Last Thursday, April 11, was a very exciting day. I had been waiting for weeks. Israel was scheduled to land the Beresheet rocket on the moon. Only three other countries had successfully accomplished this feat, the U.S., Russia, and China. And now Israel, through the non-profit organization SpaceIL, funded by Jews from throughout
The first seven makos took a heavy toll on Mitzrayim. When Moshe Rabbeinu gives Pharaoh the warning of the upcoming eighth plague of arbeh, locusts, the members of Pharaoh’s household decide that “enough is enough.” They insist that the king relent: “Send them out already and let them worship their God before all is
You may have heard many beautiful ideas about what the theme(s) of Pesach is, what Pesach stands for, what it reminds us of, etc. Some might say it’s about freedom and liberty, some might say it’s about going from one slavery to another form of servitude, some might say it’s about family and bonding, some might say it’s
The story of Yetziat Mitzrayim and the miracles of Pesach showcase many different “dramas.” Of course, the primary narrative is the great theological milestone: God’s descent into history and His intervention in science and nature. For the first time in close to 2,500 years since His creation of our world, God’s presence
“The city of Teveriah has never seen such a powerful, overt demonstration of the importance of Torah. The crowd was massive, and it was clear that residents of Teveriah who care about Yiddishkeit were
Shabbat Hagadol plays a colorful role in the rich heritage of the Pesach holiday. At the heart of the Shabbat Hagadol experience lies a distinctive shiur or sermon geared toward preparing for the upcoming holiday. In fact, some have even suggested that the actual label of “Shabbat Hagadol” (which may be construed as the
When we observe one of the consequences the metzora faces, at first glance it doesn’t seem like it’s that bad, although his sin of evil speech is rated amongst the worst. The sin of lashon hara is so bad that the Rambam (Hilchot De’ot 7:3) compares it to be equivalent of the three cardinal sins: avodah zara, shefichat damim
The Shabbos before Pesach is called Shabbos Hagadol, the great or large Shabbos. How is this Shabbos different from every other Shabbos?
At a bris, we give the newborn baby the blessing of “zeh hakatan gadol yihyeh, this baby shall be a gadol.” Simply put, we are referring to becoming a bar
Four years ago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art had an exhibition titled “Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire.” The exhibit was focused on the 19th century, from the end of Napoleon’s time to World War I, and it included the mourning outfits of Queen Victoria and others. But reviewers of the exhibit noted that
A week ago, the Jewish people welcomed Chodesh Nisan, an auspicious time of year and a month replete with themes of redemption and the Passover Seder. If we take a step back and take a closer look at the words that comprise the Yehi Ratzon that we say to usher in the upcoming month, one may observe that there are valuable lessons
Last year I had the privilege of hosting Rabbi Noach Orlowek, a prominent mashgiach and noted lecturer. I offered him the use of my study, lined wall-to-wall with sefarim. When I came down in the morning, I saw only one sefer pulled out: the sefer Chofetz Chaim, the laws regarding lashon hara (evil speech). Rav Orlowek later asked
The metzora is the infamous character found to have tzara’at, primarily occurring due to transgressing the sin of speaking bad about others. What kind of person is this metzora? And more importantly, what led him to fall into this terrible sin of slander?
In describing the process after the