Monday, September 26, 2022

Divrei Torah - JewishLink

Honest Speech

The introductory subject of this week’s Torah reading concerns itself with vows and commitments that a person takes upon himself or herself willingly, by simply stating his or her intention. The Torah places great emphasis upon the spoken word. Everything that is uttered from our mouths obligates us to the commitment attached to it. Words


Disinterment for an Agunah: Ketubot Daf 22

The Sages instituted many leniencies to permit the classical agunah, a woman whose husband has disappeared and cannot remarry without proof of death. How far would they go? In Ketubot (22b), Rav Assi distinguishes between a case of witnesses who testify that a woman’s husband died, which cannot be verified, and that of witnesses who


Live It With the Spirit

In Parshat Matot, Bnei Yisrael go to battle against Midian, seeking vengeance for the 24,000 Jewish lives that perished due to the Midianites. Although Bnei Yisrael came away with a whopping defeat, we find (31:14-16) that Moshe Rabbeinu became angry at the commanders for allowing the women to live, since they were known to have


Remarriages: A Halachic Overview

It may be a bit shocking, but the Marriage Foundation has studied the issue extensively and has determined that, statistically, 31% of second marriages fail. That is not what is surprising, however. The surprising statistic is that 45% of first marriages end in divorce. Thus, second marriages are actually more stable and successful than


Bar Mitzvah: So Much More Than Turning 13

Some years ago, I was on vacation in Israel in a rented apartment not far from Me’ah She’Arim. Anyone familiar with that area knows of the multi-minyan shul called Toldos Aharon, where you can catch a Shacharit minyan every 15 minutes between 6 and 11 a.m. Virtually all minyan attendees wear some version of Chasidishe garb. One fine


Over 2,000 Join New Dirshu Chaburas Shas Iyun Program

Gedolei Yisroel express joy and excitement over new program.

(Courtesy of Dirshu) This past Rosh Chodesh Iyar, history was made in klal Yisrael, as the Dirshu Chaburas Shas iyun kal program was launched beginning with masechta Bava Kama. This program enables avreichim


Journey Through Life

It’s exciting to be on a journey. We get to see new places and meet interesting people. And every step of the way we know we’re getting closer to our destination.

The Torah tells us about the 40-year journey of the Jewish people, which began after they were freed from slavery in Egypt, and which


What Is in a Name? In Israel, Much More Than You Think

The names we select are always symbolic, drawing from past memory, present experience and future hopes. At the dawn of history, Adam carefully screened the natural world, and — in the first creative act of man —assigned a name to each species. Throughout Tanach, parents have designated names based upon their own struggles and


Putting the Soul in the Driver’s Seat

Every teenager looks forward to the day they get their driver’s license. Freedom! Yet, the push for self-driving cars remains strong. Maybe we won’t need driver’s licenses anymore! I’m not holding my breath. Most self-driving vehicles still need a (licensed!) driver to take control at various times. The big question remains: who is


The Pope and the Rabbi

The world is getting together after the first few waves of the pandemic. Pope Francis and his Rabbi friend, Rabbi Abraham Skorka, have authored a book together as to how best to recover after the pandemic. This is probably a first ever Rabbi and Pope joint authorship in world history. This article, however, is not about that... It is rather


Responding to Accusations (Ketubot Daf 14)

I. Silence in the Face of Accusations

Silence implies guilt. If we refuse to deny an accusation, we give it credibility. Does that mean that we are obligated to respond to every insult and accusation against us? In theory, we can easily deny a charge. However, often responding to it,


Intellectual and Emotional Transmission of Torah

In this week’s parsha, there is a formulation that appears only once in the Torah. The Torah states: “Moshe spoke to the Lord saying,” (Bamidbar 27:15). Typically, a verse would state that God spoke with Moshe. In this instance, Moshe initiated the contact. The verse stresses that Moshe spoke to Hashem. After being informed that he

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