Friday, May 20, 2022

Divrei Torah - JewishLink

Sinai, Sympathy and Social Morality

It is always a joy living in Israel and observing Judaism worming its way into mainstream culture. Listening to secular Jews, or even Arabs, conclude their sentence with “im yirtzeh Hashem” exemplifies how religion can silently whisper its way into the public domain.

When Israelis wonder at


The Blessings of Observing Shemitah

During this shemitah year, my daughter in Eretz Yisrael went with her seminary to visit the farm of Doron and Ilana Towek, who are observing shemitah. Ilana is a native of Boston who made aliyah with her husband. Their first experience with shemitah was seven years ago. They decided together to embrace the mitzvah, although it meant


Different Strokes For Other Folks

“If your brother becomes impoverished and his hand falters beside you, you shall support him…” (25:35). The midrash (Vayikra Rabbah 34:1) quotes the pasuk in Tehillim (41:2)—“Praiseworthy is the one who contemplates the needy…”—as a means of explaining the aforementioned pasuk. What’s the connection?


Seeing the Whole Person

“And if your brother becomes impoverished, and his hand falters in your proximity, you should hold onto him.” Our parsha describes a scenario where a member of our community falls under hard times, and the Torah advises us how we are meant to act toward such a person.

There appears to be a seeming


Take the Spirit of Shabbat With You

In Parshat Behar we learn about the shemitah and yovel years. Shemitah is when, after six years of working the land (if you are a farmer) to grow crops and produce, you leave the land alone in the seventh year. This seventh year shows that everything we have, all our success and jobs, comes from Hashem. Shemitah is like Shabbat. After six


Bully Teachers and Halacha

Kids often complain about mean teachers, and parents react in different ways. Some take it with a grain of salt. Others always side with their child. And some show empathy and ask for examples. The third approach is ideal, because, unfortunately, bully teachers do exist. It is not just other students who bully; sometimes it is


What to Do When You And Your Adversary Can’t Agree on a Beit Din

Ideally, parties to a dispute would agree to litigate at an established and reputable beit din. The beit din would then empanel a group of expert dayanim (arbitrators) to hear the case. Practically, however, the din Torah process can get stalled when parties fail to agree on a beit din—when each party rejects the other’s


Anxious About the Economy? Rashbi Has Two Tips for You

Do you have an easy time falling asleep while flying?

I believe that there are two kinds of people in the world. Some cannot close an eye the entire duration of the flights; others fall asleep without much effort.

Don’t ask me why, but not only can I quickly fall


Shin Bet Agent During Elad Manhunt: ‘I Know About Dirshu and I Understand Its Importance!’

Lomdei Dirshu take test while city is under siege.

A day before, it appeared that the second test in the Machzor Sheini of Daf HaYomi B’Halacha would be a routine Dirshu test despite it being a bit of a milestone. Lomdei Daf HaYomi B’Halacha were completing the


Verbal Abuse and Sefirah

Twelve thousand pairs of Rabbi Akiva’s students died during the period of Sefirah. Why? Because they did not speak to each other with the respect that was due to them.

Every Yom Tov and every period of time in the Jewish calendar has its own special avodah in which we can grow. When Chazal


Pesach Sheini: Praying for Extra Relief

I was deeply saddened last week to hear about the passing of Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein, zt”l. I didn’t know him personally, but I was inspired by him. He was a legend. He gave hope to so many girls who had challenging life situations, be it abuse or addictions. He was a beacon of hope. An article in Ami Magazine last week quoted him as


The Changing Tides of the Omer

Jews experience time very deeply. Different stages of our calendar are suited for different religious experiences. During the 40 days leading up to Yom Kippur, Hashem is available for human penitence, as He extends mercy to errant children. The month of Av witnessed horrible tragedies during the mikdash era. Sensing that this

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