Chanukah – Bringing Light to the World

The Festival of Chanukah falls in the Hebrew month of Kislev. Shorter days and longer nights symbolize spiritual darkness and it’s our job to bring spiritual light back into the world during this season. Two thousand two hundred years ago the Syrian Greeks controlled the Land of Israel and feared a national uprising by the […]

Esau: Give me some of the red stuff!

Esav (Esau) and Yaakov (Jacob) were twins. The first to be born was Esav, and he came out red (adom), and hairy all over, therefore they called his name Esav (Asui means fully formed). (Gen 26:25) Later, when he grows up he will be given another name, Edom, (which means red). So we might think […]

Machpela in Hebron – Whose cave is it?

This week’s Torah portion begins with our Matriarch Sarah’s death and Avraham’s purchase of the Machpelah Cave in Hebron as a family burial plot. (Chaiye Sarah Gen: 23) The Torah goes into great detail about the negotiations between Avraham and Ephron who was the owner of the field and the cave complex in it. The […]

Abraham, Isaac and Jerusalem…

One of our subscribers shared this lovely photo of Jerusalem on her FB page. (I think she did it by mistake). It is from a Palestinian Arab propaganda site called “Days of Palestine” and the captions says, “Good morning from Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Palestine. (sic)” It’s ironic that this appears in the week […]

The Age of the Universe

Does an observant Jew really have to believe that the world is just under 6000 years old? Here’s one approach to resolving the Biblical and Scientific Ages of the Universe.

A Phone Call from the President

Many years ago, at a talk given during Elul at Aish HaTorah in Jerusalem, the Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Noah Weinberg zt’l posed the following challenge: “Over and over again throughout the Rosh Hashanah prayer service we ask God that He rule over the entire world and that all humanity should recognize His Kingship. We know […]

Barriers to Freedom – and Passover

Freedom from physical slavery is the first exodus. Then comes freedom from psychological enslavement. Passover shows us how to break loose from our mental chains. During the 30 days leading up to Passover, it is customary to prepare ourselves both physically and spiritually for the holiday. Physically, by cleaning our homes of leavening, and spiritually, […]

It’s not Freedom – It’s Cherut!

Passover is NOT the time of our FREEDOM – it’s the time of our CHERUT. What’s the difference? In almost all English translations of the Passover Hagaddah we call Pesach, the “Season of our Freedom” (Zman Cherutaynu). And we declare “… it is our duty to thank and praise …  [God, who] took us from […]

Surviving Exile – Joseph’s Secret

Joseph rose to the highest rank in Pharoah’s palace and became Egypt’s number one citizen. Yet in spite of that he remained true to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Here are some paraphrased words from one of my teachers, Rabbi Ze’ev Leff about how Joseph and his brothers did it. Joseph coached his […]

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