Saturday, December 04, 2021

Divrei Torah - JewishLink

On Decisions

Thousands of feet up in freefall, traveling over 100 miles an hour, Yosef Goodman had only seconds to make a decision. His parachute had become tangled in his commander’s chute above him, preventing both of their parachutes from opening. They were probably 20 seconds away from certain death, and none of the backup measures were working.


Two Into One Doesn’t Go

Sukkah 25b

As you are disembarking from an El Al flight, you notice that the friendly neighbor who sat next to you has left the plane and forgotten his bag under his seat. You pick it up and run after him. But you are blocked by nine gentlemen who beg you to complete a minyan for Mincha. Does your friend lose his bag or do the gentlemen lose their minyan? The


The Value of ‘Kiruv Rechokim’ From ‘Richuk Kerovim’

One of the topics in our parsha is that of the “meisit”—a person who attempts to convince others to serve “other Gods” (13:7). The torah (v. 9, with Rashi’s commentary) views such a person with an overwhelming amount of harshness: “don’t love him” (the great principle of “love your fellow as yourself” does not apply to


The Duality of Objects in Spiritual Life

It was the night of Tisha B’Av, Judaism’s most somber holiday, when I was in shul and spotted Josh’s pillow.

It’s not unusual for someone to bring a pillow to prayer that night, because the prevailing custom is to sit on the floor and, well, the floor is hard.


Battling Our Fears

In Parshat Shoftim we read about the individual who was preparing for battle. In describing such a person the Torah writes, “When you do battle with your enemies, let your heart not be faint, do not be afraid, do not panic and do not be broken...” (Devarim 20:3). Instead, this individual was admonished to have no fear, “... for


Vizhnitzer Rebbe of Monsey Addresses Dirshu Siyum on Masechta Yoma

It was a warm intimate gathering. No fanfare, no giant seudah, no major speaker, no live music, but last week’s meeting in the Vizhnitz beis midrash in Monsey was a prototype of the deep, inseparable bond that exists between lomdei Dirshu and the organization that has transformed the life of the lomdim. As one Dirshu


Land of Milk and Ice Cream: Thoughts About the Ben and Jerry’s Boycott

The recent decision to discontinue selling Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in selected areas of Israel has roused the Jewish world, supporters of Israel, and opponents of economic boycotting. Fortunately, the actual ramifications of this boycott are limited, or even negligible. As Israel’s economic influence continues to grow, the


How to Achieve a Feeling of Security

Twice in my life I experienced an earthquake. The first time I was a young boy living in an apartment building in Washington Heights, New York City. I can still picture my bedroom shaking, the shelves rattling and the dishes in the cabinets clanking. Our apartment building was on a tall cliff, so I was afraid the whole building would


Cry Me a River

Our sedra is famously known as “Parshat Eretz Yisrael.” While virtually every sedra in the Torah stresses the centrality of Israel, Ekev makes it crystal clear that God, Torah and Eretz Yisrael form the three-legged stool upon which the Jewish people eternally rests.

Yet there are numerous other


Observing Yahrzeit

Of the many life cycles that we mark, the yahrzeit is probably the one that is most filled with bittersweet emotions. “Yahrzeit” is a Yiddish word that roughly translates into “that time of year.” We typically commemorate the yearly anniversary of the death of a loved one by lighting a special all-day candle, observing the day with


Podcasts Aren’t Just for the Nine Days

Tisha B’Av may have come and gone, but just because we can listen to music again doesn’t mean we need to stop listening to podcasts. Podcasts are a great way to entertain and educate, and there are so many different genres that there’s surely something for everyone. Below is a list of five great Jewish podcasts, ranging from


Hundreds Gather to Wish Rivkins of Edison Farewell

A standing-room-only crowd of community members, congregational rabbis and elected officials gathered in the large catering hall at Congregation Ohr Torah of Edison on July 25 for a gala breakfast to pay tribute to Rabbi Israel (Izzy) Rivkin and his wife, Rebecca, as they prepare to make aliyah. Ohr Torah’s

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