrive, says, “So said Hashem, ‘At around midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt, and every firstborn in the land of Egypt will die…’” (Shemot 11:4-5). Rashi points out that although Hashem’s original message to Moshe was that he would smite the

The Peace-Affirming Family Rituals of Shabbos

We will soon read the Torah portion of Yisro and the 10 commandments, among which is “To remember the Shabbos day and keep it holy.” What’s behind the famous quote of the 20th-century journalist Ahad Aham: “More than the Jews have kept the Sabbath; the Sabbath has kept the Jews”? Perhaps it is related to the fact that family

Thousands of French Jews Fill Dome De Paris for Dirshu Siyum HaShas

I left Eretz Yisrael on an early morning flight to Paris, arriving at the arena with plenty of time before the event began.

Luckily for me I met a French rav, a Lubavitcher shliach in Paris, who graciously agreed to sit beside me throughout the event and translate

Patience: A Transformative Quality

Rabbi Wolbe writes in Aleh Shur that from Parshas Vaera we learn that patience is one of the most important qualities that anyone in a leadership position needs to possess. The Torah writes that “Hashem spoke to Moshe and Aaron and commanded them regarding the Children of Israel.” Rashi explains that Hashem was instructing them to lead

The Secret of the Success of Hacham Yitzhak Yosef

A magnificent portrayal of Hacham Yitzhak Yosef appears in the 22 Kislev edition of Mishpacha magazine. The essay describes the fine success enjoyed by Rav Yitzhak Yosef in his first seven years as the Rishon L’Tzion/Sephardic Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel.

The success is evident from the range of

Redemption Through Emunah

To enter the White House, you need permission from your member of Congress and an appointment several months in advance to get the security clearance required. Even in our own shuls nowadays, there’s often a security guard and code-locked doors due to increased anti-Semitic attacks. In Eretz Yisrael, all holy sites, bus stations and malls