Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Divrei Torah - JewishLink

Parshas Tazria-Metzora: Truly Free Speech

When I was 20 years old I lost my voice for a few weeks. I attributed this to my learning in a large beis midrash filled with hundreds of people speaking in loud voices with their study partners. Talking to a chavrusa for eight, 10 or 12 hours a day can be quite taxing to the vocal cords! I took some voice lessons from a special


Parshas Shemini: Eating Our Way to Hashem’s Love

Some people seem to have a “green thumb.” Whatever they try to grow, be it flowers, vegetables, herbs or even trees, all grow beautifully. For some of us, we know ahead of time that it’s an exercise in futility. Ever wonder why? I may have uncovered an answer.

A few years ago, a study was


Walking Through Water: Not What It Seems to Be

On the seventh day of Pesach it is customary to recall the story of the sea splitting and the miracle of the Jews walking through walls of water, escaping from the pursuing Egyptian army. The new Jewish nation is so relieved to have been saved that they sing Shirat Ha’yam, the Song of the Sea. In the movie, we see the graphic


Pesach: Passing Down Holiness

As too many of us know personally, it’s not uncommon for large trees to fall during a storm. What you may not know is that a study was done to discover why some trees fall and others don’t. It seems it’s based on how close the tree is to its water supply. When a source of water is nearby, a tree’s roots are minimal and it


Godless Equals Goodless, God Equals Good

In the recent days, months and years, incidences of youth using violence against others has increased in a horrific way. In the recent Parkland tragedy, 17 lives were taken, the pain heart-wrenching and unimaginable. In the wake of this tragedy, we hear voices of different parties expressing the need to rein in on gun control, get


A Historic Look at Pesach, Matzah and Maror

We are all familiar with the mishna in Arvei Pesachim recited at the Seder:

.רבן גמליאל היה אומר, כל שלא אמר שלשה דברים אלו בפסח, לא יצא ידי חובתו, ואלו הן, פסח, מצה, ומרור

.פסח, על


Shabbos Hagadol: Promoting Faith and Harmony

To the outside world, preparing Thanksgiving dinner for family and a few guests can be amazingly stressful. It’s once a year, with so many expectations and so many traditions, including all the shopping, cooking and cleaning up afterward. OK, you’re probably laughing right now, thinking, “That’s just a regular Shabbos


What Is So Great About the Great Shabbos?

Why do we call this Shabbos “Shabbos Hagadol,” the great Shabbos? What is so great about it? What is the connection with the upcoming holiday of Pesach it precedes?

The most popular explanation is that the Jews tied up lambs, which were considered to be Egyptian gods, for the Passover


What Is Belief?

I. Belief and Knowledge

Pesach is often called Chag HaEmunah, the holiday of faith or, more accurately, belief. But what is belief and how do we acquire it? A better understanding of belief can help us recognize its role in today’s complex world. Our starting point is a debate among Arabic


Was the Original Shabbat Hagadol Successful?

Shabbat Hagadol commemorates the Shabbat prior to the actual Exodus from Egypt, which occurred on a Thursday. That year Shabbat fell on the 10th of Nissan, which was the day the Jews launched the Korban Pesach process by purchasing the lambs. This simple purchase actually was a defiant act of rebelliousness since the Egyptians


Parshas HaChodesh: Consecrating Our Time

America has lots of expressions involving time. Time is money—Time flies—Ahead of his time—Killing time. Time is a concept that preoccupies us a lot! Since I broke my foot a couple of months ago, I find myself …well … more “pressed for time.” Just getting dressed and getting ready in the morning takes an additional 20


Thinking Community

One of the most transformative korbanot is a chatat, offered in response to negligent shogeg commission of sin. It offers an opportunity for soul-searching, teshuva and catharsis. If the majority of the nation commits a sin based on an inaccurate verdict of the central Sanhedrin, a unique chatat is delivered. This korban, known as

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