Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Divrei Torah - JewishLink

To Each Their Own Blessings

When Yaakov realizes he is about to pass away in Parshat Vayechi, he calls his children to bless them. Each of his children gets a different blessing. The pesukim teach us that not only was it a different blessing but that each blessing pertained to each one of them individually. It says that every man was blessed according to their


The Root Essence of Tefillah

We translate the word tefillah as prayer, beseeching, pleading, begging. Some translate the word as “judging oneself.” But what does the word tefillah mean? What does it derive from?

We often see what is on the surface, but there are often deeper, more profound meanings to words and names. When we


A Few Moments a Day Can Create a Lifelong Love of Learning

The passion for Daf Yomi learning has been well documented and well celebrated in the world-wide Jewish community since its founding by Rav Meir Shapiro in 1923. Rav Meir envisioned a system whereby Torah Jews would study all of the Mesechtos in Shas—not just the popular ones. He also offered another vision for his ambitious project: the


Thousands Overwhelm Dirshu Testing Sites At First of 10 Monthly Kinyan Sheviis Tests

The tables upon tables of test takers even surprised the hanhala of Dirshu, who over the years have become accustomed to pleasant surprises that display klal Yisrael’s thirst for Torah.

The first of the 10 monthly tests in the Dirshu Kinyan Sheviis program during this shemitah year was held


Following a Path of Torah Observance and Truth

Next week is the yahrzeit of my paternal grandfather, Mr. Helmut Bodenheim, Naftoli ben Avraham, z”l. My grandfather was born in Mannheim, Germany, and attended the yeshiva of Rav Samson Rafael Hirsch in Frankfurt. He was fortunate to be able to get a visa to immigrate to America in 1938 when he was 20 years old. He was a man of truth who


Do You Speak Hebrew?

They couldn’t believe their eyes. Having assumed for 22 years that Yosef was lost to slavery or even murdered, they could hardly imagine that he currently stood before them as the second most powerful man on Earth. Flabbergasted and speechless, they wondered about the identity of this intimidating accuser turned “loving


Are You Alive?

In Parshat Vayigash, Yosef asks his brothers if his father is still alive. Yosef obviously knew that his father was still alive because his brothers kept on reiterating how hard it was to get their father to allow Binyamin to come with them. Despite knowing that Yaakov, his father, must be alive, Yosef says to his brothers when he reveals


It’s All Bashert

In Parshat Vayigash we read how Yosef tried to mollify his brothers once he announced himself and revealed his true identity. In effect, he told them not to be fearful or anxious that he would retaliate against them because they had sold him into slavery in the past. This was all part of the Divine plan, orchestrated by God, to ensure that


Uniting the Nation

In the Amidah we pray for kibbutz galuyot (ingathering of exiles): “Sound the great shofar for our liberty, and raise a banner to gather our exiles, and gather us together from the four corners of the earth. Blessed are You, Hashem, Gatherer of the dispersed of His people Israel.”

What do we mean exactly when we ask, “gather us together from the four


The Three Weeks and the Nine Days: Ta’anit 26b

One does not have to be superstitious to recognize facts. It is a historical fact that the period between the 17th of Tamuz and the 10th of Av was plagued by recurring tragedies. The door to our troubles first opened on that 17th day of Tamuz, when Moses walked in on the worshippers of the golden calf and shattered the tablets of the law.



Example isn’t another way to teach; it is the only way to teach.—Albert Einstein

In previous essays laying out a comprehensive educational philosophy, we discussed that a learner, the scholar, sees learning opportunities everywhere; that the learner, by being a hero, uses the lens of Torah to filter


Yosef’s Journey of Tears to Emotional Openness

In this week’s parsha, the riveting story of Yosef Hatzadik reaches its climax as Yosef finally reveals himself to his brothers with the famous words, “Ani Yosef, haod avi chai.” To fully appreciate what transpired in this incredible moment, let us take a step back and address a question that must bother anyone learning the story of

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