Monday, March 01, 2021

Divrei Torah - JewishLink

Using Our Parental Foundation

My cousin, Rabbi Nachman Seltzer, tells the following story. 1The Tzcherbiner Rav loved to listen and converse with yeshiva students about any topic of Torah they were learning. Every Shabbos afternoon, anyone could visit the rav to speak with him on any topic they were studying. Rav Moshe Shternbuch (currently age 92) was a


Give It a Rest

Which of the Aseret HaDibrot (10 commandments) came with a multiverse explanation in order to “sell” the idea to its followers? If you answered that it was the concept of resting on Shabbat you would be correct. First we are commanded to sanctify the Sabbath day by ceasing to work. Then the explanation continues, “For in six days


Absolute Unity

Vayichan sham Yisrael; klal Yisrael was not only at the foot of the mountain, but at the foot of their greatest achievement, their highest calling. This would require absolute unity. There was no other way to hear the word of God and accept the Torah.

We are all aware that the second Temple was destroyed


Oh My, (It’s All) God

If you were trying to convince someone of Hashem, wouldn’t it be better to say He brought the universe into fruition rather than saying He freed us from Egypt? In the first of the Aseret Hadibrot, Hashem says, “I am Hashem, your God, who took you out of Mitzrayim...” How does Hashem taking us out of Mitzrayim show He is God? Secondly,


Learning From Our Failure: We Can Do Better With Converts

Integrating Jewish converts into mainstream Jewish life has been a perennial challenge. The roots of the issue appear in the Torah itself.

In Parshat Yitro, we read how Yitro, inspired by all of God’s wondrous acts, travels together with his daughter and two grandchildren to meet the Jewish people in


Tu B’Shevat: It’s All About Our Growth

A few years ago I received an email from Dinah in the UK who heard my Tu B’Shevat shiur on TorahAnytime. Reacting to my analogy of a child’s growth, to the fact that a tree regenerates even in the winter when you can’t see it growing, she wrote, “I wanted to let you know how much your shiur on Tu B’Shevat touched me deeply. I’ve


Corona Diary #21: Reliance Upon Human Medicine


As the ferocious waves of the Red Sea parted, the marine floor was paved dry to welcome the passage of the Jews. Suddenly, the raging waters tumbled down upon the Egyptian soldiers as their powerful chariots were mercilessly tossed like matchsticks. Inspired by their rescue by the God of


Shirat HaYam: The Triumphant Song of the Sea

The song that Israel sings at the sea (Shirat Hayam) offers an enduring glimpse into Israel’s state of mind as they internalize the great miracles that have taken place. The song expresses jubilation, excitement and awe as the newly emancipated nation proclaims of God’s deeds and uniqueness.


Smart in the Heart

Pharaoh can be a difficult human to figure out, yet we see a common denominator in many of his peculiar behaviors. To start, after seeing makka after makka destroy his kingdom, he refuses to admit to Hashem. Did he not get the obvious message? After he finally sends them out, once again he strangely believes that Hashem will abandon the


Pork Chops and Schnitzel

Pesachim 76b

You are invited to a company outing, in the country club, on Labor Day. Your boss provides the Jewish staff with glatt kosher schnitzels sprinkled with onions. In the open kitchen on the south lawn there stands a large, ventilated, open brick barbecue, topped with a roof and towering


The Cost of Stubbornness

As a young child, I was very strong minded. I remember really misbehaving one time, ignoring my mother’s pleas to stop. She offered to make hot dogs for dinner—my absolute favorite—yet I persevered. I was too stubborn. “Don’t you want hot dogs?” my mother asked. I held my ground…and she didn’t make hot dogs. I later asked


The Redemption From Egypt and Our Personal Redemption

One of the main characteristics of the redemption from Egypt is the haste: “This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly: it is a Passover offering to the Lord” (Shemot 12:11).

What is the meaning of this