fbpx

Choose To Be Happy

"In memory of my father in law Matisyahu ben Chaim Refael Poliakoff and his father Chaim Refael ben Menachem Mendel, whose Yohrtzeits we are commemorating this week. May Hashem give them a lichtigen Gan Eden." There are two stark admonishments in the Torah, in our...

Going Casual

The Torah tells us in stark terms what the outcome will be if we do not live up to specific expectations. The recurring theme is that we must not do what is described as ‘going with G-d ‘b’keri’ or indifference - casualness. “If you will be indifferent to Me; I too...

Join The Ahronian Movement

There is a Midrash that at Aharon HaKohen’s funeral procession he was accompanied by 80,000 young men. There was a curious fact about all of these young men - they were all called Aharon. They were, in fact referred to as the Aharonim. Why were there so many young men...

The Danger of Renaissance

Rav Yanai was a giant in his generation, the generation immediately following the leadership of Rebbe Yehudah Hanasi. After a long period of persecution by the Roman Empire and post the Hadrian Decrees, Rebbe Yehudah HaNasi ushered in a new generation of renaissance....

Can Jewish Leaders Work Together?

We are waiting for the Shechina to come down. It's not happening! What can we do? "And it came to pass on the eighth day of inauguration of the Mishkan" Six Parshios and at least 12 difficult tractates of the Talmud are dedicated to getting us ready for this great...

Choose to Shine

When Moshe came down from Mount Sinai, the second time, his face was shining. The Torah describes this as ‘karan ohr panev’. ‘ His face was radiating light’. Although Moshe himself was unaware of this , the shine was so striking that the Jewish people were afraid to...

The Cow of Infinity

The Parah Adumah or Red Heifer is the classic example of a Mitzvah which is beyond our comprehension. As described in the Bamidbar (19:1-22), the cow had to be slaughtered outside the camp and its blood sprinkled in the direction of the holy of holies in the...

The Cry of The Shofar

I recently came across the ‘tzavaa’, or the ethical will of Rav Menachem Mann Shach OBM, famed Rosh Yeshivah of Ponevez. This document was written when the Rav was over one hundred years old. The Rosh Yeshiva reflects on the whole of his long life and the possibility...

Defining Greatness – Emor

In Kedoshim, the portion of the Torah that teaches us how to be holy, we learned that being a holy person, is primarily focussed on interpersonal relationships. The classic themes of holiness refer to asceticism, a serious demeanor, and so on, may be part of the...

Be Holy! Kedoshim Tihiyu

The title of the Parsha is Kedoshim. This is a section about holiness. Moshe commanded the Jewish people to be holy, what are the parameters of holiness and explained that holiness is perhaps the underlying theme of being a Jew. “You should be holy; because I am...

The Danger of Renaissance

Rav Yanai was a giant in his generation, the generation immediately following the leadership of Rebbe Yehudah Hanasi. After a long period of persecution by the Roman Empire and the Hadrian Decrees, Rebbe Yehudah HaNasi ushered in a new generation of renaissance. He...

Keep It Honest

"Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When any man of you bringeth an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd or of the flock." The word used for “any Man’ in the Torah is ADAM. The usual noun used for man...

The Baal Shem Tov’s Message

Shortly after moving to Israel I was given the opportunity to travel with a group to Mezibuz in the Ukraine. The purpose of the trip was to spend Shabbos in the city of the great Baal Shem Tov and to pray at his graveside. This was a spiritual trip and I was...

It Takes A Village

I once read an astounding study that affects us all. A certain philanthropist in Long Island is funding an academic study on the “fallout” from Judaism. Why are so many children falling through the cracks of the Jewish community? We all have our own ideas and theories...

Shining Our Souls

'What good is a lamp in the sunshine!' Our characters have been marked with Poland, Hungary, Germany, Spain, Amsterdam, Morocco and Turkey. All of our ancestors have traveled through the desert. Our character has been altered - how could it not be? In this week's...

Parshas Shmini 2000

"And it came to pass on the eighth day of inauguration of the Mishkan." Six Parshios and at least 12 difficult tractates of the Talmud are dedicated to getting us ready for this great moment. There were so many things that we needed to know. How do we build the...