The holy month of Elul is upon us once again. The Chassidic masters taught that this is the month when the Gates of Heaven are open to our prayers more…
Israeli Jews often find themselves feeling as if “the world hates us;” as if everyone is “out to get us.” It might be true that the anti-Semitism of things that Zhabotinsky talked about in his works, the concept that the Nations detest us not necessarily for who we are–but for our national history and for the things that represent us–is alive and well, but does the entire world really hate us? I strongly doubt it.
There’s a popular saying that there are “two sides to a coin.” In last week’s Torah reading, we witnessed the creation of the world. Throughout the פרשה, we witnessed a lot of “two-sided coins.”
Every time Israel makes concessions to the Arabs, I hear American Jews voicing their disapproval. But they voice their disapproval with us not only when things don’t go their way–they’ve realized they have to come up with reason to hate the State of Israel and everything that represents Zionist values because if they don’t, it looks like they’re hypocrites.
This previous Shabbat, we entered the new month of Tammuz. I have always found it fascinating that the names of our months are Babylonian and not Hebrew.
4th of Tamuz: Rav Yaakov ben Meir (Rabbeinu Tam). (1100-1171) The most famous of Rav Meir ben Shmuel’s sons, one of Rashi’s grandsons.
I felt that this week’s drash was especially relevant to the events taking place in the Jewish community today. In Korach, we witness the biggest threat to Moshe’s position of leadership–and to the future of the Jewish people. Korach leads a popular rebellion against the Moshe, the single most significant representative of the Jewish people we’ve even known.
The night was still young and the yeshiva students were just beginning to get into their groove. It was Shavuot night, when Jews around the world stay up learning as a “tikkun”
Judaism means everything to me. It’s a part of my life from the second I get up in the morning to the moment I fall asleep at night–and it also accompanies me in my dreams.
Ask anyone about Shavuot, and the first thing that comes to mind is cheesecake. But, if we look deeply into the mystical aspects of this amazing month of Sivan, we will learn that embedded in the month are all the powers we need for strengthening our spiritual foundation for the entire year.