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Parshas Terumah - Toiling in Torah

[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 Terumah - On Making a Sanctuary

“V’asu li Mikdash v’sha’chan’ti b’so’cham w And make for Me a Sanctuary, so that I may dwell amongst them” Exodu...

   
 

Parshas Terumah - Inside and Out

A special Weekly Shtikle mazal tov to my brother and sister-in-law, Binyomin and Shira Bulka and family on the birth of a baby girl, Tehilla. Mazal tov to the e...

   
 

Rabbi Moshe Hauer on Parshas Terumah (Audio)

Maharal on the Parsha - Terumah - 3 Terumos, 3 Boxes, Envisioning and Building the Menorah ...

   
 

Parshas Terumah - How To Make Synagogues Holy

Dedicated by Mrs. Sarah Shane in memory of her mother,  Mrs. Gussie (Henna Gittel) Poliakoff, whose yahrzeit was on 2 Adar.  Bubby, or 'Aunt Gu...

   
 

Parshas Terumah - The Message Of The Keruvim

In the holiest room on earth, the Holy of Holies, on top of one of the holiest objects in existence, the holy Ark, stood two figures - the “Keruvim”...

   
 

Parshas Terumah - Holy Sisters: Keeping it Together

Dedicated to five very special and holy sisters who keep it together! The Mishkan, the Tabernacle, was ‘home’ to the Divine Presence during our for...

   
 

Parhsas Terumah - The Nation Builder

In this week's Parsha, T’rumah, Moshe instructs his people to collect building materials to build the Mishkon. The Mishkon was the structure that was...

   
 

A Moral Dilemma to Ask Your Family at the Shabbos Table: “The Generous Philanthropist”

In this week’s Torah portion, the Torah discusses the mitzvah of giving charity “with a  generous heart” (Shmos 25,2) There is also an i...

   
 

Parhsas Terumah - Balance; The Way of the Torah Scholar

When the Satmar Rebbe, zt”l, came to America after World War II,  Rav Shraga Feivel Medelovitz, the Principal of Yeshiva Torah V’Daas invited h...

   
 

Parshas Terumah - Wanted Dead or Alive

In honor of Parashas Terumah, and the Construction of the Mishkan…  Question #1: Getting Rid of those Bugs! “May I trap or kill mosquitoes, ...

   
 

A Moral Dilemma to Ask Your Family at the Shabbos Table: Stealing Customers

In this week’s Torah portion the Torah discusses the prohibition of theft (Shmos 22,3) How would you answer the following true story that deals with a fo...

   
 

Parshas Mishpatim - Let's Be Friends, Make Amends, Now It's Time to Help your Donkey

This coming Sunday, 28 Shevat, marks the yahrtzeit of my wife's grandfather, R' Yitzchak Yeres. The shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmaso, Yitzch...

   
 

Parshas Mishpatim - Access Trumps Ownership

In this week’s Parsha, Mishpatim, the Torah guides us in building the legal infrastructure for the founding of the Jewish State. A significant portion of ...

   
 

Rabbi Shmuel Silber on Parshas Mishpatim - Remembering Your Past in the Midst of Your Present

“And you shall be holy people to Me, and flesh torn in the field you shall not eat; you shall throw it to the dog[s] (Exodus 22:30).” Among the var...

   
 

Parshas Mishpatim - Collective Responsibility

"ועבדתם את ד' אלקיכם וברך את לחמך ואת מימיך והסרתי מחלה מקרבך  - And You shall serve HaShem, your G-d,...

   
 

Parshas Mishpatim - To Walk Behind G-D; When We Give, Our Greatest Gift is Dignity

The print advertisements for Patek Phillippe, a luxury watch brand, often show a father with his son along with the tag line, “You never actually own a Pa...

   
 

Parshas Mishpatim - Emphatically Yes!

In the realm of healthy human interaction one of the most vital traits for survival is compassion. We must be sensitive towards other people’s needs and f...

   
 

Parshas Mishpatim - What's So Bad About Nominal Interest?

In this week's Parshah the Torah teaches us about the prohibition of charging another Jew interest (for a loan). The intricacies of this law encompass a my...

   
 

Sticks and Stones...Insults and How We React To Them

Why can’t we all just get along?  Sometimes, it seems that all we do is engage in bickering and insult, both overt and subtle.  There are those ...

