Raised in the lap of his father Yaakov, with a whole world and future ahead of him, one day it all turns sour and so dark for Yosef. Yosef goes to check on the welfare of his brothers, but in no way are they checking on his welfare in the least. No, they have very different plans. They hold up Yosef, and are ready to end his life. Yosef is
Asara B’Tevet marks the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem that would ultimately result in Churban Bayit Rishon (the destruction of the First Temple). It is the first of four fast days in our national calendar that commemorate the destruction and/or its aftermath (the other three being 17 Tammuz, 9 Av and 3 Elul (Tzom Gedaliah).
Most religions have some version of an afterlife. To many people, it is almost synonymous with religion itself. It is rather strange that Judaism gives only one hint of an afterlife. This is a single phrase in the relatively late book of Daniel: “Many of those who sleep in the dust will awaken, some to everlasting life, and some to shame
If you’ve ever been to Israel for Chanukah, you may see Egged buses with signs that proudly proclaim “Chag Urim Sameach,” “Happy Festival of Lights.” This name for the holiday can be traced back to Josephus and draws its name from the miracle of the oil in the Beit Hamikdash that lasted for eight days. The miracle was a sign that
The situation has become dire. An elderly father traumatized by the death of his favored son and the imprisonment of another child refuses to dispatch his youngest child to Egypt. If Binyamin doesn’t make an appearance in Egypt, Shimon will remain incarcerated by a merciless Egyptian despot. Almost as menacing, the chances of the
Last month my wife and I felt ill with aches and flu-like symptoms. We got tested for COVID-19 and yes, we tested positive. So did all our children! We had been so careful by wearing masks and social distancing. Yet…I was sick for three days and my wife took a little longer. Baruch Hashem, our children felt fine. When we recovered, my
Yosef is sitting in prison not just for a few days or a year, but for 10 years. The Torah refers to his location as a “pit,” and thus we can imagine the sight of a dark, damp, isolated cave, with probably not the best air circulation to say the least. Who knows how much longer Yosef would sit, as hope of coming out was ostensibly highly
The tzadik Rebbe Shlomo of Karlin would, from time to time, prefer to light Chanukah menorah with thick wax candles, rather than oil. The talmidim respectfully challenged him: “Rebbe, is it not the accepted view that the ideal, most mehudar way to light the Chanukah menorah is with olive oil, through which the miracle occurred?” “Of
I wear my tallit in shul when I daven. I come on time so that when services begin I am ready. I remove my tallit when davening is over. On weekdays that means after the Shir Shel Yom, and on Shabbos that means after Adon Olam. I am exasperated when I observe men removing their tallit and tefillin during the week after Ashrei and equally
What does Dirshu do to celebrate the tremendous milestone of completing an entire chelek of Mishnah Berurah during an era of corona restrictions?
They do things the way Dirshu always does things! They work with the circumstances in a way that is sensitive to public health and government
Yaakov was inconsolable. He sent his favorite son Yosef to check on his brothers in Shechem, but Yosef never returned. Yosef’s brothers have sold him to slave traders on their way to Egypt, and they send their father Yosef’s special coat, dipped in goat blood, to deceive Yaakov into thinking that Yosef had been eaten by a wild animal.
On Thanksgiving, while most Americans were thinking about eating turkey, Agra D’Pirka’s legal holiday program had a top lineup of rabbanim talking turkey! Agra D’Pirka is a morning learning program that under normal times is held in communities throughout the U.S. It continues to draw approximately