"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

30 Sept 2016


Praying For Teshuba

Shimon Peres never gave up working, nor his belief  in a better future. In 2015, Time Magazine asked the then-92 year old “When you look back on the 70 plus years of public life you’ve lived – as a founder of the state of Israel, as an architect of the Oslo Accords – what do you feel most proud of?” Peres’ responded as he’d always lived: “The things I should do tomorrow.”

29 Sept 2016

To return

"In preparation for the upcoming Rosh HaShana holiday, R' Aharon Kahn from Yeshiva University speaks about the meaning of Teshuva and why it literally means to return, rather than repent."- an excellent speaker delivers a timely message.

28 Sept 2016


In the video below, Rabbi Salomon speaks about concentrating on the words that come out of our mouths.
The other day I read an article in which the reader was advised to say, ¨my pleasure¨instead of ¨no problem." I related this to my family and we spent a hilarious Shabbos meal trying to banish all negative words, including no, can't, and won't from our vocabulary. Any word that had a negative connotation was not allowed to be uttered.
When I told a relative that my teacher had passed away, he told me to say that my teacher went to olam haba. I asked him how he would respond to a question, "Do you know the meaning of a certain word?" He answered, smilingly, Ï would love to know the meaning of that word. Let's look it up together!!!"

Try the exercise of not using the ^no^word for a few minutes and see how cognizant you will be about the words you utter. And when your husband/wife, mother or father asks you to take out the garbage, how about responding with, "my pleasure."

27 Sept 2016

Like a father

Great daily emunah lesson

H. commented on her Facebook page, "We pray and ask G-d to have mercy on us like a father has to a son.
Why the analogy with a father instead of a mother?
Our sages explain that the mercy a mother has on a child can be without restrictions. She might not have the heart to wake her son up to go and pray, but rather sympathizes with him and allows him to sleep longer etc. Or perhaps when she sees her child is trying to take a needless break from learning, she might accept it
A father has mercy and compassion for a child with the right amount of stringency. He does not let his emotions overpower the level of education and nurture he would like to instil .
That is the type of sympathy we want from the Almighty. Understanding, love and compassion with the right amount of limitations."

Acharon Acharon chaviv

Below is an excerpt from the September 26th State Department briefing.

QUESTION: A couple just very quick ones, just very quick.

MR TONER: Please, and then I’ll get back to you and we’ll end it on Israel, I promise.

When I read Mr. Toner's statement, I was reminded of the phrase acharon acharon chaviv.

"ViShav Hashem Elokecha Es Shvuscha ViRechamecha Vishav Vikibetzcha Mikal HoAmim" - "Then Hashem WILL RETURN your captivity and have mercy upon you, and he WILL RETURN and gather you from your exile among the nations." Why does the Pasuk say that Hashem "WILL RETURN" those in captivity twice? Meshech Chochmah answers, that there will be two shifts of people who are returning from exile. The first group will be those who were yearning for the holiness of Eretz Yisroel all the years in Galus. They will be the first to return. The second group will be the ones who became comfortable in the Galus. They did not miss the Kedusha of Eretz Yisroel, and will only return at a later time.

23 Sept 2016

Laid down

Parshas Ki Savo - Coming and Going

This morning I came across an article titled 4-year-old saves grandfather after he has heart attack.

Dave Berrier, 48, wasn’t feeling well and had chest pain when he laid down to rest in his Clear Lake, Wisconsin home, Fox 9 reported.
To the editors of the article, I would refer you to check the past tense of lie versus lay.

I thought Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke very well at the UN yesterday. This Shabbos we read parshat Ki Tavo which begins with the words, "And it will be, when you come into the land which the Lord, your G-d, gives you for an inheritance, and you possess it and settle in it;' I would have liked a reference to G-d in the speech. Also, Netanyahu spoke about a young boy named Ahmed who "was the victim of a horrible terrorist act perpetrated by Jews." He also stated that "the Jewish citizens of Israel accused of attacking the Dawabsha family are in jail awaiting trial."
So, if they are awaiting trial and haven't been convicted, why would he, with great certainty, attribute the act to them?

Former antisemitic Hungarian MP who discovered Jewish roots to make aliya

Setting limits

Parshas Ki Savo - Enjoying This World

Elul: The Fish that Got Away

Elul; Setting Limits

Here’s Netanyahu’s epic speech before the UN today

21 Sept 2016

Har Aivol

Oberlin Student Senate condemns Alumni group for complaining too much about campus anti-Semitism

"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 Aivol than Har Grizim, because the curses at Har Aivol had a greater effect on Klal Yisroel.

The greatest recipe

This Challah Is the Greatest Recipe of All Time

Simple, tender, flavorful brisket ideal for Jewish holidays

Minyan Shelanu Girls division launches emergency campaign after fire destroys their home


20 Sept 2016


Appropriate Gratitude

A comment under a Washington Post article titled Ex-roommate of Facebook founder becomes rabbi in Israel reflects on Conservative Judaism.

