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 »

Striving for the Best November 2020

If we want our mitzvot to “shine” brightly, we need to invest in them. Before Hanukah, we’re all going to go out and purchase either a whole bottle of oil or a large box of candles for kindling the Hanukah lights. Here’s a question you probably would never expect a rabbi to ask: why is Read More »

The Hidden Sanctity of Hevron November 2020

The first piece of real estate ever purchased by a Jew in the Land of Israel is not in Jerusalem or Tel-Aviv.  Not even in Bnei-Brak. It is Me’arat Hamachpelah – the “Cave of the Patriarchs,” in the ancient city of Hevron. As we read in the Torah this month, Avraham purchased this territory from Read More »

The Ultimate “Flood” Insurance Policy October 2020

The Torah is the blueprint for living a proper religious life. But in Parashat Noah, we find a much differ-ent kind of blueprint – the blueprint of Noah’s ark. The Torah is surprisingly specific in telling us about this structure, which housed Noah, his wife, his sons, his daughters-in-law, and all the creatures while Gd Read More »

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