Thursday, June 04, 2020

Divrei Torah

Praying for Health

If our fate is decreed on Rosh Hashanah, are we allowed to pray for better health when we become ill? Does it help at all? Are we allowed to pray for others to get well or does that interfere with a divine plan? Isn’t there a Jewish tradition that the sufferings one experiences in this world alleviate the sufferings in the world to come?


Thoughts That Count

Jews count. We count up. We count down. We count hours, days, weeks, months and sabbatical years. We also count minyan members, ounces, handbreadths, egg volumes, sheep for tithing and more. By necessity, we learn our numbers. But what can we learn from numbers?

Perhaps, thinking about some numbers will


In and Out of Bounds

At first glance, Parshat Naso seems an odd amalgamation of topics. First, we have the conclusion of the census of the Levite families and the enumeration of their duties. Next is a list of those individuals who must be excluded from the various tribal encampments: the camp of the Shechina, where the divine presence dwells in the Mishkan;


Big Guy: Bigger Responsibilities

To see the sight of the sota is a dramatic, frightening but also inspiring sight to see. An open miracle demonstrating the veracity of the torah and also the justice of Hashem, one who was fortunate to witness such an event most certainly would walk away in a state of awe. After the Torah discusses the subject of the sota, the Torah then


Dealing With Life’s Challenges

My rosh yeshiva in Israel, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, zt”l (late rosh yeshiva of Mir Yerushalayim), was stricken with Parkinson’s disease for his entire tenure as rosh yeshiva. Under his leadership, the yeshiva grew from 1,000 students to 6,000 and increased from one building to seven! He gave shiurim, met with students and carried the


Gedolim From France and America Give Chizuk to French Jewry at Double Siyum HaShas Live Video Gathering

Dirshu provides chizuk in the wake of COVID devastation.

Just a few months ago, French Jewry gathered for the biggest Siyum HaShas in the history of France where many thousands of Jews gathered for the Dirshu Siyum HaShas at the Dome De Paris.



Accepting the Torah: It’s All About Engagement

When I got engaged to my wife after Pesach, we planned a late summer wedding so I could go back to the Mir Yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael for the spring/summer z’man. We would not see each other for close to three months! Everyone in yeshiva was excited for me. One person said, “Oh, being engaged is the best. You found your mate, but


Shavuot: The ‘Torah’ Year in Review

Torah is eternal, encapsulates the word of God and, therefore, exists beyond time and place. For this reason, Torah was delivered atop a lonely mountain in a barren desert, far away from human civilization. Likewise, the actual date of Torah’s delivery isn’t overtly mentioned. Even though it is possible to decode the date and to


Experiencing Shavuot As We Spiral Through Time

We experience life through the medium of time. Each new moment brings with it new opportunities as we ascend through the journey of time. Amidst the constantly moving waves of time, the chagim are specific and set points that carry with them unique energy. Each holiday presents us with the chance to tap into and experience the theme


One for All and All for One

Shavuot is the holiday on which we commemorate God’s giving of the Torah to the nation of Israel.

The giving of the Torah to the nation of Israel in effect changed the spiritual status of the people. We know from Talmudic and Midrashic sources that our ancestors adhered to the precepts contained in the


Desert Man

The Gemara brings a story that took place between the great sage Rava and a heretic. Rava was apparently deeply engrossed in his Torah studies, so much so that his fingers that he had put under his legs were getting crushed and his fingers were flowing with blood. The heretic saw this and said to Rava, “You are an impulsive people who put


Daf Hashovua Siyum Held on Seder Nashim

‘You have the best of both worlds!’

This Sunday, on Rosh Chodesh Sivan, a monumental event occurred all over the world. No, it had nothing to do with the coronavirus, although it was affected by it. And it wasn’t connected to the political fallout from the virus. Rather,