Tuesday, May 17, 2022


Don’t Be a Sheep. Be a Lion.

Dear Shayna B.,

I always loved animals and recently I found a summer program that lets me spend time observing and interacting with them. It seems like a really special opportunity. My problem is that it’s something different that I’ve never done before and I don’t know anyone who has. It’s kind


Jewish Students Targeted at Rutgers

Despite stepped-up police patrols at the Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) fraternity house, a student leader said he and other Jewish students do not feel safe on Rutgers University’s New Brunswick campus.

The increased patrols are a reaction to an April 22 incident in which two cars of students,


What Does the Consensus About Backing Ukraine Mean?

In a wild Ohio Senate Republican primary, there appears to be only one issue that separates the two leading contenders. On the one hand, Josh Mandel, the former Ohio State treasurer, is part of what appears to be a bipartisan consensus in favor of deepening the U.S. commitment to supporting Ukraine against the illegal Russian


From Priest to People

Something fundamental happens at the beginning of this parsha, and the story is one of the greatest, if rarely acknowledged, contributions of Judaism to the world.

Until now, Vayikra has been largely about sacrifices, purity, the Sanctuary and the Priesthood. It has been, in short, about a holy


The Great Reishit Tzemichat Geulatenu Debate

A large Religious Zionist congregation in North America slightly amends the standard text of the blessing for the State of Israel authored by Rav Yitzchak Herzog and Rav Ben Zion Hai Uzziel, the chief rabbis of Medinat Yisrael at the time of its founding in 1948. Instead of describing Medinat Yisrael as “reishit tzemichat geulateinu”


Unpacking the Process

The great tzadik of Yerushalayim, Rav Aryeh Levin, zt”l, was the paradigm of kindness, holiness and righteousness. He was a beloved sage who radiated ahavas habrios, “love of all beings,” exemplified a life of Toras chesed, earning the trust and respect of Jews from all walks of life.

In the early


Why Are We Special?

Parshat Kedoshim

The Book of Vayikra revolves around “Mikdash,” the Temple and Mishkan, beginning with the laws of korbanot (offered in the Mikdash), continuing (in Parshat Shemini) with the laws of tumah and tahara (who may/may not enter the Mikdash) and, starting with today’s parshiyot, the


The Exceptional Rav Sheshet: Yevamot 62b

Rav Sheshet was exceptional. A prominent third-generation Babylonian Amora, his expertise in Mishnah and braytot was so great that, when they met, Rav Chisda’s lips would tremble, worried that Rav Sheshet would shlug him up from a Tannaitic source (Eruvin 67a; Rashi) 1. Rav Nachman asserted that both he and Rav Sheshet


Equality in Relating to Hashem

Parshat Kedoshim, with its myriad of mitzvot, opens in an unusual fashion: “Speak to the entire assembly of the Children of Israel and say to them, ‘Holy shall you be, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy…’”

Chazal point out that, typically, Moshe is commanded to “speak to the Children of


If Only I

הוּא (הלל) הָיָה אוֹמֵר, אִם אֵין אֲנִי לִי, מִי לִי. וּכְשֶׁאֲנִי לְעַצְמִי, מָה אֲנִי. (אבות א:יד)

After emphasizing the importance of self-responsibility by stating that “If I am not for myself, who is for me?” Hillel


Learn Mishnayos At Your Own Pace

(Courtesy of The Mishnayos Program) The Mishnayos Program is a new initiative for those who want to learn Mishnayos in a way that they will be able to have a kinyan in it.

Having a proper kinyan in Mishnayos is very important, as the Chofetz Chaim writes (Likutei Amarim Perek 5) that every Yid


Were They All Really Holy? Death, the ‘Yoms’ And Our Personal and National Legacy

Each year as spring arrives, Jewish people memorialize. From Yizkor on Pesach, to Yom HaShoah and Yom HaZikaron, we say prayers that allow us to reflect on those whom we have lost, both in our personal lives and in our nation.

Yet, this year, as I sat in Yizkor, one line gave me pause. In some of the

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