Fasting and Teshuva

How does fasting help us to do Teshuva? Discomfort – When we fast, we’re uncomfortable. This discomfort can serve as an impetus for teshuva. Your lack of food creates an unwholeness, a lack of Shalame-ness, much like your averas create an unwholeness, a lack of Shalame-ness. By feeling this unwholeness in your life through the … [Read more…]

Asara b’Tevet (Tenth of Tevet)

Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylonia sieged Jerusalem on the Tenth of Tevet. Eighteen months later, on the 17th of Tammuz, he broke through the city walls. Three weeks later, on Tisha b’Av, the siege ended with the destruction of the Bais HaMikdash and the conquest of the Kingdom of Judah.  The Tenth of Tevet is thus … [Read more…]

Chanukah: Kohain Gadol and Jew in Galus

The contrast of the Bais HaMikdash Menorah and the Chanukah Menorah is like the contrast between the Kohain Gadol in the Bais HaMikdash and a Jew in galus. The Kohain Gadol, like the Bais HaMikdash Menorah, is wholly pure, is solely connected to Torah and Mitzvahs. Alternatively, the Jew in galus, like the Chanukah Menorah, … [Read more…]

Chanukah: How to Build a Fire

We live in a world where we flick a light switch and a room is immediately illuminated. But, min haTeva, living in accordance with nature, this is not how we light a room. To light a room, one finds a small flame, a spark. This spark, this flame is, by definition, flammable but it will … [Read more…]

Chanukiah

The Chanukiah, the Chanukah Menorah, reminds us of the Bais HaMikdash Menorah. This seven-branched Bais HaMikdash Menorah is a primary symbol of the Jewish nation. Though it wasn’t actually always burning, the Bais HaMikdash Menorah represents a Ner Tamid, a light that was always burning. A light to combat darkness. Like many objects and acts … [Read more…]