Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Divrei Torah - JewishLink

Motorcycling and the God of Second Chances

Several weeks ago, I took delivery of my new Honda Goldwing motorcycle in Tennessee. I drove it 750 miles to Florida where I enjoyed it over Pesach. This touring bike had all the latest technology, including a GPS system displayed on the dashboard. While driving down the highway I noted two things about the GPS system. First, as


Community Service Is Not a Choice; It’s an Obligation

The Torah in Parshat Acharei Mot (Leviticus 16:1) details the avoda the kohen gadol performs on Yom Kippur. This step-by-step process is further illuminated in the Yom Kippur Musaf liturgy. Among many other things, the high priest prays for forgiveness: first for himself, then his family and then for all of Israel—V’chiper


Some Reflections on the Beginning of Year 71

Around my Shabbat table I like to ask thought-provoking questions that elicit discussion. The questions usually center around the parsha or around values. For example, I like to ask, “If you were given $100 million to fund just one Jewish cause, what would it be?” These discussions are fascinating and insightful. In the future,


Parshas Emor 5778

Lag Ba’Omer has come and gone, and we are now in the fifth of the seven weeks of the Omer. With seven days in each week, there are 49 days in the seven weeks between Pesach and Shavuos (see Vayikra 23:15-16), which corresponds nicely to the spiritual growth that Bnei Yisrael experienced between Yetzias Mitzrayim and Kabbalas


The Fusion of Land to Religion

During the Second Temple era a terrible and internally divisive struggle raged within the Jewish people. Two students of an early Tana/rabbi named Antignos misunderstood one of his teachings. These two students, named Tzadok and Baitus, attempted to discredit the authority of the Oral tradition of Torah Shebaal Peh. Reading each


Facing or Following in the Land of Israel

There are approximately 15 agricultural mitzvot belonging to the category of mitzvot teluyot ba’aretz, mitzvot that are hinged specifically to life in Israel. Yet, at a practical level, the prohibition of arla isn’t bound to the Land of Israel. Though the text describes trees in Israel, this prohibition of arla applies to any


Acharei Mos-Kedoshim: How to Deal With Satan

Some of us feel a little strange discussing Yom Kippur in the springtime. What’s the connection between Yom Kippur and Acharei Mos? Rav Dessler helps resolve the dichotomy by showing how the lessons of the Yom Kippur service apply each day of the year.

One of the central parts of Yom Kippur in


Yom HaShoah 5778 Is Marked at Picatinny Arsenal

David Hamelech calls out to God, “לא אמות כי אחיה, I will not die, I shall live,” (Psalm 118, Tehillim). A Jew recites this pasuk on most festive days of the Jewish year, every Rosh Chodesh, every Yom Tov and at the Pesach Seder. It is a pasuk that is part of our Hallel, our prayer of praise to God. I have


A New Era: The Rise of Torat Nashim and Medinat Yisrael

Editor’s note: This text is excerpted from Dean Rachel Friedman’s speech at Lamdeinu’s Yom Ha’atzmaut Celebration.

On this 70th birthday of Medinat Yisrael, I have been reflecting on the two greatest historical forces in my own life as a Jewish woman: the establishment and existence of


The Best Charity

I. Which Charity?

Many people in the Jewish community have achieved varieties of financial success, allowing them the privilege of supporting many charities. This raises questions of communal and philanthropic priorities. Others have limited charity funds but still want to allocate them


The Two-Step Password of Geula

At the burning bush, Moshe Rabbeinu is tasked with the mission of redeeming the Jewish people from Mitzrayim. As his first encounter with historical mission occurs, Moshe has pause and hesitates for various reasons: Pharo deems intractable and Moshe’s own extreme humility makes him feel unworthy of this Divine agency. However,


Let Us Make Sure to Pause and Reflect

Let’s face it: technology has taken over our world. In countless ways, today’s amenities and style of living seems like the stuff of yesterday’s science fiction. For better or for worse (or both), every sector of our life has been dramatically transformed through technological advancements. Perhaps the most astonishing

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