This week’s parashah tells us of the giving of the Laws to Moshe on Mt. Sinai, and it’s aftermath. But what exactly is Divine Law? And do human beings have any say in what the Law is to be? An incident much later in the Torah hints at the dynamic relationship between the Children of Israel and the Laws of God.
Why are males and females physically attracted to each other? What is there in their physical appearance that makes them so excited that they want to be intimate, to the point where they consider this a great joy? The Sages of Israel understood the enormous power of sex and its immense challenges. Unlike other religions, such as classical Christianity, they never saw sexuality in a negative way. This is because sexual attraction is a reflection of Divine love.
In these difficult days, we have a moral obligation to create an environment for respectful discourse. We should all do what we can to provide our families, our friends, and our children with the tools to control how we speak about and to one another. The noble teachings of the Jewish Tradition could greatly help with this.
When the light of the setting sun announces the entrance of Shabbat, a miracle happens: the light assumes the quality of light in a Rembrandt painting. The light slows down. It strolls! There is no way to see the strolling of the light unless one actually opens the door to let it in. One cannot talk about mystery. One must be grasped by it. And that is only possible when insight and creative inaction become one.
The Jewish Tradition never told people not to question divine justice. Such questions are not only legitimate, they are holy because they rise from a deep realization that God is righteous and at the same time honest enough to admit that He is at fault.
The sudden rediscovery of Jewish identity in Israel since the start of the war has led me to understand a verse in the Torah that I never really understood before. In this verse, God promises peace in our borders under certain conditions. Due to all that we have experienced in the last weeks—the trauma of the attacks and then the incredible new awakening to what it means to be a Jew—perhaps we need to reconsider this verse.
The holy task of Halakhic living requires us to see with more than our senses, and to comprehend what is beyond reason. It requires both inner consciousness and the transformation of the deed, by which we express our deepest understanding of the splendor of the world.
After the terrible internal fights that nearly tore apart the Israeli nation, this war has brought our people together as never before. It is as if a Divine voice rang out and said: “Enough! This far and no farther! There will be no civil war in Israel. I will not allow it.”
The disastrous situation in which Israel finds itself at this hour asks for serious self-reflection on a level unfamiliar to many of us.
Nothing is more crucial for the religious personality than the question as to whether there is a God we can trust and rely on. Often, even one who believes that God exists may still wonder whether he can have faith in Him.
The following essay was published this weekend in the Jerusalem Post and in digital form on their site. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are serious days when we are asked to place God at the center of our lives, repent, and ask for forgiveness. However, no matter how much we try, most of us know […]
Experiencing low points in life is par for the course. Contending with these and the accompanying negative emotions and moods can be challenging and difficult. The correct perspective of what we have, our reality, and the true power we hold to alter and improve the direction of our lives is a sure tool in facing life.
The Future of a Marriage – Part 3: The Problem of the Black Dot Words spoken at the festive meal (“Sheva Berachot”) on the occasion of the marriage of our grandson and his bride, Lakewood, USA, 24th of June. Here is a piece of advice that may help you in your future lives. It […]
Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, is often misunderstood—for Tisha B’Av is frequently perceived as a day of victimization, the date both Temples were destroyed and the Jewish People was transformed into a nation of eternal victims. If this was true, there would be no purpose to Tisha B’Av. If […]
The Future of a Marriage – Part 2: The Blessing of Marital Dialogue * In memory of my dear friend Rabbi Dr. Sholom Gold z”l of Yerushalayim Words spoken at the festive meal (“Sheva Berachot”) on the occasion of the marriage of our grandson and his bride, Lakewood, USA, 24th of June. As I wrote […]
Words spoken at the festive meal (“Sheva Berachot”) on the occasion of the marriage of our grandson and his bride, Lakewood, USA, 24th of June. My dear grandchildren, Chatan (groom) and Kalla (bride), Yaacov Shlomo and Chava, Mazal tov! Oma and I were 20 and 21 years old when we married. This was only […]
Parashat Chukat Depression is one of the worst conditions a human being may suffer. There are several reasons for the occurrence of depression. One that is very common results from feeling that life is meaningless. Combined with the fact that nobody can escape death, some people experience life as very painful. They do not suffer […]
Man alone was endowed with the gift of words and the ability to connect thereby with his Creator. Language can comprise grandeur, while it can also be emptied of its value and essence. How we choose to live our lives affects how we express ourselves and the language we use. The debasing of language today stems from and represents unfortunate moral and ethical decay.
Shavuot 5783/2023 Hallelujah: Do You Live The Divine Song? (Inspired by Leonard Cohen) Now I have heard of a secret chord That Moshe learned and it pleased the Lord, And he brought it down in human words, But its essence stayed up in the Heavenly Court. Above it is fire, Below it are letters, The […]
Contemplating Childbirth and Divine Revelation: Have you ever thought about these? When a child is born, the first question that should come to mind is: When he or she grows up, what should we tell them about the importance of their birth and the purpose of their life? After all, what right do we have […]