Author Archives: Harry Zeitlin

Man, Not Superman

When you’ve spent enough years of your life living with Gemara, the Jerusalem Talmud, you take it for granted that the sages who participated in this several-centuries-long project were a diverse group. Most held a variety of jobs to, often … Continue reading

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Armour To Withstand The Exile/More Thoughts on Tisha B’Av 2021

The Tikkunei Zohar is a major section of the Zohar and portions of it (mianly Petach Eliyahu (the end of the second introduction) have made their way into the daily liturgy for many Sephardim and some Chassidim as well. The … Continue reading

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Tisha B’Av 2021

When I made my first Aliyah (I actually immigrated officially to Israel twice, once in the 1980s and again in 2016) I thought I was one of a group of friends in Los Angeles who all planned to make a … Continue reading

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Honesty

Both a family friend from much earlier and one of my two mentors when I first began my journey to become a rabbi, Rabbi Daniel Goldberger, of blessed memory, was, in my day, the most beloved rabbi in my hometown … Continue reading

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With our Complete Hearts, Souls and Might

Writing about Parshat Naso, the Ishbitzer, in Mei HaShiloach explains that merely escaping from slavery, leaving the territory of Egypt, even receiving the Torah at Sinai, was not enough (contradicting the Seder Pesach song, Dayenu). In fact, it wasn’t until … Continue reading

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Can Your Heart Handle It?

You don’t have to sign up. Whether or not you put away your car keys and smartphone and keyboard and tv and credit car, you will still have access to it. It doesn’t matter if you cover your hair or … Continue reading

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Global/Tribal/Universal: Either/Or Or All Three At Once

I’m not much of a joiner. I guess I value my privacy, or I’m just shy. I see myself pretty much as a hermit, although a gregarious one. Can these seeming opposites coexist in one body/one soul? Likewise, today in … Continue reading

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Never Easy Answers; Please No Easy Questions

There are some sefarim (books) and rebbaim (rabbis/teachers) who remain closed off to me for years, but suddenly they come alive and shimmer with the brightest light I can imagine. When this happens, I feel a sense of real urgency … Continue reading

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Invited to Grow

Regular Tefilla, badly translated as “prayer”, is pre-programmed for us three times every day. Of that small minority of us who actually take advantage of this opportunity, surely less than half can even roughly understand/translate what we’re saying, and even … Continue reading

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By Not Doing

Chol HaMoed, the intermediate days of Pesach (and Sukkot) are filled with a unique, semi-Kedusha, holiness. Strangely, it’s a period of time where most men do not engage with their special relationship of teffilin. I wonder how to achieve that … Continue reading

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