Saturday, May 15, 2021

Divrei Torah - JewishLink

Corona Diary #26: Time After Time

Jewish holidays recount seminal moments of Jewish history. These annual celebrations shape our collective memory just as they animate our common future. The celebration of our history creates eternal meaning for Jews across the generations and across the globe. As these celebrations are timeless and transcend time and place, we


Vaccine Selfies

It has become trendy to post a picture of yourself receiving a COVID vaccine. This was particularly true in Israel, where people received vaccines earlier than those in America, but continues today as more and more people receive vaccines. Some vaccine sites even have selfie stations. I do not understand this practice. Some people do it to


Pre-Pesach Stories Versus Testimonies: Both Count

One of my talmidim loves giving me a newly published sefer before each Yom Tov. For Pesach, he just gave me the new Chasam Sofer Haggadah by Rabbi Yisroel Besser. Last year, it was the Rav Chaim Kanievsky Haggadah, and the year prior, the Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman Haggadah. It’s easy to find new material for the Pesach Seder—each year


What Does Freedom Really Mean?

We will soon celebrate the holiday of Passover. Pesach is referred to as the holiday of freedom. What does freedom mean? Is it just a reference to the historical event of exodus that occurred 3,000 years ago? Does it have relevance to our lives today?

When we celebrate Passover, we read the Haggadah and


Are You There If Your Camera Is Off?

Many of us have attended virtual meetings or online events over the past year where some participants have had their cameras off. I, for one, often leave such experiences with a feeling of distance and disconnect. While technology has amazingly enabled us to increase our learning and participation from the comfort of our home, there is a


Time Out for Passover

Passover should really begin with the advent of the Jewish month of Nisan. Numerous commentators such as the Rashbam note that Rosh Chodesh Nisan, the first of Nisan, actually marks the beginning of the redemption from Egypt.

In fact, the Haggadah contemplates the recitation of the exodus


How to Make Your Own Matzah

We begin the main part of the Seder with “Ha Lachma Anya,” where we hold up the matzah and declare, “This is the bread of affliction that our forefathers ate in Egypt.” But is it? I would argue that our experience of matzah has deviated so far from its purpose as to represent the opposite. I will then suggest how we can get


Feel the Te‘feel’ah

In introducing the topic of korbanot, the parsha begins with Hashem calling out to Moshe telling him to come into the Ohel Moed. The midrash (Vayikra Rabbah, 1:15) comments that we learn from Moshe that an animal carcass is better than a Torah scholar who lacks “da’at.” (The Etz Yosef explains that having da’at means being a


A Promising Future

The guys looked at their watches, getting hotter and more impatient by the minute. They had all made up to meet in front of the school building at 9 a.m. to set out on a Sunday bike trip. Now it was almost 10 a.m. and their friend, Matt, still hadn’t shown up.

“Should we wait? He promised he would


Parshat Vayikra

Mia’s teacher asked her to be in charge of a book report project because she was really good at reading and understanding books. Mia said she really did not want to be in charge of the project because she was not good enough and that someone else should be in charge. Finally, Mia agreed to be in charge but that she would not correct other


Corona Diary #25: Turn Back the Clock


The wedding date had already been set. Anxiously anticipating this day, the bride and groom shopped for the furniture of their future home. Selecting the actual couches, beds and tables should have taken an hour or two; instead the process stretched across an entire day. Each


Maintaining a Relationship Grounded in Torah

I recall getting a phone call from a wife who was distressed regarding her shalom bayis at home. I met with her and her husband, who were married over 15 years and have children. Alas, it was clear the husband had no clue what it meant to be married. He had no concept that a wife needs to feel loved and considered special by her