Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Divrei Torah

Accepting the Torah: It’s All About Engagement

When I got engaged to my wife after Pesach, we planned a late summer wedding so I could go back to the Mir Yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael for the spring/summer z’man. We would not see each other for close to three months! Everyone in yeshiva was excited for me. One person said, “Oh, being engaged is the best. You found your mate, but


Shavuot: The ‘Torah’ Year in Review

Torah is eternal, encapsulates the word of God and, therefore, exists beyond time and place. For this reason, Torah was delivered atop a lonely mountain in a barren desert, far away from human civilization. Likewise, the actual date of Torah’s delivery isn’t overtly mentioned. Even though it is possible to decode the date and to


Experiencing Shavuot As We Spiral Through Time

We experience life through the medium of time. Each new moment brings with it new opportunities as we ascend through the journey of time. Amidst the constantly moving waves of time, the chagim are specific and set points that carry with them unique energy. Each holiday presents us with the chance to tap into and experience the theme


One for All and All for One

Shavuot is the holiday on which we commemorate God’s giving of the Torah to the nation of Israel.

The giving of the Torah to the nation of Israel in effect changed the spiritual status of the people. We know from Talmudic and Midrashic sources that our ancestors adhered to the precepts contained in the


Desert Man

The Gemara brings a story that took place between the great sage Rava and a heretic. Rava was apparently deeply engrossed in his Torah studies, so much so that his fingers that he had put under his legs were getting crushed and his fingers were flowing with blood. The heretic saw this and said to Rava, “You are an impulsive people who put


Daf Hashovua Siyum Held on Seder Nashim

‘You have the best of both worlds!’

This Sunday, on Rosh Chodesh Sivan, a monumental event occurred all over the world. No, it had nothing to do with the coronavirus, although it was affected by it. And it wasn’t connected to the political fallout from the virus. Rather,


Kohelet in Quarantine

We can agree that this is one of the hardest and most uncertain times we’ve lived through, but we must sustain a balanced and healthy mindset. Megillat Kohelet discusses finding balance in life, so I believe this is one of the best Jewish texts to study now.

Kohelet, Chapter 5, Verse 10,


Twelve Years Without a Single Break

The incredible story of klal Yisrael’s messengers, who used the powerful, soul-stirring words of David Hamelech to bring salvation and hope to the nation.

(Courtesy of Tehillim Kollel) As we approach the Yom Tov of Shavuos, yahrtzeit of Dovid Hamelech, Tehillim Kollel marks an incredible


Memorizing the Daf Yomi?

This happens to me all the time: I walk out of a shiur, and my friend asks me, “How was it?” I say, “It was great,” so my friend asks, “What did you learn?” and then I am unable to respond. This is one of the main arguments against Daf Yomi. People dedicate hours of their time to Daf Yomi. But often, if you ask what they learned


The Sustaining Environment of Torah

On Lag B’Omer I was invited to participate in two Zoom weddings. One was in the Barn Estate in Clayton, Ohio. Yes, the wedding was taking place…in a barn! Only family attended, but since they had many brothers and sisters, they needed a large open area. This huge farm facilitated social distancing. The other wedding took place in the


Beating the Corona Blues

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn have negatively affected many people’s mental health and created new barriers for people already suffering from mental illness and substance-use disorders. In a recent poll, nearly half (45%) of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively


Yom Yerushalayim: The Six Revolutions of the Six-Day War

The actual State of Israel was established 72 years ago in 1948. However, the modern State of Israel as we know it was launched in 1967. The Six-Day War was so revolutionary and so transformative, that in many ways it was more groundbreaking than 1948. Thousands of years ago, God created our natural world in six days. Fifty-three years ago