   
 

Parshas Yisro - Emes...Decide & Committ

Yisro was a man who pursued the truth all his life. What does he remark about yetzias mitzrayim? “Now I know that Hashem is greater than all powers.&rdqu...

   
 

Rabbi Moshe Hauer on Parshas Yisro (Audio)

Rabbi Moshe Hauer on Parshas Yisro This audio and others by Rabbi Hauer, as well as hundreds of his articles, can be accessed at the new...

   
 

Parshas Yisro - Listening to Your Messages – and Acting Upon Them

“Va’yeeshma Yisro … es kol asher asah Elokim l’Moshe u’l’Yisrael amo … • And Yisro heard … all that G-d ...

   
 

Parshas Yisro - The Princess And The Pauper

When Hashem offered the Jewish nation the Torah they were ecstatic and declared Na'aseh Venishmah, we will do and we will listen, and were prepared to do w...

   
 

Parshas Yisro - Change is the Only Choice

Klal Yisroel at Har Sinai was given the ultimate ultimatum: either choose to accept the Torah or be crushed under the mountain. The gemara (Shabbos 88a) tells u...

   
 

Parshas Yisro - ‘Shuckle’ Up - It Can Save Your Life!

וירא העם וינעו ויעמדו מרחוק - שמות כ טו, The people saw and trembled and stood from afar. The word used to denote trembling '...

   
 

Parshas Yisro - Shabbos, My Bride

The Slonimer Rebbe, of blessed memory, asked: On Friday night when we sit down to our Shabbos meal the first thing we do is welcome the Angels into our home. ...

   
 

Rabbi Shmuel Silber on Parshas Yisro - Finding My Personal G-D

In memory of Fraida bas R’ Moshe Yosef z’l “Now Moses' father in law, Jethro, the chieftain of Midian, heard all that God had done for M...

   
 

Parshas Yisro - Rejoice; What Meaning From Adversity?

And Yitro rejoiced because of all the goodness which the Lord had done to Israel, whom He had delivered from the hand of the Egyptians.  And Yitro said, Bl...

   
 

Tu B'Shvat 5776 - To Speak for the Trees

I am the Lorax; I speak for the trees … - Dr. Seuss The Lorax The noted children’s author, Dr. Seuss, understood well the importance of trees.&...

   
 

Parshas Yisro - Make our Mitzvos Count!!

The opening words of Rashi’s commentary on the Torah quote the following Midrash: Rabbi Yitzchak said, “There seems no need to begin the Torah befor...

   
 

Parshas B'Shalach - Kvetch like a Mench

...And Other Important Lessons of Kvetching Billy decides to go buy a new dog. He goes to the neighborhood pet store and asks for the brightest dog they have. ...

   
 

Parshas B'Shalach - Shabbas Shabbos

Mazal tov to my cousins, the Shliachtzibur family of Los Angeles, upon the birth of their daughter, Chaya. Mazal Tov to the parents, the grandparents, the great...

   
 

Parshas B'Shalach - Current Events

At the conclusion of last week's Parshah the Egyptians finally let the Jews leave Egypt. After 10 miraculous plagues, all of the pieces of the pu...

   
 

Parshas B'Shalach - Some Insights Into Birkas Hachodesh

The Talmud [Sanhedrin 42a] emphasizes the importance of reciting a blessing for the new moon:  “Anyone who blesses the new month by blessing the new ...

   
 

Parshas B'Shalach - A Flat Tire Can Ruin Your Day

In the moment prior to Moshe stretching out his hand to bring the waters crashing down upon the pursuing Egyptians, they seem to make a confession and finally s...

   
 

Insights Into Halacha - Snowballs on Shabbos?

Reposted by request: With the memory of last year’s (2014) Yerushalayim Asarah B’Teves / Erev Shabbos[1] “Blizzard”[2] [seemingly the w...

   
 

Rabbi Shmuel Silber on Parshas B'Shalach - A Song for the Ages

SHIRA is not simply a song.  SHIRA is one of the most pure and beautiful expressions of love, devotion, commitment and accomplishment. Henry Giles, an Engl...

   
 

Is it is mitzva to Save a Terrorist in Danger?

