Saturday, January 28, 2023

Divrei Torah - JewishLink

New Fund Encourages Stamford’s Young Torah Readers

Omer Neumeier is on a mission: get more post-bar mitzvah boys to leyn Torah and lead services in Stamford. And he’s willing to pay them.

The age-old debate over monetizing a sacred responsibility may be rumbling here, but one could argue that today’s teens, much more distracted than their


Ask, Don’t Tell

The night had finally arrived … After centuries of persecution and brutal tyranny, the night of our liberation was finally here. Moshe hastily delivered divine instructions for this dramatic evening of independence. To transform this evening into the anniversary of Jewish identity, ceremonies and rituals were necessary. That


Learning to Pay Attention, Then Acting

Last week I was in Los Angeles for a family wedding and saw my old friend Rabbi Shimon Abramczik. We had both lived in Maalot Dafna in Eretz Yisrael for six years and hadn’t seen each other in close to 18 years. “Do you still put Indian hot peppers in your cholent?” Shimon asked. “I remember the time we were eating at your house,


At About Midnight

“And Moshe said, so says Hashem, ‘At about midnight (kechatzot) I shall go out in the midst of Egypt. Every firstborn in Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the firstborn of the maidservant who is behind the millstone and all the firstborn of the beast…” (Shemot 11:4–5).


Then and Now

Parshat Bo

The haftarah that we are privileged to read this week is taken from the 46th perek of sefer Yirmiyahu and closely parallels the prophetic words of Yechezkel that we read in last week’s haftarah. This is certainly understandable, given that both Nevi’im were


Mashiach: Wanting, Waiting, Watching

Living in such dire circumstances for so many years in Mitzrayim, who wouldn’t be jumping out of their skin to leave? Bnei Yisrael finally depart from Mitzrayim … but not all of them. In fact, many (as Rashi says, a grand total of 80% of them!) never made it out, but instead perished in the ninth makkah of darkness. Rashi says these


Skiing and Its Unwritten Rules

Some go with their family, and some go with their friends. But one of the most popular activities during winter break is that trip to the mountain resort which offers skiing and snow-tubing. It is one of those rare activities that parents, younger children and older children can all enjoy.

It is


Seeing the Light Amidst The Darkness

This week’s Torah portion Bo deals with the last three plagues, including the plague of darkness. The Torah lays out the frightening scenario that unfolded for three days and nights across Egypt, of complete and total darkness for the Egyptian people. The Torah specifically says that Bnei Yisrael had light, but not the Egyptians. The


Modern Day Slavery

As we begin the story of our Exodus in this week’s parsha, what comes to mind when hearing this phrase? Perhaps the phenomenon of being tethered to technology, the need to check one’s email all hours of the day, slaves to our jobs, to our mortgages, credit card bills, school loans, to our relentless self-doubt, or bad habits. This is


Pharaoh, the King of De-Nile

Stubbornness—like many human traits—can either work for you or against you. When we think of the Jews who survived atrocious circumstances in the Holocaust, for example, we describe them as tenacious, determined, spirited or purpose-driven. On the other hand, we have examples of leaders who were led by evil intentions and refused to


How Do You Define and Address ‘Burnout?’

When Moshe first approached Pharaoh to free Klal Yisrael, Pharaoh moved to intensify our oppression. While our situation was bad enough to prompt us to seek relief, it was evidently not intense enough to prevent us from hoping to achieve it. And so, in response to our renewed hopes for redemption, Pharaoh tightened his grip on us and made


Athiest or Egoist

I heard a story from R’ Gavriel Friedman about when he was once giving a philosophy-oriented class. He got up and began: “So you all believe in God, right?” Someone in the back piped up: “Of course we believe in God!” R’ Friedman continued, “And what about that He wrote the Torah?” “Of course!” the person said. R’

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