In analyzing the seven haftarot of comfort (the “shiva d’nechemta”) that follow Tisha B’Av, we have shared with you, over the past years, the view of Tosafot (Megillah 32b) that this series of comforting visions of Yishayahu was placed in an order of increasing consolation, each
We read in this week’s parsha: “Hashem will establish you as His holy nation as He swore to you, if you guard the mitzvot of Hashem, your God, and go in His ways (v’halachta b’drachav)” (28:9).
Guarding Hashem’s mitzvot is understandable, but what does “v’halachta b’drachav”—to go
Starting the second day of Rosh Chodesh Elul, it’s minhag of the klal to blow shofar every weekday morning, after Shacharis.
When I was younger, I heard from many a rebbe that the shofar was a clarion call; an alarm to wake our sleeping minds in time for the Days of Awe, just mere weeks away. A few
In this week’s Parsha of Ki Tavo we read how the Egyptians treated us cruelly and afflicted us (26:6). This is reminiscent of an earlier passage in the Torah where we were reminded that the Egyptians embittered our lives, forced our people into hard labor and even tried to throw every baby boy into the Nile River. It was the first
If there was ever a time that klal Yisrael needed to unite in a massive outpouring of tefillah and achdus, if there was ever a time when tens of thousands of tinokos shel beis rabban
There are very few storylines as dramatic or as harsh as the saga of a ben sorer u’moreh. A wayward adolescent boy exhibits preliminary signs of insubordination, is arraigned by his own parents, and is quickly executed. This situation is so unforgiving that the Talmud Sanhedrin (71a) cites several opinions asserting that this
My great-uncle Meyer Thurm, z”l, was known for his caring heart, tzedakah and his honesty. His yahrzeit was a few weeks ago and I was reminded of a story I heard at his levaya. He owned a company with some large clients. One time he received a very large overpayment for an order from a large company in which the error would not
The past Lag BaOmer was one of those times when the eyes of the whole nation watched in tears the unimaginable consequences of the terrible disaster in Meron. The scale of the disaster—45 dead, including young children—and the circumstances—people who came to participate in a spiritual experience crushed to death—made it too
The organization of the second aliyah seems slightly odd. It begins by instructing that the body of an executed person be briefly publicly hung and then taken down before sunset. We are then taught the requirement to safeguard and return lost property, as well as assisting in unloading an animal that has collapsed under its burden. The
Loewenstein’s shtiebel on the second floor of the North London flat was packed tight, from wall to wall, that balmy Sukkot morning. Congregants jostled for space to place their spear-like lulavim and cotton-cradled etrogim.
“Hold my etrog while I go
Our parsha brings the mitzvah of hashavat aveida, returning a lost possession back to its owner: “You shall not see your brother’s ox or sheep cast off and hide from them; you shall surely return them to your brother” (Devarim, 22:1).
Ramban notes that the language of “cast off” in
At the ceremony on the occasion of the dedication of the Beit Harav Kook and the Merkaz Harav flagship yeshiva of the religious Zionists, in 1923, the donor of the original structure housing the chief rabbi and the yeshiva made the following request and sacred commitment: As an architect and the leading Orthodox Jewish real estate mogul of