Several years ago, a terrorist attempted to kill a Jewish boy in the center of Jerusalem. Thank God, the boy was only slightly wounded. People at the scene chas...

   
 

Parshas B'Shalach - Oh, To Win the Lottery! The Lure, and the Curse, of Sudden Wealth

A dollar and a dream.  You can’t win if you don’t play.  Today, as I stopped to get my morning newspaper, there was a line stretching in...

   
 

Today: Recite Parshas Hamon

Today, Tuesday of Parshas Beshalach, is a special day. Seforim tell us that it is extremely prudent to utilize this day to pray for parnassah, livelihood, for t...

   
 

Parshas Bo - The Difference Between Night and Day

A special Weekly Shtikle mazal tov to my cousins Yona & Libby Seliger on the birth of their new baby girl, Rachel, born this week. Mazal tov to th...

   
 

Parshas Bo - Shovavim Tat

Before discussing Shovavim Tat – what it is and its import – we first need to understand the workings of the Jewish calendar. Could be that you alre...

   
 

Parshas Bo - The Mountain Climber

The first Rashi in the Torah states that the Torah really should have begun with verse 12:2, found in this week’s Parshah. Why? Because it discusses the v...

   
 

Parshas Bo - Upon Our Altars Must We Sacrfice Our Most Precious Gift, Our Children?

We welcome a new child into our homes and we are filled with joy, optimism, love and hope.  We imagine the world we want for our new child.  In our he...

   
 

Parshas Bo - Keeping the Dogs at Bay

Moshe takes one parting shot at Pharaoh, never to see him again, warning him of the impending  Plague of the Firstborn. Moshe first describes how absolute...

   
 

Differentiating between Good and Evil

The sins and mistakes of youths who rebel against their parents and teachers, despise soldiers and yeshiva students, and believe that Eretz Yisrael can be redee...

   
 

Parshas Va'eira - In the Merit of Three Things...

There is a well-known Midrash that states that in the merit of three things the Jewish people merited to be redeemed from Egypt and from their enslavement there...

   
 

Parshas Va'eira - Staying Inspired

After the plague of frogs, beasts and hail, respectively, Pharoah begged Moshe to daven for his salvation in exchange for emancipating the Jewish nation. Moshe ...

   
 

Parshas Va'eira - 'Hail' to the Chief!

The last series of plagues begin their assault with the warning of the impending Barad, Hail. G-d tells Moshe to demand of Pharaoh to send His people, “F...

   
 

Rabbi Shmuel Silber on Parshas Va'eira - Choose Wisely

Over the course of the last two Parshios, Moshe and Aharon have emerged as the men who would lead the Jewish people to freedom.  The Torah records a shorte...

   
 

Parshas Va'eira - Enough!

It is easier to take Jews out of Galus than to take the Galus out of the Jews - Chasidic Master Ever been accused of “being your own worst enemy”?...

   
 

The Contemporary Kosher Bakery and its Halachic Issues

My wife and I are thrilled to announce the engagement of our daughter, Shalva, to Itzik (Avraham Yitzchak) Scarr, son of Dr. Tzvi and Mrs. Cindy Scarr of Har No...

   
 

Parshas Shmos - 3 Month Reprieve

After hiding Moshe for three months, Yocheved is forced to send her away for she can no longer hide him from the Egyptians. Rashi (2:3) writes that Moshe was bo...

   
 

Parshas Shmos - A Blessing In Disguise

[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 Shmos - The New Egypt

The Book of Shmos begins with a new reality for the Jewish People. A reality which introduces on the one hand the prosperity of the Jewish people and their as...

   
 

Parshas Shmos - An Amazing Vort with an Even More Amazing Story

After the Torah (Shmos 1:11-14) writes how Paroh and the Miztrim enslaved the Yidden with hard work and crushing labor, the Torah continues with the edict ...

   
 

Rabbi Shmuel Silber on Parshas Shmos - Waiting for the Perfect Opportunity

The cries of an afflicted nation proved too intense to go unanswered.  God tells Moshe that he will be the Divine emissary to emancipate the enslaved Jewis...

   
 

Parshas Shmos - Enslave to the Mesorah

In Parshas Vayechi we read about Yaakov and his household coming to Egypt in this week’s parsha, we switch focus away from a family and start describing a...

