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Parshas Lech Lecha: Father Knows Best

Avraham Avinu, our first Patriarch is poised to accept the command of Milah, circumcision. G-d reveals that subsequent to fulfilling this covenant, Avrohom will...

   
 

Parshas Lech Lecha - Walking Into The Wilderness

Were you ever called upon to walk into the unknown; to step into the wilderness for something you believe in? Were you ever asked to take a risk in order to be...

   
 

Geshem or Gashem?!

On Shmini Atzeres, as per the Mishna’s instruction[1] and codified by the Shulchan Aruch[2], world Jewry started reciting “Gevuros Geshamim B’...

   
 

Parshas Lech Lecha: Tethered to the Past, Reaching for the Future

“And the Lord said to Abram, "Go forth (Lech Lecha) from your land and from your birthplace and from your father's house, to the land that I will sho...

   
 

A Shemittah Glossary

Question #1: Shemittah or shevi’is? “What is the difference between shemittah and shevi’is?” Question #2: Sefichin “What are se...

   
 

Parshas Noach & MarCheshvan- The All Or Nothing Phenomenon

[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, z’l, we will maintain a living m...

   
 

Parshas Noach - What Makes A Forefather?

This past Wednesday, 28th of Tishrei, was the yahrtzeit of my dear friend, Daniel Scarowsky, a"h. This week's shtikle is dedicated leiluy nishmaso, Daniel ...

   
 

Parshas Noach - 'These Are The Flood Waters Of Noah!' - Isaiah 54;9

“These Are The Flood Waters Of Noah!” Isaiah 54;9 Noah said to Moshe: ‘I’m greater than you; I was saved from the generation of the...

   
 

Parshas Noach - Aderes HaTorah

In this week's Parsha, the Torah tells us that Noach, his wife and his children all went into the teiva -"Mipnei  mei hamabul"- because of the wa...

   
 

Parshas Noach - Ticket to Ride

It’s hard to believe that we are already beyond the Yomim Tovim. We were uplifted during Rosh Hashana, inspired on Yom Kippur, joyously celebrated the da...

   
 

Noach - A Human Faith

A priest and a pastor from the nearby parishes stood along the side of the roadway, holding up a sign that reads, “The end is near!  Turn around befo...

   
 

Beyond Nature (Noach, Covenant & Conversation 5775 on Ethics)

Are we naturally good or naturally bad? On this great minds have argued for centuries. Hobbes believed that we have naturally “a perpetual and restless ...

   
 

Parshas Bereishis - You Should Be Blessed

A number of times throughout the gemara and in later seforim as well, with regards to a chumrah, we find the term tavo alav berachah, a blessing shall be bestow...

   
 

Sukka on Shmini Atzeres?

Different minhagim come to the forefront this time of year, and growing up spending many a Yom Tov among Jews of all stripes, in various kosher hotels, makes th...

   
 

Did the Kohanim Eat in a Succah?

The Torah gives us a positive commandment to eat and sleep in a succah for seven days, but did this requirement apply to the Kohanim serving in the Temple as&nb...

   
 

Succos 5775 - Fragrant Midos

A couple of exciting Mazal Tov dedications to start the year: Mazal Tov to my nephew Dovid Nisson Shonek of Far Rockaway on his engagement to Tova Lidsky of Pas...

   
 

Succos 5775 - Aderes HaTorah

The joyous Yom Tov of Sukkos is approaching. For one week a year, we move out of our homes, and into little huts with bamboo roofs. One opinion is that this is ...

   
 

Sukkos 5775: Understanding The Ushpizin

[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, z’l, we will maintain a living m...

   
 

Sukkos - An Overview

As everyone is busy building their Sukkah in preparation of the impending Yom Tov, it is important to realize that we must prepare in other ways too. We shou...

   
 

Yom Kippur 5775 - Back to the Basics

 On the morning of Yom Kippur in the days when the Temple stood the Kohen Gadol would don the four special ‘White Garments’ fashioned from Pelu...

