Saturday, December 04, 2021

Divrei Torah - JewishLink

Life and Death

Why is this week’s parsha called the life of Sarah when it is really more about her death? What happens after we die? Why is so little typically mentioned about the Torah’s perspective on the afterlife?

Many of the other world’s major religions focus on what happens after a person dies.


The Altar and the Heart

Avraham has spent his entire career identifying the one God of this diverse universe. He didn’t just detect a Creator through the beauty of nature or the structured order of the cosmos. Avraham sensed a moral spirit at the foundation of our world. He innately sensed that Hashem didn’t just randomly create our world but cares about His


Looking Forward to Laughter

This week is the second wedding anniversary of my older brother Binyamin and his wife, Sarah Miriam. They were older singles and the joy at their wedding was palpable. A few weeks ago they were blessed with a baby girl! I have no doubt that it was due to the tefillos of all those at their wedding who davened for this perfect pair, who


What Hashem Wants

At the end of Parshat Vayeira we read about the major event in Avraham Avinu’s life. According to most Rishonim, the Akeida is the tenth test that Avraham Avinu passes with flying colors. After he’s been promised that his son will become the father of a great nation, he’s asked by Hashem to sacrifice him. Avraham Avinu asks no


Rabbi Sacks and the Stranger


I. The Problematic Theology of the Stranger

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, zt”l, whose first yahrzeit falls this year on October 26 (20 Cheshvan), opened up Jewish thought to a broader audience with his prolific writing and speaking about ideas in ways that were


‘From the Forlorn World His Visage Hides’

At first blush, the link between Parshat Vayeira and its haftarah seems to be in the second section, with the unexpected birth of a child to a heretofore barren woman. Were this the only connection, the first eight verses of the haftarah would be unnecessary. Those first verses are included to highlight a deeper connection with the


Safrus Shortage Has Caused Serious Lack of Mezuzos And Sky-High Prices

It’s not just cars that are in short supply.

One of the hard-hit industries seriously handicapped during the COVID-19 pandemic is—perhaps not so surprisingly—the safrus industry.

Never a big money-making job, writers of STA”M—which stands for sefer Torah,


Head and Heart

It seems cliche already, but as pop music songs have proven, some things never go out of style. One of those ever-lasting, oft sung-about ideas reflects the conflict between head and heart! The head is our consciousness; it’s where we think and process information. Whereas the heart is our gut, our intuition. It’s that place where you


The Great Wrap Controversy

“My Rabbi says it’s Hamotzi!”

“Well, mine says you can make a Mezonos!”

“What are you guys talking about?? It’s mefurash a YouTube Video—where Rav Elyashiv, zt”l (1910-2012) paskened its Mezonos!”

“Oh, yeah?


The Power of Words

Everyone’s words have power. Our words can change someone’s perspective on another person, whether it makes them think greatly or horribly of them. Our words can help give encouragement or discouragement to the people around us. But most importantly our words can shape our future. Our words can come into existence.


Avraham’s Great Dilemma

You could not have scripted a better scenario. Avraham was missioned to preach a new religion to a confused world. He spoke of a “one God” who alone created diversity and dichotomy. He also spoke of a God who was moral and compassionate rather than angry and hostile. Reversing 2,000 years of errant religious thought was demanding, and


Accomplishing the Spiritual by Satisfying the Physical

When I was learning in the Mir Yeshiva in Yerushalayim 25 five years ago, the main meal was lunch, which consisted of either roasted chicken or schnitzel. Supper was very light: some bread, soup and a boiled vegetable. The American boys were used to dinner being the main meal of the day, so many would go out of yeshiva to a falafel or pizza

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