   
 

Parshas Shmos - What Constitutes a "Gadol"?

“ Va’yeegdal ha’yeled va’t’vee’ai’hu l’vas Pharaoh va’y’hee lah l’vain va’teekrah shmo M...

   
 

Insights Into Halacha: Understanding Shnayim Mikra V'Echad Targum

There is a well-known Gemara in Brachos[1] that states: “A person should always complete his [study of the] parsha with the congregation[2] - [by studying...

   
 

Parshas Shmos - Parenting Announcements: Parenting and a Child's Potential

The birth of a child is greeted with great fanfare – as well it should be.  And yet, how strange when we think of our fancy birth announcements to co...

   
 

Parshas Shmos - ‘Why Oh Why?’- The Art of Complaining

The story is told about a husband who brought his wife to a hospital in Israel to deliver her ninth child. All their previous children were daughters. When the ...

   
 

I Know That The Name Of The Parsha Is Shemos, And Not Sheimos, But...

What Do I Do With My Sheimos? Question #1: One of the shul's baalei batim calls the rav with the following concern: "The shul's sheimos collection ...

   
 

Parshas Vayechi - Refraction (Le'iluy Nishmas Rabbi Joseph Schecter, Z'L)

Once again, a Weekly Shtikle mazal tov to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Aharon and Rachelle Yeres on the birth of their son who was named at his bris yes...

   
 

Parshas Vayechi - The Blessing of Focus

In this weeks Parsha, Yaakov blesses his sons by highlighting their strengths and areas to improve. In doing so, Yaakov tells Yissachar that he is likened to a ...

   
 

Parshas Vayechi - Be a Role Model

Yosef was an unusual person. He had the wherewithal to raise a family who although were physically located in Egypt, mentally were brought up as if they were wi...

   
 

Rabbi Shmuel Silber on Parshas Vayechi - Decisions & Direction

And Jacob concluded commanding his sons, and he drew his legs [up] into the bed, and expired and was brought in to his people (Genesis 49:33) With his sons gat...

   
 

Parshas Vayechi - Bli Ayin Hara

“Bain poras Yosef, bain poras ah’lei ayin … • A son of grace is Yosef, a son of grace to the eye …” In this week’s p...

   
 

Parshas Vayechi - On Fire

We are all familiar with the tribes of Yissachar and Levi and their roles, respectively, as the supreme bearers of the yoke of Torah and as the conveyers of its...

   
 

Parshas Vayechi - Today is the Cure for the Disease of Tomorrow

As Yosef brings his sons to Yaakov for a bracha, his father doesn’t “recognize” them and asks, "מי אלה" (Who are these?” - Bereishi...

   
 

Parshas VaYichi - Curses or Blessings? Judging the Yetzer Hara

[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 Vayechi - Each to His Blessing

A student pouts, kept after school for misbehaving in class.  When it is time to finally dismiss the student, the teacher looks up from his desk.  &ld...

   
 

Parshas Vayechi - How To Survive Exile

 Our Sages teach us that there is an intricate correlation between two Parshiyos that are in sequence in the Torah. This also applies to one Sefer of Chuma...

   
 

Parshas Vayigash; Shame – The Arbiter of Truth

Silenced by shame. The brothers couldn’t speak. Yosef had just revealed himself, climaxing a 22-year ordeal initiated by their jealousy and misplaced just...

   
 

The Many Facets Of Asarah B'Teves (Tues, Dec. 22, 2015)

Baltimore, MD 2015 -  Fast of Asara B’Teves: Tues., Dec. 22 Fast Begins: 5:57 AM Fast Ends: 5:33 PM  Although to many the only notable aspect o...

   
 

Parshas Vayigash – Perception is Reality

Yesterday, 5 Teves, was the yahrtzeit of my wife's grandfather, Rabbi Dr Israel Frankel, a"h. This week's shtikle is dedicated le'...

   
 

Rabbi Shmuel Silber on Parshas Vayigash - Learning To Let Go

The mounting tension reached a pinnacle with Yosef’s revelation of his true identity to his brothers.  The much anticipated reunion finally occurs.&n...

   
 

Parshas Vayigash - F.W.S.L. (Frum With Slight Lapses)

With the reuniting of Yosef and his brothers, Yaakov now descends with his entire family to Egypt to begin the historic march towards the Jewish nation’s ...

