Monthly Archives: December 2013

Even Within The Darkness

Until the lunar year re-synchs with the solar later this spring when we experience the “leap” month of Adar II, our Jewish calendar has appeared “very early” this year. Nonetheless, the upcoming parshiot (weekly Torah readings) which feature the Ten Plagues … Continue reading

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For Sh’mot–No Reverse Gears

Rashi makes a very cryptic statement in a comment on this parsha. The eighth verse begins, וַיָּקָם מֶלֶךְ־חָדָשׁ עַל־מִצְרָיִם, And a new king arose over Egypt, to which Rashi explains, (רַב וּשְׁמוּאֵל, חַד אָמַר חָדָשׁ מַמָּשׁ, וְחַד אָמַר שֶׁנִּתְחַדְּשׁוּ גְּזֵרוֹתָיו (ש”ר … Continue reading

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Welcoming The Blessing Of Uncertainty

This week’s parsha, Vayechi, features Yaakov’s final blessings to his twelve sons and, through them, to the future Jewish people. This is preceded, however, with Yaakov’s intention to reveal to his sons all the future in its entirety.  Rashi explains … Continue reading

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An Often Overlooked Lesson Of Chanukah

This lesson is almost so obvious that it’s frequently overlooked. As you know, operating according to Hillel, we add one candle each night of Chanukah. I want to thank my teacher and friend, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, for reminding me of … Continue reading

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Transcending Gravity Made Easy

Very little of the actual writings of the Ba’al Shem Tov, founder of Chassidism, have survived.  One of the few “authenticated” samples is his commentary on Psalm 107, which he recited before the mincha of Erev Shabbat, the afternoon prayer for Friday … Continue reading

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Getting It Backwards

It struck me, in the beginning days of Chanukah, that the traditional approach to all of our holidays, Shabbats and other periodic celebrations more often than not hamstrings us. Until this year, in which I’ve been consumed with other learning … Continue reading

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