Monday, November 28, 2022

Divrei Torah - JewishLink

Bar Mitzvah: So Much More Than Turning 13

Some years ago, I was on vacation in Israel in a rented apartment not far from Me’ah She’Arim. Anyone familiar with that area knows of the multi-minyan shul called Toldos Aharon, where you can catch a Shacharit minyan every 15 minutes between 6 and 11 a.m. Virtually all minyan attendees wear some version of Chasidishe garb. One fine


Over 2,000 Join New Dirshu Chaburas Shas Iyun Program

Gedolei Yisroel express joy and excitement over new program.

(Courtesy of Dirshu) This past Rosh Chodesh Iyar, history was made in klal Yisrael, as the Dirshu Chaburas Shas iyun kal program was launched beginning with masechta Bava Kama. This program enables avreichim


Journey Through Life

It’s exciting to be on a journey. We get to see new places and meet interesting people. And every step of the way we know we’re getting closer to our destination.

The Torah tells us about the 40-year journey of the Jewish people, which began after they were freed from slavery in Egypt, and which


What Is in a Name? In Israel, Much More Than You Think

The names we select are always symbolic, drawing from past memory, present experience and future hopes. At the dawn of history, Adam carefully screened the natural world, and — in the first creative act of man —assigned a name to each species. Throughout Tanach, parents have designated names based upon their own struggles and


Putting the Soul in the Driver’s Seat

Every teenager looks forward to the day they get their driver’s license. Freedom! Yet, the push for self-driving cars remains strong. Maybe we won’t need driver’s licenses anymore! I’m not holding my breath. Most self-driving vehicles still need a (licensed!) driver to take control at various times. The big question remains: who is


The Pope and the Rabbi

The world is getting together after the first few waves of the pandemic. Pope Francis and his Rabbi friend, Rabbi Abraham Skorka, have authored a book together as to how best to recover after the pandemic. This is probably a first ever Rabbi and Pope joint authorship in world history. This article, however, is not about that... It is rather


Responding to Accusations (Ketubot Daf 14)

I. Silence in the Face of Accusations

Silence implies guilt. If we refuse to deny an accusation, we give it credibility. Does that mean that we are obligated to respond to every insult and accusation against us? In theory, we can easily deny a charge. However, often responding to it,


Intellectual and Emotional Transmission of Torah

In this week’s parsha, there is a formulation that appears only once in the Torah. The Torah states: “Moshe spoke to the Lord saying,” (Bamidbar 27:15). Typically, a verse would state that God spoke with Moshe. In this instance, Moshe initiated the contact. The verse stresses that Moshe spoke to Hashem. After being informed that he


Fabri’cat’ing the Truth

I heard a humorous tale from R’ Gavriel Friedman along these lines: Two people—Jo and Shmo were once walking and they saw an animal in the distance. Shmo said, “wow, that’s such a beautiful cat!” Jo responded, “what do you mean, that’s a bird.” “No way, it’s gotta be a cat!” Shmo insisted. “Nah, I’m telling you


Living at Peace With Oneself

In this week’s parsha of Pinchas, we learn that Hashem rewarded Pinchas with a “covenant of peace — a brit shalom,” in return for his loyalty and actions. The Sforno offers a novel interpretation of what this meant. Apparently, as a result of this covenant of peace, Pinchas lived an extraordinarily long life. The Sforno posits that


The Legends of the Menorah at the Vatican: A Conversation With Prof. Steven Fine

Note: This is the first of an occasional series presented by the YU Center for Israel Studies.

There is only one American historian of Judaism who, at 11 o’clock on June 5, 2012, came face-to-face with the world’s famous ancient ruin. He is a scholar of Jewish antiquity who


Siyumim During the Nine Days: Sanctioned or Sacrilege?

(Originally published in Torah Musings)


I. The Prohibition of Consuming Meat and Wine During the Nine Days

The Talmud (Bava Basra 60b) relates a fundamental anecdote in which, following

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