   
 

Parshas Vayigash - Through the Eyes of a Child

Children exist in an Edentime of innocence, blissfully ignorant of the hardships their parents encounter or the many sacrifices they make or to the many things ...

   
 

Parshas Vayigash - Blaming Other Factors

[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 Vayigash - Motivation

When Yosef finally revealed his true identity to his brothers they were utterly speechless. The Midrash comments on this "woe to us on the day of judgement; woe...

   
 

The Halachic Ramifications of Wills

Special end of Chanukah special—and chance to give Chanukah gelt to my favorite tzedakah. Paypal has a new useful feature that you can use to donate mone...

   
 

Zos Chanuka: Winding Up

[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 ...

   
 

Parshas Mikeitz / Shabbos Chanukah - Binyamin Escapes Unscathed (Spoiler Alert) / The Power of the Many Defeated by the Merits of the Few

Binyamin Escapes Unscathed (Spoiler Alert) Before the search for the missing silver goblet, the brothers blindly declare (44:9) that he with whom the goblet is...

   
 

Parshas Mikeitz / Shabbos Chanukah - Behold – It Was a Dream!

“ … va’yikatz Paraoh v’hee’nei chalom  – Pharaoh woke up and behold – it was a dream!” [Genesis 41:8] Pha...

   
 

Parshas Mikeitz/Shabbos Chanukah - The Message of the Arch

 לעילוי נשמת ר' יעקב שלמה בן אפרים וויינבערג ז"ל This week is dedicated in honor of the Bar Mitzvah of Yossi Per...

   
 

Rabbi Shmuel Silber: Chanukah 5776

It is a question that arises but once a year – what the proper order and priority on Motzai Shabbos Chanukah?  Should we make Havdalah or kindle the ...

   
 

Parshas Mikeitz / Shabbos Chanukah - Anonymous

אתה תהיה על ביתי ועל פיך ישק כל עמי רק הכסא אגדל ממך. You shall be in charge of my palace and by your command shall al...

   
 

Parshas Mikeitz / Shabbos Chanukah - Turning On G-d’s Light

Our function in this world is to activate G-d’s light. G-d said: “Light the Menorah and the world will see that it is not I that illuminate the wor...

   
 

Chanukah 5776 - Don't Squander Another Opportunity

Channukah is multi-dimensional. It means different things in different periods of our history. The pesukim in the beginning of Bereishis talk about tohu, vohu,...

   
 

Chanukah Miracles - The Little Dreidel

Nes Gadol Haya Sham (outside Israel) A great miracle happened t/here! Step into my library and you see countless reminders that miracles surround us, here, th...

   
 

Parshas Mikeitz/Shabbos Chanukah - Good Spirits

One of the earliest discoveries of an allusion in the Torah to the holiday of Chanukah is recorded by the 16th century Italian scholar, Rav Yehoshua Boaz in his...

   
 

Parshas Mikeitz/Shabbos Chanukah - Presents From Hashem

When the cupbearer presented Yosef to Pharaoh, he tried to denigrate him by describing him as a young lad, a Hebrew (a foreigner), and a slave. Regardless, ...

   
 

Chanukah 5776 - Redemption, The Ultimate Miracle: A Dreidel Story

My dreidels delight me.  They delight me because of their colors and shapes; they delight me because of all that they represent and they delight me becaus...

   
 

Parshas VaYaishev - Apropos for Daf Yomi

When Tamar sends to Yehudah to inform him that she is pregnant from him, the pasuk states (38:25) "And she sent to her father-in-law saying by the man to whom t...

   
 

Parshas VaYaishev - The Multi Colored Coat

This week’s Torah portion describes the envy between Joseph and his brothers, “Sinat Chinam”, and to what extent that envy can damage even ...

   
 

Parshas VaYaishev - A Little Oil Goes a Long Way

Theנרות  of Chanukah remind us once again of the miracle HaShem made in the Beis HaMikdash by allowing the flames of the Menorah to burn for eight days...

   
 

Parshas VaYaishev - An Attitude of Gratitude

“Va’yishma Reuven va’ya’tzee’lai’hu me’ya’dam..  – And Reuven heard and rescued [Yosef] from their ha...