In Orthodox Judaism the Rabbi's talk about the "Mesorah" a lot. I understand it to be transferring the traditions and laws of Moses from Mount Sinai to his people. Conservative Judaism offers a way for most Jews to say that they have a connection to their religion. But does it really give them anything or is it just a path to rationalize their connection to a belief they have given up a long time ago. 

London’s Muslim Mayor Tells New York And London to Get Used to Terrorism


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!"

הרב הראשי: מי שלא לומד תורה יש לו דיכאון ומחשבות אובדניות

12 Sept 2016


Shaked and Erdan meet with Facebook heads to remove posts inciting anti-Semitism

"Lo Sacharosh B'Shor V'Chamor Yachdav", you may not plow with an ox and donkey together (Ki Seitzei 22:10). The Me'or VaShemesh says that this is a Remez to Moshiach. The ox refers to Moshiach ben Yosef as Yosef is compared to an ox, "Bichor Shoro". The donkey refers to Moshiach ben Dovid who is called Ani V'Rochev Al Chamor, a poor man riding on a donkey.

The pasuk tells us "Lo Sacharosh", which can also mean do not be silent. We must not remain silent or idle. We must do mitzvos and maasim tovim and daven for the coming of both Moshiach ben Yosef and Moshiach ben Dovid Bimheira Biyameinu. 

How A Mikveh Saved Lives

נישקה את הרבנית רונית ברש ומצאה את השידוך שלה

11 Sept 2016


IDF Veteran Danny Lewin, the first person killed on 9/11/2001

Watch: Rav Boruch Mordechai Ezrachi Visiting Auschwitz With Talmidim

I think it is deplorable how the NYT reported on Hillary Clinton's episode at the 9/11 event. - Hillary Clinton, Feeling ‘Overheated,’ Leaves 9/11 Ceremony

Remembering 9/11: Five Important Lessons

Lmaam Yitav

By the Mitzva of Shiluach HaKen the torah tells us (Ki Seitzei 22:7), "L'maan Yitav Lach V'Haarachta Yamim", in order that it will be good for you and you will live a long life. By Kibud Av V'Eim in the second Dibros (VaEschanan 5:17), the torah promises the same reward that we don't find anywhere except for these two mitzvos. What is the commonality between them?

The Klei Yakar answers that the words "Lmaam Yitav" imply that the good will be a direct ramification of your doing this mitzva. If you honor your parents your children will learn from you to honor their parents and you will benefit. If you chase away the mother bird before taking her young, you will teach them to have rachmanus even on an animal that gives birth to young and certainly on parents who give birth to their children.

The reason why these two mitzvos are rewarded with long life is because they both testify to the fact that Hashem created the world and it didn't happen by itself. By honoring the previous generation who gave birth to you, you acknowledge that everything in the world came from something before it to which you owe honor. This leads you back to a "first and only" and that would be Hashem to whom you owe the greatest honor. If you believe that the world just happened, then the previous generation is not better than you, but rather a product of timing and you owe them no respect. Fo this you are rewarded with a long life and earning the privilege to spend more time in the world Hashem created.

What Inspires Me To Help Others

New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind explains why he cannot support Democratic presidential candidate.

Car packed with gas cylinders found parked outside packed synagogue – just a week after thwarted ISIS Notre Dame attack

8 Sept 2016

A discovery in the rubbish

Cal Berkeley’s Latest Effort to Erase Jewish History From Israel

Polish artist finds 19th-century Jewish books in rubbish

Torah Wellsprings Parshat Shoftim

What is in Hillary's ear during the forum?

The short message in the video below is about making Elul meaningful. A relative told me that she resolved not to use WhatsApp during the month of Elul. What steps have I taken to taken to make Elul more meaningful?

7 Sept 2016

Needing urgent repair

Holocaust denial fliers circulate on Australian campuses - Read more: http://www.timesofisrael.com/holocaust-denial-fliers-circulate-on-australian-campuses/

Ancient Jewish shrine in Kurdistan needs urgent repair, official says - Read more: http://rudaw.net/english/culture/07092016

Archive tracks Jewish refugees in Shanghai applies for national heritage - Read more: http://english.cri.cn/12394/2016/09/07/4001s939645.htm

4 Sept 2016

The lower case 'g'

Ynetnews posted an article about Natan Meir taking one of his adopted children to the grave of Dafna Meir, who fell victim to a terror attack in which she was stabbed to death. Excerpts from his Facebook post which was written in Hebrew, were translated to English.

נראה לי שלאלוקים ירדו הרבה דמעות אתמול - "I think ___ shed many tears yesterday."

I omitted one word from the translation because I was upset that the article uses the word "G-d' with a lower case 'g.' Even when you click on translate in the Facebook post, the word appears with an upper case "g." Oh well, I will try to leave a comment or contact the journalist and will see what happens.

'He survived, but was put into a coma'

The Siddur Given to a Non Jew

Parshas Shoftim in the beginning of Elul

VIDEO: Donald Trump Receives Israeli Prayer Shawl; Jewish Heritage Bible From Detroit Preacher

Trump answers ‘WHO is G-D to you?’

Anti-Semitic BDS Movement Shuts Down Pro-Israel Perspectives on Campus

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.