“Blessed are You, L-rd, our G-d, King of the Universe, Who forms light and creates darkness, makes peace and creates all” (Morning Service).

Like anything written by our sages, these words are filled with eternal significance.  


There is physical darkness and spiritual darkness. These distinctions are not theoretical.  


Chanukah is the quintessential holiday of exile.

The neiros (Chanukah lights) illuminate the darkest season of the year. This is the only holiday that begins during the period of the waning moon. The days of Chanukah actually become darker and darker ... until the very end, because Chanukah ends just when the sliver of the New Moon is becoming visible in the night sky. 


Now we descend with Joseph to Egypt.

The significance of our ancestors’ sojourn in Mitzraim (Biblical Egypt) must be prodigious, because we never cease to mention it. Every Sabbath begins with, “zaicher l’ytzias Mitzraim … a memorial of the Exodus from Egypt,” and every holiday cycle begins with Passover, the entire theme of which is the story of our Redemption from Mitzraim. 


As I write these words, the headlines read, "Terror in Tel Aviv, Gush Etzion." And then, the following week, the headlines read, "Terrorists kill four rabbis." 


The world was filled with idolatry. One man, our Father Abraham, understood that there had to be a Creator. He found the Torah and its Author. From our Father Avraham descended a nation of Priests, “goy kadosh … a holy nation.” (Exodus 19:6) In today’s darkness, Hashem is still close to us. If we look for Him we can find Him. We simply have to keep looking.  



Recent Posts


Western World three weeks world to come Sabbath Haman patriarchs Holiness fear Sukkos Holocaust judgement survival redeemer deluge Edom Red Sea Sarah enemies Malbim Mount Zion Jewish festival bris milah messiah Sephardi exile song idolatry 2020 Vision Abraham High Holy Days terrorists Golden Calf King David rosh chodesh Rosh Hashana Ishamael Temple Mount mitzvos Jewish holidays G-d Aharon prayer book spiritual Pharaoh Eve sanctity Zion, Angel Final redemption Judah barley Gog Solar eclipse Tu b'Shvat Torah Sefiras haOmer Sea of Galilee Holy Ark End of Days Benjamin Greeks slavery kiddush Shabbos Hebrew Passover Seder shmittah Lot alone fires self-worship Yerushalayim menorah Banias Galil heavenly throne chaos Jewish Miriam Rosh Hashanah Repentence Terror Attack in Jerusalem Raiders of the Lost Ark miracles fault King of the Universe Amalek cholent New Moon Lunar eclipse Teshuva Creator Shushan culture Parsha fragrance angel prayers mikveh, Sabbath Chafetz Chaim Ruth Psalms Rashi gossip earthquake violence Western Wall Eglon purity Babylonia Ammon Midrash angels Amram prophet ancestors miracle Temple Master of the Universe cries Rabbis Avraham esrog Judgement Day terrorism Torah portion kesuba Hashem shofar terror Esther prayer light Zohar Genesis Chanukah Boaz darkness Tefillin High Priest Pinchas keys evolution Samuel Zechariah Second Temple missiles God redemption Mount Sinai Matisyahu Joseph Purim Canaan sin Day of Atonement Torah scholars Geula Moses Moshaich creation David Babylon United Nations leprosy India Tallis king minyan Heavenly Mercy tears Bilaam blessing Jerusalem Esau locusts Song of Songs Moab Miraglim holy Abrahem incense flood yeshiva seder Rome secret patriarchs'matriarchs Zion Macabees compassion America Holy land mikveh pray eternity ethics Faith Garden of Eden Mount Hermon Tisha b'Av Ishmael matzos Rachel stars terrorist evil Yaakov Exodus priests Ishmeal Shavuos yarmulke Balak heaven Passover chessed brotherhood Talmud Mordechai Isaiah war Jeremiah Leah lights night Baku kinneret Prophecy Israel Psalm Maimonides Yom Kippur mitzva Samuel the Prophet moon Chol haMoed biblical Laban Tu b'Av Matriarchs bird Jacob Red Heifer prophet Samuel murder Hasmoneans siddur Jewish People eternal heavenly gates materialism repentance death Nation of Israel Egypt Earth Judaism Moshe meraglim persecution Blame Achashveirosh Shechina Chanukkah evil inclination rain bible spies stones spirituality shield of Abraham water Holy Temple Rebecca repent Sages Hagar Jew slaves sacrifices tabernacle Tzuk etan danger Rabbi Akiva Beit Hamikdash logic prophets media holiday Angel of Death Land of Israel Europe Sodom Isaac Chofetz Chaim Maccabeans resurrection salvation idol Protective edge Father in Heaven Sukkah Magog plague Rebbe sun forefathers tremors Ten Commandments dreams King Solomon synagogue pain Ezekiel commandment Divine presence paradise Moshiach Solomon Jews Adam Children of Israel Ashkenazi hubris rabbi kosher automobiles tablets Golus liberation soul Noah Golan Dead Sea Day of Judgement Bais Hamikdosh peace trees Elul