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…]

What are We Celebrating on Sukkos?

Pesach, Sukkos, and Shavuos. Pesach is when G-d took the Jews out of Mitzrayim. Shavuos is when G-d gave the Jews the Torah. But what exactly is Sukkos? Living in booths? Being protected by the Ananei haKavod? Yes, we are celebrating both, the physical and the spiritual. And… We are celebrating the process. Pesach is … [Read more…]

Truth and Justice

אֱ֭מֶת מֵאֶ֣רֶץ תִּצְמָ֑ח וְ֝צֶ֗דֶק מִשָּׁמַ֥יִם נִשְׁקָֽ׃ Truth springs up from the earth; justice looks down from heaven. – Tehillim 85:12 Share

Tzom Gedaliah

In Tanach, innumerable Jewish leaders are killed. Yet, between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, during these auspicious days, we have a fast day to remember the yahrzeit, the killing of, Gedaliah. What was unique about Gedaliah? The answer is, many things. This includes that Gedaliah was killed soon after the destruction of the first Bais … [Read more…]

Wood, Stone, Silver, Gold

Towards the beginning of Parsha Nitzavim, Moshe speaks of “And you saw their abominations and their disgusting [idols] – of wood and stone, of silver and gold that were with them. A question is, why speak of the materials that these idols were made of? Why not stop after “their disgusting [idols]? it seems that … [Read more…]

The Shma is Our Love Right Now

The last bracha before saying the Shma says that Hashem selected the Jews with love. Hashem selected us and loved us from then until now. The first stanza after saying the Shma says that we will love Hashem with all our heart, soul, and might. We were selected by Hashem and love him from now … [Read more…]