"Where does it say that you have a contract with G-d to have an easy life?"

the Lubavitcher Rebbe

"Failure is not the enemy of success; it is its prerequisite."

Rabbi Nosson Scherman

31 Aug 2018

Day of Unity

Huckabee Calls For 'Day of Unity'

הרב יגאל כהן בוורט לפרשת כי תבוא

Parshas Ki Savo - What It Means To Be The Am Segulah

Beautiful rendition of G-d Bless America by Shulem Lemmer over here.

Sold: A Pocket Watch From the Titanic, Adorned with Hebrew Letters

If-Not-Now Fundraiser Shares War Story from Camp Ramah

26 Aug 2018

Seeing the good

Hilchos Loshon Hora - Ba'alei Teshuva

New York Times Publishes a Rejection of Yossi Klein Halevi’s Plea for Reconciliation

"It will be when you will go over the Yarden, you will set up these 12 stones at Har Aivol, and you will build a Mizbayach and bring Korbonos and be happy there" R' Moshe Feinstein asks, why were the Mizbayach and all the festivities taking place at Har Aivol? Har Aivol was the mountain that the Levim faced when they said the curses (Rashi 27:12). It would have been more appropriate to have these festivities on Har Grizim - the mountain they faced when the Brachos were said?

R' Moshe answers, although the promise of Blessings can cause a person to head in the right direction, the Yetzer HaRa can still convince a person that the pleasure of sin will be greater than the pleasure of these blessings - causing the person to sin. This is not so concerning a curse. The power of threatening one to be cursed with terrible suffering if he sins, will overcome his desire to sin. It is therefore more appropriate to celebrate on Har Avol than Har Grizim, because the curses at Har Aivol had a greater effect on Klal Yisroel.

25 Aug 2018

Bringing the Bikurim

Upon coming to the Bais HaMikdash with Bikurim, we tell the Kohen (Ki Savo 26:3), "Higaditi Hayom Lashem Elokecha Ki Basi El HaAretz", I affirm today before Hashem, that I have arrived in the land. The Ponevezher Rov once asked when addressing a large crowd, "Is it only new immigrants who are commanded to bring Bikurim and not native born sons?"

He answered that we see from here that even people born and bred in Eretz Yisroel, or those that have been here for a very long time, must have the same excitement as a person who has newly arrived home from the galus. The feeling of coming home to Hashem's land must not dull over time. I myself, said the Ponevezher Rov, every time I return to Eretz Yisroel from abroad, it is brand new to me as if I have never been here before. (Shalal Rov)

For those of us to have made our way home, keep appreciating it and don't take it for granted. Wake up every morning and look outside and say, "Wow, I can't believe I am lucky enough to live here!"

16 Aug 2018

14 Aug 2018

Shoftim and Elul

We read Parshas Shoftim in the beginning of Elul because the first step to Tshuva is to put guards at our hotspots. "Shoftim V'Shotrim Tetein Lecha B'Chol She'arecha"; place judges and policemen at all your gates. These gates allude to the gates of your body; your eyes, ears, mouth, etc., says the Bnei Yisaschar. The gemara says the eyes see and the heart desires. This is the mechanics of Aveira. We need to watch both what goes into our mouth and what comes out of it. Once we have honest judges guarding these flashpoints from evil we are on the road to tshuvah.

If we do stumble we must have a mechanism for punishing ourselves whether it is in the form of promising to give money to tzedoka or withholding something that we enjoy for every time we slip. This effective idea was popular among the Talmidim of Rav Moshe Kordevero says the Bnei Yisaschar.

Rich Returns

10 Aug 2018

The expert

Radical haredi faction to sue police over foul smelling spray - I was on a bus departing from Jerusalem when one of the people who had been sprayed got on the bus. The odor was foul and I saw a woman run off the bus with her baby after she turned to her husband complaining that she couldn't breathe and was going to throw up.
The police might want to take into account the hundreds of others who will be affected by the tactics they employ.

Interview With Rabbi Yaakov Gurwitz, Expert On Shatnez

The OU Women’s Initiative Launches Virtual Rosh Chodesh Lunch & Learn Series For Women Worldwide

5 Aug 2018

The Water Solution

This past Shabbat we read the parsha of Eikev which contains the promise from G-d that if we hearken to His commandments, "I will give the rain of your land at its time, the early rain and the latter rain, and you will gather in your grain, your wine, and your oil."

This morning I came across an article titled 5-year drought raises questions over Israel’s water strategy.

The drought “will be solved, there is no question,” Steinitz, the energy minister, said. “This area is not new for us. We simply resume our historic tradition to focus and find developing water solutions.”

How about resuming historic tradition and following the Commandments as a solution?


106 Year Old Jew Lived Rich Life

3 Aug 2018

The obligation

Emuna Daily Lesson

The lesson of the fruits of Israel

Saving Rabbi Sacks

"HaKail HaGodal ViHanorah Asher lo Yisa Fanim ViLo Yikach Shochad. Oiseh Mishpat Yosoim ViAlmanah ViOhaiv Ger Losais Lohem Lechem ViSimlah; Hashem who does not show favor and does not take bribes. Who carries out judgment to orphans and widows and loves the convert to give him bread and garments." (10:17)

The Ksav Sofer says that this pasuk is a warning to people who think that just because they are fine people "Bain Adam LaChavero" - they treat others very well, this is sufficient. They don't need to be a good Jew "Bain Adam LaMokom" - their good deeds to their brethren will wipe away their sins to Hashem. The pasuk therefore says, "Asher lo Yisa Fanim ViLo Yikach Shochad" - Hashem will not take as a bribe the fact that you are, "Oiseh Mishpat Yosoim ViAlmanah ViOhaiv Ger Losais Lohem Lechem ViSimlah" - you take care of the orphans, widows and converts. Just because you are a good Jew to others, does not relinquish you of the obligation to be a good Jew to the Ribono Shel Olam, too!