Monday, September 16, 2019

Divrei Torah

Yosef, the Passover Seder and Israel’s Moon ‘Landing’

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 Secrets of Jewish Survival

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

What Pesach Is Truly About

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 Tyranny of the Heart

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

Rav Baruch Mordechai Ezrachi and Rav Shimon Baadani Bring Spirit of Tahara to Teveriah

Dirshu siyum on Maseches Chulin is the antidote against anti-religious mayor.

“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

Bridging Creation and Redemption

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

Living Is Giving

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

Making the Most of Your Soul

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

Jewish Traditions in Mourning

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

Welcoming the New Month With Osher

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

Words Count

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

B-Positive to C-Positive

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