   
 

Yom Kippur 5775 - Aderes HaTorah

The Gemara (Bava Kama 50a) states that one who says that Hakadosh Baruch Hu is a "vatran" (that He dismisses wrongdoings), has forfeited his life. As a source f...

   
 

Yom Kippur 5775 - Soveya is the Difference between Life and Death ' Blessing and Curse

On Yom Kippur we are commanded to employ five methods of self affliction to help achieve atonement for our wrongdoings. We refrain from five pleasurable activit...

   
 

The Essence of Vidui

I have a confession to make. I really regret my mistake and I realize it potentially has serious repercussions. I resolve never to do it again, and to be extra...

   
 

Hilchos Uminhagei Yom Kippur

The following is meant as a convenient review of Halachos pertaining to Rosh Yom-Kippur. The Piskei Din for the most part are based purely on the Sugyos, Shulch...

   
 

What Is The Bracha Magen Avos And Should We Recite It On Yom Kippur?

 Question #1: Where? Where is the bracha of Magen Avos first mentioned? Question #2: What? What is the bracha Mei’ein Sheva? Question #3: When? ...

   
 

Rosh Hashanah 5775

Following each instance of shofar blowing during the repetition of mussaf, and even on Shabbos when we do not blow the shofar, we recite a small paragraph decla...

   
 

Rosh Hashana: Loyalty and Sincerity

[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, z’l, we will maintain a living m...

   
 

Rosh Hashana 5775 - Marking Time Moments of Our Lives

  Just as the ticking of the seconds become minutes which become hours and which become days, the days become weeks, become months and become years.&n...

   
 

The Musaf of Rosh Hashanah

Reb Hershel, the chazan of the shul, decided to ask Rav Goldberg for a “chavrusah” to study the tefilos of Yomim Nora’im in greater depth. &l...

   
 

Parshiyos Netzavim/Vayelech - Just Take It!

This week's parsha speaks much about teshuvah and the study of Torah. The pasuk proclaims "For this mitzvah (the whole Torah, according to Rashi) that I c...

   
 

Halachically Speaking: Refraining From Foods During The Yomim Noraim

We are all familiar with the simonim that are eaten on Rosh Hashanah. However, there are some foods which are not eaten during Rosh Hashanah and until as late a...

   
 

Parshiyos Netzavim/Vayelech - It's All About Torah

This week’s parsha is Moshe Rabbeinu’s last speech to Klal Yisroel as a group. Moshe Rabbeinu tells Klal Yisroel that after forty years of growth th...

   
 

Parshiyos Netzavim/Vayelech - Nuclear Threat & Teshuvah

[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, z’l, we will maintain a living m...

   
 

Parshiyos Netzavim/Vayelech - Aderes HaTorah

In this week's Parsha Hakadosh Baruch Hu expresses his disappointment with Klal Yisroel and says: "V'Anochi haster astir panai "- Hashem will hide His...

   
 

Parshiyos Netzavim/Vayelech - Standing Ovation

Have you ever found yourself riveted to the dynamic words of a powerful speaker, to the inspiring music of a virtuoso violinist, to a poignant and dramatic perf...

   
 

Parshas Ki Savo - Location, Location, Location

This week's parsha begins with the laws pertaining to the bringing of bikurim. The bringing of the bikurim is accompanied by a recitation of a number of ve...

   
 

Parshas Ki Savo - The Power of A Prayer

In this week’s Parsha, we are given the mitzvah of Bikkurim, the mitzvah to bring one’s first fruits of the year to the Bais Hamikdash and upon whic...

   
 

Rosh Hashannah - The Beginning of Change

Rosh Hashanah is not just the ‘New Year’ for the Jewish nation – it is much more than that. It is also the Yom HaDin, the Day of Judgment when...

   
 

Parshas Ki Savo - Bringing it Home!

This Dvar Torah was inspired by my dear son Mutti. May it be a merit for his quick recovery.  One of the most exciting events in ancient Jewish tradition ...

   
 

Enlarge Parshas Ki Savo - Bikurim & Blessings or Condescension & Curses

[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, z’l, we will maintain a living m...

