Saturday, January 28, 2023

Divrei Torah - JewishLink

Barriers That Protect Us

For many years, my family had an unstable neighbor who would constantly walk on our lawn and throw sticks and garbage onto our property. We tried speaking to her, with no success. This past summer, we installed a fence and a wall of trees between the two properties. During the fence installation, the lady approached us to dissuade us from


The Jewish Home

“Not like Avraham who called the Beis Hamikdash ‘mountain,’ and not like Yitzchok who called it ‘field’ but rather like Ya’akov who called it ‘house’” (Pesachim 88a).

The Beis Hamikdash serves as a mountain, har, a place to ascend to. A place that inspires one to feel that he is in the shadow of the Shechina, the Divine Presence. That is the


Be Yourself

 This week’s parsha, Vayeitzei, is where we first encounter Yaakov’s future wives. His most beloved wife, Rachel, is the first wife we are told about. When Yaakov asks the people in the land if they know who Rachel’s father Lavan is, they answer him that Lavan is doing well and that his daughter is coming with


Effective Criticism

 All of us occasionally find ourselves in situations where we may need to offer constructive criticism. Yet, effective and constructive criticism is an art form. Indeed, the Talmud (Eruchin 16b) notes that Rabbi Tarfon expressed doubt that any one of his contemporaries could properly accept criticism, while Rabbi


Testing Challenges

Have you ever looked at old pictures of yourself and thought about how different you are than the person in the picture?

Life itself is an experience that changes us, whether we like it or not.

Recently my wife and I were leafing through a scrapbook chronicling the


Reconciling a Bad Mood and Being B’Simcha

You woke up on what is called, “the wrong side of the bed.” Is it forbidden to remain in this state? Are we obligated to go through specific thought processes to “get out of it?” Is it a mitzvah to do so? Is the song, “Mitzvah Gedolah L’hios b’Simcha Tamid, It is a great mitzvah to be in a state of constant joy” really true?


Mishna Yomi Learned at Anshe Chesed

(Courtesy of Anshe Chesed) This past week, members of Linden’s Congregation Anshe Chesed completed Seder Zeraim with the Mishna Yomi cycle. Thanks to Rabbi Yossi Katz’s daily Mishna podcast, the participants learned 655 Mishnayos in under a year. They reached this tremendous achievement by consistently learning two Mishnayos a


OU’s Torah Initiative’s Program for 1,500 Middle School Students Kicks Off Nationwide

All Mishnah Junior adds “fun factor” to learning Torah.

(Courtesy of OU) Last week, about 1,500 students from 12 middle schools, including from the Five Towns and Teaneck, embarked on a Torah learning journey as part of the Orthodox Union’s Torah Initiative’s “All Mishnah


Communication Matters

The Netziv (Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin, 1816–1893, dean of the Yeshiva in Volozhin) made the astute observation that Isaac and Rebecca seem to suffer from a lack of communication. He noted that Rebecca’s “relationship with Isaac was not the same as that between Sarah and Abraham or Rachel and Jacob. When they had a problem, they were not afraid to speak


Precision in Our Halachic Observance

During a two-day deep dive into OU kosher’s policy to certify “dairy English muffins,” a thoughtful talmid raised a fundamental question: Does Hashem truly care about all these details? Why do we devote so much attention to English muffins? Why the obsession with minutiae?

I asked for an evening to prepare a thoughtful response. Here is what I told the


Thanksgiving: Gratitude or Gratification

Thanksgiving is a non-Jewish holiday which is so charming that it deeply resonates with religious Jews. The holiday is not overtly Christian, but, instead, is pivoted upon the universal value of gratitude, a trait which is enshrined in Judaism through numerous experiences such as a “toda” sacrifice for escaping a perilous situation, or through chagim


The Chazir Is Not Kosher

Editor's note: This series is reprinted with permission from “Insights & Attitudes: Torah Essays on Fundamental Halachic and Hashkafic Issues,” a publication of TorahWeb.org. The book contains multiple articles, organized by parsha, by Rabbi Hershel Schachter and Rabbi Mayer Twersky.

The Torah tells us that a kosher animal is one which has

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