Thursday, October 06, 2022


Berkeley Develops Jewish-Free Zones

If it wasn’t so frightening, one might be able to recognize the irony in the sight of campus progressives trying so hard to virtue signal that they fall victim to a deep moral shame.

Nine different law student groups at the University of California Berkeley’s School of Law, my own alma mater, have


Rutgers AEPi House Hit With Fourth Antisemitic Incident in 18 Months

The Jewish fraternity on Rutgers University’s New Brunswick campus has had a fourth act of antisemitism directed at it over the last 18 months after three broken eggs were found on the sidewalk in front of Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) fraternity house on the first day of Rosh Hashanah.



Why We Keep the Hadassim Higher Than the Aravot

The Rama (Orach Chaim 651:1) famously teaches that we should keep the hadassim above the aravot, but does not offer a reason for this practice. The Mishna Berura (651:12) quotes the Levush that the reason is based on Kabbalah, but does not elaborate further.

The Vilna Gaon (Bi’ur HaGra to Orach Chaim


From Kodesh to Chol

Simchat Torah

Chazal’s selection of the first chapter in sefer Yehoshua as the haftara for Simchat Torah is certainly understandable as it flows quite naturally from the final verses of the Torah that are read on this chag. Additionally, one can sense how the memory of Moshe — who


Shemini Atzeres: Culminating Yomim Noraim With Simcha

When war started in 1939, the European yeshivos were in a quandary. Should they move? Disband? The last Yom Tov of the Mir Yeshiva in Poland was Simchas Torah. They enjoyed spirited dancing for hours, just like every year. But one particular song that year caught the hearts of the talmidim. Over and over they sang, “Utzu eitzah v’sufar—The nations plot, but


Sukkot: Just Walk In and Take a Seat

There are few mitzvot as colorful or as diverse as the lovely bouquet of the lulav. All four natural minim in the lulav arrangement are aesthetically pleasing, but also highly iconic. For centuries, Jews living in northern climates struggled to acquire these tropical products. Now that we have returned home, much of the drama of


Mirrors and Windows: The Secret of Sukkos

A father set out one day to teach his young daughter a powerful lesson. When she woke up in the morning, he took her in front of a mirror and asked her, “What do you see?”

She smiled and answered, “I see myself!”

He then took her to the window, and asked her,


Portable Judaism

A colleague, Rabbi Jonathan Gross, served as a rabbi in Omaha, Nebraska for close to a decade. Nebraskans take their football and their home team, the Huskers, very seriously. So, it wasn’t unusual that someone from the community posted the following question on the rabbi’s blog: “Is it permissible to hang a Nebraska Huskers banner in my sukkah, and can I watch


Sukkot and Yellowstone National Park: Celebrating a Forward-Thinking School Year

This summer was supposed to have been a momentous one for Yellowstone National Park. Celebrating its 150th anniversary—the first national park in the world to reach this milestone—officials of the majestic park, which I visited in August, were anticipating a summer of record attendance, highlighted by an exciting process of envisioning


Sukkos: Festival of Gathering

Rebbe Aharon Perlow, zt”l — the third rebbe of the Karliner dynasty — was known by the name of his sefer, “Beis Aharon.” A beloved tzaddik and guide, the Beis Aharon was known for his joyful mesirus nefesh, sacrifice and dedication in fulfilling mitzvos.

One Tishrei, winter came early to the


‘V’hayita Ach Sameach’

Discovering and enjoying true happiness this Sukkot and beyond.

With Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur behind us, we are about to enter the chag of Sukkot, which is a time designated in the Torah for great happiness. Specifically, regarding the chag of Sukkot, Hashem instructs us


Zman Simchateinu: What We Celebrate

Zman Simchateinu

Though there is a mitzvah of simcha on all Yamim Tovim, only Sukkot is described as “zman simchateinu, the time of our joy.”’ 1The Torah mentions the word simcha only four times in reference to the Yamim Tovim. Three of them 2refer to Sukkot.

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