   
 

Parshas Ki Savo - Aderes HaTorah

In this week's Parsha, Moshe Rabeinu instructs Klal Yisroel to do something that they will never be asked to do again. As Klal Yisroel crosses the Yarden,&...

   
 

Holding the Torah Upright

According to some rishonim, the mitzvah to raise the Torah (hagbahah) is mentioned in parshas Ki Savo. Question #1: Holy roller "I was in a shul, and when the...

   
 

Parshas Ki Seitze - Holy Plow

In this week's parsha we are taught of the prohibition against plowing with an ox and a donkey together (22:10). Rashi writes that this prohibition applies...

   
 

Parshas Ki Seitze - Bringing The Beauty Home

 A Jewish man goes to war and there at war he encounters amongst the enemy a beautiful woman. The Torah says that he can take her home but he must cut off ...

   
 

Parshas Ki Seitze - It 'Is' The Thought That Counts!

Life often throws us curve balls. When you least expect it you suddenly find yourself facing a challenge you never dreamt of, one that detours harshly from the ...

   
 

Parshas Ki Seitzei - Ki Si'hyena L'ish (Lashon HaKodesh)

בענין 'כי תהיין לאיש שתי נשים...' כתוב בפרשת כי תצא (דברים פרק כ"ב פסוק ט"ו - י"ז) "כי תה...

   
 

Parshas Ki Seitzei - The Saga Of Yosef

[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, z’l, we will maintain a living m...

   
 

Parshas Ki Seitzei - Aderes HaTorah

In this week's Parsha, the Torah tells us about the concept of "Ben Sorer Umoreh" - a rebellious and wayward child who, if he meets certain criteria, must ...

   
 

Parshas Ki Seitzei - We Forget Amalek at Our Peril

We are incredible beings for so many reasons, perhaps none so much as our ability to embody so many seeming contradictions with such ease.  We are both sou...

   
 

Parshas Ki Seitzei - The Greatness of Man (Text & Video)

“If a man shall commit a crime whose judgment is death, he shall be put to death, and you shall hang him on a tree.” — Devarim 21:22 The punis...

   
 

Parshas Ki Tetzei 5774 - Against Hate

Ki Tetzei contains more laws than any other parsha in the Torah, and it is possible to be overwhelmed by this embarrass de richesse of detail. One verse, howeve...

   
 

Parshas Shof'tim - Keep Your Eye on the Prize

The four Hebrew letters of the month of Elul [alef • lamed • vav • lamed] are also the rashei taivos for the well-known verse from the Song of So...

   
 

Parshas Shof'tim - No More Haters

The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated to the following Israeli soldiers: Amir ben Tzipporah, Daniel Aharon ben Esther, Binyamin Avraham ben Mindel Sarah, Elichai...

   
 

Parshas Shof'tim - ELUL!!

Five thousand seven hundred and seventy five years ago, G-d founded a corporation. He organized a board of directors, a mission statement, and a corporate frame...

   
 

Parshas Shof'tim -Aderes HaTorah

Towards the end of this week's Parsha, the Torah describes the eventuality of war taking place against our formidable enemies. The  Pas...

   
 

Insights Into Halacha: Of Elul L'Dovid and Golems

There is near universal Ashkenazic custom during the month of Elul to recite the Chapter of Tehillim (27) “L’Dovid Hashem Ori” during davening...

   
 

Parshas Shof'tim - All Part of the Whole; The Value of Each Life

Whosoever saves a single life, it is as if he saved an entire world. – Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5 A fundamental Jewish principle is that man is created &ldqu...

   
 

Parshas Shof'tim - An Encounter to Remember

When the unfortunate discovery of a corpse that has been murdered occurs, the elders and judges of the city in closest proximity to the body  must perform ...

   
 

Parshas Shof'tim - If I Were a Rich Man (Text/Video)

“Place upon yourself a king…He shall not greatly increase silver and gold for himself.” — Devarim 17:16-20 The Torah commands us to ap...

   
 

Parshas Re'eh - Words Matter

The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated to the following Israeli soldiers (list expanded to include family members): Amir ben Tzipporah, Daniel Aharon ben Esther, ...

