Someone whose father fought in the Battle of the Bulge gave me a book about this epic chapter in the history of World War II. Even reading about war is difficult. The reality is hard to imagine, especially for Americans, who have long been insulated from armed conflict. But war is real. Today, with the threat of long-range weapons and close-range enemies, it seems to be edging closer. Governments, who are supposed to protect, in some cases actually threaten the world! 


During the Sefiras HaOmer period of counting the 49 days between Passover and the holiday of Shavuos, we are working intensely to refine our character, trying to merit receiving the Torah on Shavuos. During Passover, I was privileged to perform the rare mitzvah (Torah commandment) of “shiluach hakan” - sending away the mother bird before taking her young (Deuteronomy 22:6-7). 


“G-d has taken you and withdrawn you from ‘kur habarzel’… the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a nation of heritage for Him, as this very day…” (Deuteronomy 4:20). 


There is a dispute whether the world was created in the Jewish month of Tishrei or Nissan (Talmud, Rosh Hashanah 10b-11a). In a real sense, the answer is …. both! Tishrei marks the anniversary of physical creation; Nissan marks the anniversary of spiritual creation.  


“Ketores - the Incense Offering - the dearest of all the offerings.”  (Rashi on Numbers 16:6)  


We have reached a new level in our weekly Torah portion. From the Book of Genesis through last week’s Torah portion, in which Israel receives the Torah at Mount Sinai, the Torah portions have been narrative, beginning with the epic story of Creation, the formation of the Nation of Israel, and culminating in the redemption from Egypt and the (literally) earth-shaking meeting between G-d and His Chosen People at Mount Sinai.  


The essential message of Yom Kippur is that everything depends on our spiritual condition. To the extent that we follow Hashem's will, our life will be good. The economy is not the determining factor. Politics is not the determining factor. Social issues are not the determining factor. The only thing that counts is our relationship with G-d. That's it. 



Recent Posts


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