Category Archive: 5778

Aug 30

Blessings Olam!

This week’s Torah portion begins with the Mitzvah of Bikurim. The owner of a field in the Land of Israel has a Mitzvah to declare as Bikurim the first fruits to bud from the seven species that Israel is noted for; wheat, barley, grapes, figs, olives, pomegranates, and dates. He identifies the first fruits by …

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Aug 23


The Parsha begins, “When you wage war against your enemy, and Hashem your G-d will place them in your hands and you will take captives.” Reb Tzodok Hakohain and many great sages tell us that this portion can be interpreted appropriately for this time of year when our mind and thoughts should be focused on …

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Aug 16

Royal Visit!

My grandfather used to relate in Yiddish the tale of someone who insisted on not having a clock in his home and not wearing a watch. When he was asked how he knew the time he said, “I simply ask someone.” But how do you find the time when you awake in the middle of …

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Aug 08


In this week’s Parsha, Moshe prophetically tells the Jewish people that they would miraculously cross the Jordan River into the land of Israel and immediately be ushered to the City of Shechem. They would stand on two mountains, Har Grizim and Har Aival where they would accept and recommit themselves to the Torah in the …

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Aug 02

Unfamiliar Invite!

Although it might come as a surprise to some people, there are only two blessings mandated by Torah Law. One blessing is the one we recite each morning on Torah and its study, and the other is Birchas Hamazone ― the group of blessings we recite after we eat bread. All other blessings are a …

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Jul 26

Sounds and Silence!

Our Parsha is set at the plains of Moav on the banks of the Jordan River, at the conclusion of the Jews’ travels through the desert. It was the end of the fortieth year from when they left Egypt. Just before Moshe’s death, he took the opportunity to have a heart to heart talk with …

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Jul 19

There’s Hope!

This Shabbos is the 9th day of Av. Due to the sanctity of the Shabbos we do not fast or show signs of mourning over the loss of our Temples during the course of Shabbos. The Tisha B’Av fast is observed on Sunday, beginning with sundown on Saturday night and ending with nightfall on Sunday …

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Jul 12

Still No Response!

During the week, I had the opportunity to attend a Siyum – a celebration of the completion of an entire tractate of the Talmud – a great accomplishment by the students of Yeshiva Bais Moshe in Scranton. During the dinner, Rabbi Yaacov Schnaidman, dean of the school spoke and shared the following insight. With the …

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Jul 05

Two Stories!

When our leader Moshe realized that under no circumstances would G-d allow him to enter the Land of Israel, he immediately sought a replacement for himself. G-d then instructed him to appoint his faithful student Yehoshua – Joshua as leader. For the induction – Semicha – ceremony, G-d instructed Moshe to place one hand upon …

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Jun 28

Animal Rites!

In this week’s Parsha, the Torah describes that Balak, the King of Moav, tried mightily to cajole the non-Jewish prophet Bilaam to utilize his powers to curse the Jews. It wasn’t that Bilaam needed convincing to curse the Jews for he shared the same hatred towards them. The sticking point was that Bilaam had his …

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