I have a friend who is a talented and experienced rebbi. A few years ago, several people encouraged him to start a new yeshiva high school. It’s a daunting task—securing rebbeim, teachers, a location, funding, and the most challenging of all: students! A businessman who believed in my friend offered him his office for meetings and
In Parshat Shemot, while Moshe was shepherding he saw a miraculous event. As he went toward it he unknowingly came into the presence of Hashem. The supernatural event that Moshe saw was a bush that was on fire but the fire was not devouring it. When Moshe looked closer to try to find out why it did not burn, he heard God’s voice calling
The title of this week’s parsha and the entire book of the Torah is “Shemot.” Shemot means “names.” For some strange reason, this is typically known as the Book of Exodus. However, if you look at the literal translation, why wasn’t it called the Book of Names? Second, the parsha begins by recounting the names of the children of
Why is the Megillah read in Jerusalem on the l5th day of Adar, in New York on the 14th day of Adar, and in Sefat and Chevron on the 14th and the 15th of Adar? On what day does an American tourist read the Megillah in Jerusalem and when does an Israeli tourist read the Megillah in New
A rosh yeshiva I learned by in Israel once made a very compelling comment. He said to the shiur that if you can’t say it then you don’t understand it. Lehavdil, Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” My late relative, Rav Avrohom Genechovsky, zt”l, always told me to write
A few weeks ago we read about Pharaoh’s dream and Yosef’s interpretation. We all remember the seven good cows swallowed up by the seven weak cows, and the seven ears of corn and the primary message: Save during the good times so you have what you need during the bad times.
Since that famine, which
When a large contingent of gedolei Yisrael comes together from throughout the world to undertake a chizuk journey on behalf of klal Yisrael, it
What do we do if we are asked to do something we know is wrong? What if we are ordered to? In this week’s Torah portion, Shifra and Puah, the two Jewish midwives, are faced with this dilemma. Although their job is to help the Jewish women give birth to healthy babies, Pharaoh, the wicked Egyptian king, orders them to take part in his evil
One of the most important and underrated traits of leadership is graciousness. Gracious people have been humbled by life and grasp the vulnerability of the human spirit. As life has exposed their own weaknesses, gracious people are more kind and considerate to others. They aren’t judgmental but accepting. They share their spirit
Last year I sent an email to a potential donor asking to speak with him about our new building campaign for our yeshiva. No reply. A few days later I saw this same person walking out of Maariv at a nearby shul, so I approached him about the email. “Could we possibly set a time to meet in person about our new building?” I asked. He
Throughout Sefer Bereishit, the recurring phrase of “[Ve’]Eleh Toldot” has appeared 11 times, depicting the development from universal to particular selection of those who will call out in the name of God and merit Divine covenant. In every generation since Noach, the “toldot” introduce the child(ren) rejected, followed by those
The mitzvah of yibum calls upon the brother of a man who died without offspring to marry the widowed sister-in-law. The process of declining to fulfill this mitzvah is known as chalitza. The Talmud Yerushalmi brings proof that performing chalitza is praiseworthy by reference to this week’s parsha.