Saturday, January 28, 2023

Divrei Torah - JewishLink

Fact Checking

Moshe was hand-selected to liberate us from Egypt and to introduce Hashem to a human audience which had previously ignored Him. Moshe possessed an impressive blend of personal qualities—each of which would serve him in his long and storied career.

As a young baby, he was graced with radiant


Parshas Va’eira—Achieving Geulah by Overcoming Challenges Through Emunah

Many students of mine grew up without knowledge of Torah and mitzvos, first making their commitment to Yiddishkeit as adults. Their road was not easy, but a common thread among them was that they experienced incredible Divine Providence as they embraced Torah. This gave them encouragement as they were adopting their new lifestyle. However,


I asked ChatGPT to Write a Dvar Torah. It failed.

Have you heard of ChatGPT? That AI robot can write anything: movie scripts, Shakespeare-style plays, or how-to weed-your-garden guides.

So I decided to give it a try. My week is quite busy; perhaps ChatGPT can write a dvar Torah for me?

I logged on to the


Was Shevet Shimon Disbanded?

A Glaring Omission

The omission of Shevet Shimon from the Shevatim blessed in parshat VeZot HaBracha screams for an explanation. Rashi (to Devarim 33:7) and Ibn Ezra (to pasuk 6) explain that Shimon did not receive an explicit bracha due to this tribe’s large participation in the ugly


Chillul Hashem and the Obligation to Study Mussar Daily

In recent weeks, we have been inundated with headlines of incidents, occurrences, activities and statements that, for the most part, clearly constitute chillul Hashem. Yet we are, it seems, at a loss in regard to three major issues. We grapple with how exactly to define what constitutes chillul Hashem. We are perhaps uninformed as to the


Orthodox Jews and Tikkun Olam

Moshe — our greatest leader — would, one day, scale the heavens and split the seas. A young stutterer evolved into one of the greatest orators of history. Deprived of food and drink for 40 days, he conveyed the word of a Heavenly God to a human audience waiting on a billowing mountain below. Yet, Moshe wasn’t chosen for his


It’s All in the Family

The opening of Sefer Shemot references the 70 offspring of Yaakov that descended to Mitzrayim. Yet, the actual names specifically mentioned are limited to the 11 sons of Ya’akov (Yosef was already situated in Mitzrayim). Rather than rename all of the individuals as appears in Parshat Vayechi, the Torah uses the phrase וְאֵלֶּה


Enjoying the True Benefits of Shabbos

By late afternoon, my cell phone is usually down to one bar. My many phone calls deplete the battery. Our bodies are the same way. If we exert ourselves, if we work hard, we get tired and need to rest to recharge.

Why did Hashem make it that by the end of the day we’re exhausted and need to sleep?


How to Be Free: True Freedom

Part II

אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן לֵוִי … וְהַלֻּחֹת מַעֲשֵׂה אֱלֹקים הֵמָּה וְהַמִּכְתָּב מִכְתַּב אֱלֹקים הוּא חָרוּת עַל הַלֻּחֹת (שמות לב), אַל

Representatives of Hashem

At the beginning of the parsha (1:8), our slavery in Egypt is described as beginning with the rise of a new king over Egypt, “who did not know Yosef.” Later in the parsha, when Moshe approaches Pharaoh in God’s name to ask him to release the Jewish people (5:2), Pharaoh refuses, saying, “I do not know of Hashem.” The midrash


The Rabbi Who Came Back From the Grave

A few days ago, a Chabad rabbi came back from the grave! It happened to a good friend of mine, Rabbi Nachum Goldshmid, from Netanya, Israel. While attending a funeral, he fell into the open grave! Turned out that standing so close was a grave mistake. But thank God — other than a minor injury — he is not gravely ill (can


Studying Daf Yomi Could Have Prevented the Congressional Vote Yomi

The country was transfixed all last week to the spectacle of newly elected members of the majority political party in the House of Representatives not allowing themselves and their colleagues to “take their victory” as scheduled, as they convened to elect a speaker who would be next in line to the presidency of the United States after

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