I heard a humorous tale from R’ Gavriel Friedman along these lines: Two people—Jo and Shmo were once walking and they saw an animal in the distance. Shmo said, “wow, that’s such a beautiful cat!” Jo responded, “what do you mean, that’s a bird.” “No way, it’s gotta be a cat!” Shmo insisted. “Nah, I’m telling you
In this week’s parsha of Pinchas, we learn that Hashem rewarded Pinchas with a “covenant of peace — a brit shalom,” in return for his loyalty and actions. The Sforno offers a novel interpretation of what this meant. Apparently, as a result of this covenant of peace, Pinchas lived an extraordinarily long life. The Sforno posits that
Note: This is the first of an occasional series presented by the YU Center for Israel Studies.
There is only one American historian of Judaism who, at 11 o’clock on June 5, 2012, came face-to-face with the world’s famous ancient ruin. He is a scholar of Jewish antiquity who
(Originally published in Torah Musings)
The Talmud (Bava Basra 60b) relates a fundamental anecdote in which, following
“I wish I would have had such a kinnus (gathering) when I was a bachur transitioning from yeshiva ketana to yeshiva gedolah,” Rabbi Avigdor Bernstein, one of the senior members of Hanhalas Dirshu, said wistfully.
Rabbi Bernstein was referring to the absolutely unique event in Eretz
Being responsible and caring means not only caring about what will be best for ourselves, but also what will be best for others. In this week’s portion, we see how when God told Moses he would soon die, Moses’ main concern wasn’t about himself, but rather that the people should have a good and worthy leader to take over for him
Last Shabbos was the first yahrzeit of a truly special young man, Binyamin Yisrael Gonsher, who passed away at the young age of 14 due to a brain tumor. A siyum on Shas was made on his yahrzeit, with the help of many who had committed to learn in his memory. I still recall the words of his father, Ron, at the levaya: “I dreaded the day I
A lot was at stake... We were perched to enter the promised land, launch Jewish history and assemble the kingdom of God. Only two men stood in our way: a renowned, but eccentric wizard and a frightened, but determined king, who colluded to cancel our date with destiny. The Bilam saga is an epic tale of Jewish history, human
The legendary rosh yeshiva and author, Rav Shimshon Pincus, zt”l, was a talmid chacham, ba’al avodah and tzaddik, who served as Chief Rabbi in the Negev city of Ofakim with self-sacrifice and love.
A talmid of Rav Pincus suffered from an acute dental condition. Numerous infections had caused him to
Bilam said, “May my soul die the death of the upright (‘yesharim’)” (23:10), to which Ramban explains that Bilaam was referring to Bnei Yisrael who are called “yeshurun,” and he meant that he wished his end would be like the Bnei Yisrael, who in the next world will spend their days in Eternal good. We, perhaps, see from here
A few summers ago I was invited to co-star in a video entitled “The Do and Don’ts of Shana Rishona (first year of marriage).” While the video hasn’t yet won an Oscar (or even a Big Bird), it has entertained many a crowd at sheva brachot. There was a series of scenes that first depicted the wrong way for hapless newlyweds to react in
In Parshat Balak, the king of Moav, Balak, called upon Bilam to curse the Jews. The first time that Balak sent messengers to Bilam to ask him to curse the Jews, Bilam spoke to Hashem who said that he can’t go with the Moabites because the Jews are blessed people. Despite that, Balak still sent other messengers. Bilam spoke to Hashem and