   
 

Parshas Re'eh - Getting Ready for Elul

“Re’eh, Anochi nosain leef’naichem hayom bracha oo’k’lala – See, I present before you today blessing and curse.” [Deut...

   
 

Parshas Re'eh - Aderes HaTorah

In this week's Parsha the Torah repeats the discussion of the Halachos concerning freeing an Eved Ivri. However, a new idea is introduced- t...

   
 

Parshas Re'eh - True Blessings

The passuk in this week’s parshah says “Es habracha asher tishmi’u el mitzvos hashem elokechem,” that the brachos will ensue a...

   
 

Parshas Re'eh/Shabbos Mevarchim Elul - The King is in The Field

This Shabbat, in addition to reading the weekly parasha of Re'eh, we will also announce the arrival of Rosh Chodesh Elul, the beginning of the Hebrew ...

   
 

Everyone Eats; Why Are Jews Different?

 Everyone eats.  Every man, woman, child.  Thief, sinner, or saint. Everything eats.  Every beast of the field.  Every insect.  E...

   
 

Parshas Re'eh - Lookin' Good

In ancient times self-mutilation was a typically pagan response to overwhelming grief and disappointment. This display of fatalism and worthlessness was the nat...

   
 

The Kashrus of Raisin Juice and Raisin Wine

Since parshas Re’eih contains many of the basic laws of kashrus, I bring you a related topic:  Question #1: Kosher Conundrum "How can two kosher, p...

   
 

You Can't Take It with You -- Moving and Removing Mezuzos

Question #1: “We are moving residences, and I understand that I must leave the mezuzos in my old home. However, they are beautiful, mehudar mezuzos that I...

   
 

Parshas Aikev - Step Forward

This week we read what can arguably be called the most important verse in all of Torah. Now, O Israel, what does Hashem, your God, ask of you? Only to fear Has...

   
 

Parshas Aikev - Sustaining Both Body and Soul

 “V’achalta v’savata u’vai’rachta es Hashem Elokecha al ha’aretz ha’tova asher nasan lach – And you will ea...

   
 

Parshas Aikev -The Special Fruit of Eretz Yisrael

The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated to the following Israeli soldiers (list expanded to include family members): Amir ben Tzipporah, Daniel Aharon ben Esther, ...

   
 

Parshas Aikev - Aderes HaTorah

The Medrash on this week's Parsha makes note of the fact that the Petirah of Aron Hakohen is written right next to the incident of the breaking of the Luch...

   
 

Parshas Eikev - Limiting Beliefs (Text & Video)

“And now Yisroel, what is HASHEM, your G-d asking of you? Merely to fear HASHEM, to go in all of His ways, to love Him, and serve Him with all of yo...

   
 

Parshas Va'Eschanan - Aderes HaTorah

This week's Parsha speaks about how Klal Yisrael will be in Galus and will stray from the path of their forefathers. In an attempt to return to Hashem, the...

   
 

Parshas Va'Eschanan - The Eyes Have It!

This coming Monday, the 15th of Av, marks the yahrtzeit of my Opa, Mr. George Jakobovits. This week's shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmaso, Tovia Yeh...

   
 

Parshas Va'eschanan - Contemplate Before Pouncing

[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, z’l, we will maintain a living m...

   
 

What Makes Our Laws 'Jewish'?

Everyone has rules.  Every society, culture, family and group.  Having rules and laws hardly makes one distinct.  From the ancient Laws of Hammur...

   
 

Parshas Va'Eschanan - Lessons In Prayer

In the beginning of this week’s parsha, Moshe Rabbeinu recounts how he beseeched Hashem to enter the land of Israel. Chazal tell us that the gematria, or ...

   
 

Parshas Va'Eschanan - Where's Feivish?

One of the most oft quoted verses is the one that directs us to preserve and protect our health and physical wellbeing. ונשמרתם מאד לנפשתכ...

   
 

Parshas Va'Eschanan - The Middah of Rachamim (Video & Text)

“And pays back His enemies in their lifetime to destroy them.” — Devarim 7:10Rashi explains this posuk to mean that HASHEM pays back His enemi...

