Newsletter

THE SECRET OF THE FIFTEENTH DAY


Six months ago, I wrote about Tu B’Av, a holiday which brings hope after the terrible events of Tisha B’Av. There is something about the Fifteenth day of the Jewish month which is related to redemption. The first day of Passover, the first day of Sukkos, Tu B’Shevat, and Shushan Purim all occur on the Fifteenth day of the month. 

view
SEVENTY WOLVES


In the old, old days, long before I became observant, I lived in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, a world of wealthy, assimilated Jews who fled the Torah as if it were poison. From nursery all the way through twelfth grade, I attended what was considered an “elite” private school. Our class, numbering about one hundred, was composed almost exclusively of assimilated Jews, with a smattering of others as a result of the school’s liberal philosophy. Feelings of guilt as a result of our comfortable lifestyle made it almost mandatory to include a few non-Jews.  

view
THE BOY IN THE BARBER SHOP


Recently, in the barber shop, a boy was waiting for the next appointment. He wore a hockey uniform and sat hunched over his phone. He looked at no one. He said nothing. When his turn came, he wordlessly walked to the barber’s chair. No “good morning.” No smile or interaction. He looked into space. No word came from his mouth or light from his eyes.  

view
DREAMING OF STARS


Joseph is in prison and Pharaoh dreams. Suddenly Joseph is king of Egypt. “Yeshuas Hashem k’heref ayin … the salvation of G-d comes in the blink of an eye!” This is high drama.

Our contemporary world also reflects high drama, as powerful battles play out on many stages. Hidden behind all these conflicts, the great salvation is being prepared in Heaven, as the Messiah prepares to arrive “k’heref ayin,” with blinding suddenness.  

view
SECOND MARRIAGE


My wife and I got married twice. The first time, before we were observant, a very liberal “rabbi” handed us a “kesuba” (marriage contract) which read “ani l’dodi v’dodi li … I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine” (Song of Songs 6:3).  

view
TWO KINDS OF WEEPING


In a certain study hall in Jerusalem, there was a Rabbi who would continually pace up and down between the lecterns, carrying on an intense conversation in learning … with himself! This was a delightful and sometimes amusing spectacle. As he paced, however, he was also aware of his surroundings. One day, I was explaining to my study partner my personal criterion for a good leader of the prayers, namely that he should make me cry. 

view
REFLECTED LIGHT


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. 

view

 

Recent Posts


Tags

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

Archive