A Matter of Priorities October 2021

It was one of the darkest periods in our nation’s history.  The nation was divided into two kingdoms, and the ruler of the Northern Kingdom, Ahav, married a gentile woman who worshipped idols, Queen Izevel.  As part of her effort to institutionalize idol-worship in the country, Izevel embarked on a ruthless campaign to rid the Read More »

Words of Rabbi Eli J. Mansour September 2021

What Can We Do to Have Our Prayers Answered? The Yamim Noraim (High Holidays) are upon us, the time when we take stock of the year that has passed, make commitments for the new year, and come before Gd to express our wishes for the coming year.  We bring with us a list of requests Read More »

Recreating Ourselves, Recreating the World August 2021

The special month of Elul does not always come at a convenient time.  Particularly this year, when Elul begins earlier in the summer than usual, it occupies a significant chunk of our summer, a time when we usually like to relax and enjoy trips, family get-togethers, social gatherings, and recreational activities.  But precisely for this Read More »

Beware of the Fox July 2021

Tishah B’Av is a time for mourning, but also a time for hope.  What has kept us alive and allowed us to flourish throughout the millennia of turbulent exile is our nation’s unique ability to find comfort and solace amid the hardship, to introduce faith and optimism even as we mourn and lament.  We observe Read More »

The Three Most Difficult Words June 2021

“Who are these people?!” If we come home to find strangers sitting there, this is the question we are likely to ask our family members who are there.  This month, we will read about this question being asked by – surprisingly enough – Gd Himself. A delegation sent by Balak, the king of Moav, arrived Read More »

Scaling the Mountain April 2021

In our prayers and kiddush on Shavuot, we proclaim that Gd has given us this great festival “zecher liytziat Mitzrayim – in commemoration of the Exodus from Egypt.”  Surprising as it sounds, the celebration of Shavuot serves to remind us of our miraculous departure from Egypt. This seems strange, because we are just several weeks Read More »

Words of Rabbi Eli J. Mansour April 2021

Our Unconditional Love Rabbi Avraham Saba (1440-1508) was a brilliant rabbi, kabbalist, thinker, and writer in Spain, who endured a great deal of suffering and hardship throughout his life.  He was expelled from Spain in 1492 along with the rest of Spanish Jewry, and went to live in Portugal.  Just several years later, his two Read More »

A Time for Spiritual Healing March 2021

The famous Kabbalist Rav Shimshon of Ostropoli (d. 1648) wrote a letter which he encouraged his students and followers to read once a year, preferably on Erev Pesach.  He assured that reading this letter and imbibing its lessons will yield great benefits, and many observe this practice even today. In one passage in this letter, Read More »

Rewriting Our Story January 2021

This period of the year is a time when many people struggle to keep their interest in the weekly Torah reading, which speaks a great deal, and in great detail, about the Mishkan, the portable Bet Hamikdash, which our ancestors constructed at Sinai.  They carried the Mishkan with them throughout their travels, erecting it at Read More »

Challenges are Opportunities December 2020

“Here’s $100 million.  I’m BEGGING you to take it.  I’m PLEADING with you.” These words were probably never spoken, since the beginning of time.  Why would anyone have to beg somebody to accept an enormous fortune?  Nobody would ever need to  be begged to become rich, right? At the time our ancestors left Egypt, however, Read More »

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