   
 

What Happens When We Do Something Wrong?

Since the Aseres Hadibros which include the laws of Shabbos are in Parshas Va’eschanan, we have an opportunity to discuss what happens when we do somethin...

   
 

Nachamu: It's Hug Time!

In many circles Shabbos Nachamu spells vacation. The great summer breather. The three weeks and the nine days are behind us and the High Holidays are not yet he...

   
 

The Tenth Commandment

Ma’amad Har Sinai was about establishing a relationship between Hashem and B’nei Yisrael.  In Rav Eisemann’s discussion of Ma’amad ...

   
 

Reflections on TIsha B'Av 5774

The Kina by Reb Yehuda HaLevi, ציון הלא תשאלי לשלום אסיריך, which we read today, starts by asking Tzion (Zion) to inquire after her priso...

   
 

Tisha B'Av 5774 - Courage: Rabbi Yisroel Spira, Zatzal, Of Bluzhev - Dignity Before History Dignity Before God

Ours is a time of confusion.  Neither Orwell nor Jonathan Swift could have better imagined a world in which black is white, left is right, or up is down.&n...

   
 

Parshas Devarim - Star-like Potential

The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated to the following Israeli soldiers (list expanded to include family members): Amir ben Tzipporah, Daniel Aharon ben Esther, ...

   
 

Tisha B'av: The Prerequisite of Shalom-Harmony, To Usher In The One Who Is Shaleim-Perfect

[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, z’l, we will maintain a living m...

   
 

Parshas Devarim - Chazon

"Chazon Yeshayahu”. A vision of Yeshayahu! The Medrash [Shir Hashirim Rabbah Ch. 3] taught that there are ten levels of prophecy. Sometimes prophecy comes...

   
 

Parshas Devarim - Hallel, Protection & Redemption

 This past Monday was Rosh Chodesh (the New Month) of Menachem Av. As is the custom on every Rosh Chodesh, we recite Hallel (Psalms 113 through 118) in the...

   
 

Parshas Devarim - Winning the Ultimate Battle

Once again we seem destined to commemorate yet another Tisha B’av in sorrow and tears. The growing number of casualties in our battle against our enemies...

   
 

Parshas Devarim/Shabbos Chazon: I Hate Criticism (Video &Text)

“And it was in the fortieth year, in the twelve month, on the first day of the month, when Moshe spoke to the Bnai Yisroel according to everything that HA...

   
 

Parshas Devarim - Believe!

In Parshas Devarim, Moshe Rabbainu recounts many of the sins and blunders of the Jewish nation throughout their forty year journey in the desert. In r...

   
 

Parshas Masei - 42 Journeys

A Weekly Shtikle Mazal Tov to my cousin Menachem Seliger of London on his engagement to Malkah Levinson of Manchester. Mazal Tov to the ganse mishapachah. The ...

   
 

Parshas (Matos)/Massei - Emulating The Gadol Hador

[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, z’l, we will maintain a living m...

   
 

Parshas Masei -The Power of Prayer (Video & Text)

“And the congregation will save the killer from the redeemer, and they shall return him to the city of refuge where he will sit until the death of the Koh...

   
 

Parshas Masei - Aderes HaTorah

This week's Parsha is Parshas Maasei, which discusses the travels of Klal Yisroel. It is also the week of Shabbos Chazak, when we finish one of the five&nb...

   
 

Parshas Masei: Masei and the Journey of Our Lives

It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end. - Ernest Hemingway  Imagine yourself on a commuter train.&nb...

   
 

Parshas Matos - You Do Your Best...

“Va’y’daber Hashem el Moshe laymor:  N’kom nikmas b’nai Yisrael mai’ais haMidyanim; achar tai’a’saif el ah...

   
 

Parshas Matos - Counting Sheep - Dedicated Bizchus Amir Ben Tzipporah Im Kol Chayalei Yisrael.

I recently signed up with a very special program, The Shmira Project, which pairs ordinary people with soldiers putting their lives on the line in defense of ou...