The Journey Is Coming To An End

The Journey Is Coming To An End

I’m feeling okay about the nine days this year. Even Tisha B’Av! That may sound radical, so let’s explain why. The Talmud (Yoma 5) describes a scene toward the desecration and destruction of the Beis HaMikdash by the Babylonians. According to the Medrash in Eicha, a...

Responding To The Times

Responding To The Times

There was once a Chasidic Rebbe known as the ‘Rebbe Ha’Katan’. He was six years old when he inherited the mantle of the rebbe. Because of his age, he was assigned an uncle, a great person in his own right, to guide and teach him until he was ready to take over the...

It Doesn’t Make Sense

When we pray, we are supposed to consider ourselves and visualize that we are standing directly in front of G-d. How can this be? G-d has no image that we can conceive of. As soon as we have any visual association of G-d, we’ve already gone wrong. Whether you’re...

Leadership Without the “I”

I was recently reading the great book of letters by the Steipler Rav, “Kiryana D’Igrasa”. In one of these, he was responding to a correspondent who had listed some of his problems. It should be emphasized that the Steipler was not one to make light of other people’s...

The Scandal

The Chafetz Chaim is famous for making the prohibitions of lashon hara more widely known. It is well known that the spies of our parsha spoke lashon hara about Eretz Yisroel. However one could search in vain through the Chafetz Chaim’s great work on the laws of lashon...

The Ultimate Challenge

Moshe Rabeinu has been through a lot in the last two years. He’s been Hashem’s shaliach to bring the people out of Egypt, performed miracles, split the sea, not to mention being the conduit for Torah descending from Heaven to Earth. You might think that he would...

Junk Food For The Soul

I don’t usually comment on world events but it’s difficult not to comment on the recent news from France, as some kind of response is needed .What is it that motivates someone to murder multiple strangers in cold blood? Who was Bilam? People often think of him as some...

The Logic Of The Heart

The Kotzker Rebbe is reported to have instructed his Gabbai to seek a Chazan with a good heart. A good heart, he said, is so much more powerful than a good voice. Chazal often ask why one particular portion of the Torah is placed next to another, albeit apparently...

The Spiritual Summit

The Spiritual Summit Moshe Rabeinu, into his eighties, has been through a lot in the last two years. He’s been G-d's messenger to bring the people out of Egypt, he performed miracles, he split the sea, he was the conduit for Torah descending from Heaven to Earth. By...

“We Need Our Space”

"We love Torah and we love G-d, but we can't live together with the rest of the Jewish people. We are willing to support you, teach you, do business with you; we'll even fight in your wars! But we need our own space." These were the words of the leaders of Gad and...

Greatness: A Jewish Definition

Determination and strong backbone can be the ingredients of true greatness or it can be the prelude to stupidity. I watched a documentary while on vacation. It made such an impression on me that I must share the inspiration. "Into Thin Air" is a gripping account of...

The Divine Mitigating Factor

According to the Wex Legal Dictionary the definition for Mitigating Factor is “any fact or circumstance that lessens the severity or culpability of a criminal act. Mitigating factors include an ability for the criminal to reform, mental retardation, an addiction to...

When Blessings Conflict

A dream is the first step of any new venture. We see a vision for our lives, our families, our community and the world we live in. We dream about how the world can be improved, and of the contribution that we can make. I personally dream of a life of Torah and a home...

Behold A People

Bilaam was the most successful gentile, of that generation and possibly in history. He was the parallel of Avraham Avinu and Moshe Rabbeinu. He didnt represent a specific nation; he was at the apex of the non-Jewish world as a whole. He belonged to the world. Chazal...

The Red Heifer

This week's parsha discusses the mysterious law of "parah adumah", the red heifer, which is used for purification, but contaminates those who perform the purification. "Zos chukas haTorah", it says, "This is the law of the Torah" (Num. 19:2). The word "chukah" is used...

The Puzzle Factor

The Parsha starts with Hashem instructing Moshe to take a census of Bnei Yisrael. So on Rosh Chodesh Iyar, Moshe and the Nesi’im of each Shevet counted every male over the age of 20 according to their shevet. After the census was taken, Hashem further instructed Moshe...

Behaaloscha 2003

G-d does not always do things to the way we feel they should be done. The Jewish people were ready to move. They were on their way to Eretz Yisroel. But Miriam couldn't move. Miriam became ill with Tzoraas and had to be in quarantine for seven days. Three million...

Talk to the Rock! G-d May Suprise You

Talk to the Rock! G-d May Suprise You

Moshe was grieving for his sister. In his frustration, He admonished the people, and called them "morim" which has the same letters as Miriam (MRYM), he said: Miriam is dead; how will I ever be able to get water from a rock without her? Miriam occupied a very special...

Are You Stuck?

Are You Stuck?

The greatest attribute of our people is that we are a stiff necked people. The greatest fault of our people is that we are a stiff necked people! There was a plague in the desert which was caused by the complaining and bickering of the Jewish people. They were...

Chukas 5761

Moshe was upset. His dear and beloved sister Miriam had died. Moshe was worried. The well that followed the Jews around in the desert had dried up; there was no water. The people got thirsty and began to complain. They were after all in a desert! Moshe said, Shimu na...