Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Divrei Torah

The Value of Repetition in Prayer

Last week I stood at the chuppah of my older brother, Binyamin, and his kallah, Sorah Miriam. The room was filled to capacity with friends and family who came from far and near to celebrate with them. The joy was palpable. Both had been single and dating for two decades; it was the first marriage for both of them. Finally, on this

Respect: Inside Out

As a murderer, hunter, an idolater and a promiscuous individual, Eisav was the kind of person who lived for this world, taking advantage in all the wrong ways. But even from such a personality there is much to learn…

The Midrash (Bereishit Rabba 65:16) quotes Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, who

The Key to Celebrating Thanksgiving Each and Every Day

In thinking about the theme for this year’s series, my decision was impacted by the recent events in the life of our family. As many of my readers know, this summer we suffered the overwhelming loss of my twin sister, Adele, z”l (see August submissions). Yet, on the positive side, our family witnessed the amazing response of

Beginning of second machzor to coincide with Dirshu World Siyum at Binyanei Haumah in Yerushalayim.

Dirshu Kinyan Chochma Program Nears End of First Machzor

“We are all obligated to learn mussar,” said Rabbi Dovid Meisels, a Dirshu Kinyan Chochma participant, “but unless we have something that compels us to do it, a set program with tests, it often falls by the wayside. Our

Is Anti-Zionism Really Anti-Semitism? Does It Matter?

The parsha is dominated by two parallel stories of dramatic negotiations. Avraham bargains with the citizens of Chevron to secure a burial plot for his deceased wife. Afterward he dispatches his loyal servant to secure a wife for his chosen son, Yitzchak. In each instance, local “parties” must be convinced—to sell land or two

Charity Begins at Home

Parshat Chayei Sarah is known as the paasha of chesed (lovingkindness), primarily in relation to the match between Yitzchak and Rivka. The critical component that Eliezer was looking for in the bride that would enter into the home of Avraham was that she be endowed with the attribute of chesed. We shall return to this.

Recognizing Hashem’s Kindness

Six years ago, on the 25th of Cheshvan (November 18), two Arab terrorists walked into the Bnei Torah shul in Har Nof, Yerushalayim, and attacked the people davening Shacharis. Five Jews were brutally massacred, as well as a Druze police officer who tried stopping the terrorists. This year, Shabbos Parshas Chayei Sarah coincides

Staying Level-Headed

As Yitzchak enters the “parsha” for shidduchim, his father—Avraham Avinu—sends Eliezer on a mission to find a suitable spouse for him. Eliezer established that the critical factor in determining who would be suitable would be someone who has good character traits, a baalat chesed—one who is a giver and involved in acts of

Dirshu Holds Siyum at Home of HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, Shlita

Dirshu nesius, comprised of senior gedolei roshei yeshiva and admorim, attend event.

Any time there is a siyum at the home of Rav Chaim Kanievsky, shlita, it is a moving ma’amad; certainly it is exponentially more inspiring when that siyum is attended by senior gedolei Yisrael such as

Wearing Judaism in Public

Unlike other religions, Judaism is founded upon moments of direct Divine revelation. Despite the infinite and non-physical nature of God, He reveals himself and His word directly to His chosen nation. Of course, the climax of this experience was the mass revelation at Sinai—a singular historical event that no other religion lays

The Power of Caring

Zack was studying in Eretz Yisrael at a yeshiva for beginners in Judaism. He was having his doubts. “The whole religion thing is so intense! I don’t think it’s for me,” he thought. He made up his mind the next day to book a ticket back to America. When he came back to his dorm room that night, his roommate Michael said,

Abraham’s ‘Learning Curve’

What follows is a personal understanding and interpretation of this week’s parsha. It is not informed by the traditional commentaries or by midrashei Chazal, although those are relevant to a well-rounded understanding of the words of the Torah in the context of the moral message we seek to derive.