Friday, March 31, 2023

Divrei Torah - JewishLink

Friendly Fire

Shortly before the expected confrontation between Yaakov and Eisav, Yaakov was met by the guardian angel of Eisav, and they had a wrestling match (32:25 and Rashi). The pasuk (v.26) says that he was unable to defeat Yaakov, but hit him in his hip-socket. The Seforno explains that he was unable to defeat Yaakov since Yaakov was so engrossed


God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

Take a moment and think, when you are in danger or trouble, what do you do? Do you call someone? Do you try to distance yourself from reality? Do you take action? Do you pray to God? Or do you do something completely different?

In Parshat Vayishlach, Yaakov is filled with fear that his brother Eisav is


Yeshiva University Launches Online Courses In Gemara, Tanach and Halacha

(Courtesy of YU) Yeshiva University’s Graduate Program of Advanced Talmudic Studies (GPATS) has launched a new online learning program called “Inside the GPATS Beit Midrash” to provide expert, in-depth analysis of core Jewish texts. People from all over the world will now join the classrooms of renowned faculty and


Religion and Belongingness

Ya’akov barely escapes his homicidal brother, fleeing from his family, penniless and alone. Traveling at night to a faraway sanctuary, he is uncertain about his future and uncomfortable about his past. Though his mother supported him and promoted his interests, his father always favored his violent older brother. Even though


Barriers That Protect Us

For many years, my family had an unstable neighbor who would constantly walk on our lawn and throw sticks and garbage onto our property. We tried speaking to her, with no success. This past summer, we installed a fence and a wall of trees between the two properties. During the fence installation, the lady approached us to dissuade us from


The Jewish Home

“Not like Avraham who called the Beis Hamikdash ‘mountain,’ and not like Yitzchok who called it ‘field’ but rather like Ya’akov who called it ‘house’” (Pesachim 88a).

The Beis Hamikdash serves as a mountain, har, a place to ascend to. A place that inspires one to feel that he is in the shadow of the Shechina, the Divine Presence. That is the


Be Yourself

 This week’s parsha, Vayeitzei, is where we first encounter Yaakov’s future wives. His most beloved wife, Rachel, is the first wife we are told about. When Yaakov asks the people in the land if they know who Rachel’s father Lavan is, they answer him that Lavan is doing well and that his daughter is coming with


Effective Criticism

 All of us occasionally find ourselves in situations where we may need to offer constructive criticism. Yet, effective and constructive criticism is an art form. Indeed, the Talmud (Eruchin 16b) notes that Rabbi Tarfon expressed doubt that any one of his contemporaries could properly accept criticism, while Rabbi


Testing Challenges

Have you ever looked at old pictures of yourself and thought about how different you are than the person in the picture?

Life itself is an experience that changes us, whether we like it or not.

Recently my wife and I were leafing through a scrapbook chronicling the


Reconciling a Bad Mood and Being B’Simcha

You woke up on what is called, “the wrong side of the bed.” Is it forbidden to remain in this state? Are we obligated to go through specific thought processes to “get out of it?” Is it a mitzvah to do so? Is the song, “Mitzvah Gedolah L’hios b’Simcha Tamid, It is a great mitzvah to be in a state of constant joy” really true?


Mishna Yomi Learned at Anshe Chesed

(Courtesy of Anshe Chesed) This past week, members of Linden’s Congregation Anshe Chesed completed Seder Zeraim with the Mishna Yomi cycle. Thanks to Rabbi Yossi Katz’s daily Mishna podcast, the participants learned 655 Mishnayos in under a year. They reached this tremendous achievement by consistently learning two Mishnayos a


OU’s Torah Initiative’s Program for 1,500 Middle School Students Kicks Off Nationwide

All Mishnah Junior adds “fun factor” to learning Torah.

(Courtesy of OU) Last week, about 1,500 students from 12 middle schools, including from the Five Towns and Teaneck, embarked on a Torah learning journey as part of the Orthodox Union’s Torah Initiative’s “All Mishnah

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