In last week’s Parshat Yitro, the Torah recounts Am Yisrael’s response to what they saw and heard at Har Sinai: “And all the people perceived the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the voice of the horn, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled, and stood afar off…And the people
“We have to make the bracha of Shehechiyanu on such a sefer!” exclaimed HaGaon HaRav Yitzchok Sorotzkin, shlita, rosh yeshiva of Telshe and the Lakewood Mesivta, when
Two intriguing stories about the eternal impact of Har Sinai: one fable about two engagement rings and one actual story about a chasidic Rebbe and a cow. First the tale of the two rings.
Typically, a husband presents his bride with only one engagement ring—a ring she will treasure throughout her
My cousin, Rabbi Nachman Seltzer, tells the following story. 1The Tzcherbiner Rav loved to listen and converse with yeshiva students about any topic of Torah they were learning. Every Shabbos afternoon, anyone could visit the rav to speak with him on any topic they were studying. Rav Moshe Shternbuch (currently age 92) was a
Which of the Aseret HaDibrot (10 commandments) came with a multiverse explanation in order to “sell” the idea to its followers? If you answered that it was the concept of resting on Shabbat you would be correct. First we are commanded to sanctify the Sabbath day by ceasing to work. Then the explanation continues, “For in six days
Vayichan sham Yisrael; klal Yisrael was not only at the foot of the mountain, but at the foot of their greatest achievement, their highest calling. This would require absolute unity. There was no other way to hear the word of God and accept the Torah.
We are all aware that the second Temple was destroyed
If you were trying to convince someone of Hashem, wouldn’t it be better to say He brought the universe into fruition rather than saying He freed us from Egypt? In the first of the Aseret Hadibrot, Hashem says, “I am Hashem, your God, who took you out of Mitzrayim...” How does Hashem taking us out of Mitzrayim show He is God? Secondly,
Integrating Jewish converts into mainstream Jewish life has been a perennial challenge. The roots of the issue appear in the Torah itself.
In Parshat Yitro, we read how Yitro, inspired by all of God’s wondrous acts, travels together with his daughter and two grandchildren to meet the Jewish people in
A few years ago I received an email from Dinah in the UK who heard my Tu B’Shevat shiur on TorahAnytime. Reacting to my analogy of a child’s growth, to the fact that a tree regenerates even in the winter when you can’t see it growing, she wrote, “I wanted to let you know how much your shiur on Tu B’Shevat touched me deeply. I’ve
As the ferocious waves of the Red Sea parted, the marine floor was paved dry to welcome the passage of the Jews. Suddenly, the raging waters tumbled down upon the Egyptian soldiers as their powerful chariots were mercilessly tossed like matchsticks. Inspired by their rescue by the God of
The song that Israel sings at the sea (Shirat Hayam) offers an enduring glimpse into Israel’s state of mind as they internalize the great miracles that have taken place. The song expresses jubilation, excitement and awe as the newly emancipated nation proclaims of God’s deeds and uniqueness.
Pharaoh can be a difficult human to figure out, yet we see a common denominator in many of his peculiar behaviors. To start, after seeing makka after makka destroy his kingdom, he refuses to admit to Hashem. Did he not get the obvious message? After he finally sends them out, once again he strangely believes that Hashem will abandon the