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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Divrei Torah

Selichot, Teshuva and Elections in Israel

As Selichot commence this Saturday night (for Ashkenazim), the buildup to the Great Days begins in earnest. These are days of judgment, of pronounced Divine Presence, but also days of identity-crafting. During this period we fashion the person we would “like to be” from the shards of the person we “have become.” Teshuva and

The Significance of Hurricanes

Hurricane season is here. We recently experienced the devastation of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas a short while ago. Residents from Florida to North Carolina were making preparations to deal with the water, wind and fury that the hurricane was expected to bear down upon them. What is worse is the loss of electricity that is sure

The Essence of Viduy

This week’s parsha discusses the law of allocating any of the third-year tithes that might have remained in our possession. The Torah commands that along with the allocation one must also recite viduy, a “confession” that he has properly performed all of the relevant mitzvot associated with the giving of the tithes.

Worldwide Achdus at Dirshu’s Upcoming International Yom Limud and Tefillah

When Hashem sees His children living in unity and harmony, He looks upon them favorably. The Chofetz Chaim stresses this point countless times in his sefarim, especially in the sefer Chofetz Chaim and Shmiras Halashon. This is one of the primary reasons that Dirshu holds a special yearly Yom Limud and Tefilla on his

On Changing Judaism for LGBT

Anyone reading this probably knows someone gay. The explicit biblical prohibition against homosexual activity and the associated rabbinic prohibitions, including the rabbinic condemnation of gay marriage, are not abstract concepts. The heartbreak, alienation, depression and everything else that follows are the real repercussions

Preserving National Identity

Parshat Ki Teitzei presents a seemingly harsh set of guidelines for inclusion within the Jewish people. Marriage is strictly limited to pedigreed Jews and, additionally, not all races are granted access into Judaism. Certain nationalities, such as Amon and Moav, are completely excluded based on past national misdeeds. Other

Taking Positive Steps With Compassionate Hearts

I recently attended a seudas hoda’ah—a meal of thanks to Hashem—hosted by a friend. His family had experienced an extremely challenging year, with accidents and health issues. Thankfully all are well now. The teenage son, who was involved in two accidents, thanked Hashem publicly for the two miracles he experienced. He told

Being Mindful of Others

Last week we discussed the importance of offering a positive gesture to another person, and how powerful—even something small of that sort—can actually be. We also discussed how we can easily sidestep this responsibility due to our hectic schedules and lives that we must upkeep. So the question becomes: how much are we really

Days Before Rosh Hashanah, Daf HaYomi B’Halacha To Embark On Chelek Hei, Hilchos Pesach

Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program is completing the difficult halachos of eiruven and moving on to Hilchos Pesach. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the beginning of Hilchos Pesach coincides with the yahrtzeit of the Chofetz Chaim. The Dirshu Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program is devoted to learning a daily page of the

Statistics and Sorcerers

The ancient pagan residents of Israel practiced widespread sorcery and black magic. Many of these rituals, including witchcraft, wizardry, necromancy and soothsaying, were aimed at divining future events. Living in a chaotic world, ancient man devised multiple “schemes” attempting to predict the future. In truth, these crude

Taking the Initiative in Elul

Family vacations can be fun and exhausting at the same time. We returned from ours very late Thursday night. Our heads hit the pillow around 1 a.m. when suddenly all our smoke alarms went off! “Fire, fire, fire,” they blared throughout the house. We all ran outside, despite seeing no fire and smelling no smoke. Big fire trucks

From I Can’t to I Can

We can never underestimate the power of a kind gesture, even a seemingly insignificant one…

When the body of a murder victim is found between two cities, the elders of the closest city must perform the eglah arufah ceremony, in which part of that process is the elders proclaiming that they did