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Parshas Bo - Coming or Going?

In the beginning of the Parsha, Hashem tells Moshe to ‘Come to Paroh…..’ Why does it say COME to Paroh? Shouldn’t it say GO to Paroh? ...

   
 

Parshas Bo - Renewal

The first mitzvah that the Jewish people were given in Egypt was Kiddush HaChodesh, the commandment to designate each new month of the lunar cycle.  Why w...

   
 

Parshas Bo - No See, No Problem

 לכבוד שבת      ואת בכורינו הציל (Yes, I know, not a precise quote) This week's shtikle is dedicated bizc...

   
 

Parshas Bo - You Go First!

G-d said, “…And also I heard the cries of the Children of Israel as they are slaves in Egypt; and I will remember My covenant.” G-d also hea...

   
 

Parshas Bo - Aderes HaTorah

In this week's Parsha, as the Makkos are coming to an end, the Egyptians are stricken with the plague of  Choshech- intense darkness.  Durin...

   
 

Parshas Bo - Knock Out!

This week the Torah directs us how to educate and respond to the “children” who in future generations will ponder the historical events of the exodu...

   
 

Parshas Bo -Time and Meaning Each Second, Each Moment

The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.              &nbs...

   
 

Parshas Bo - Watch Eli Scheller's One Minute on the Parsha

Parshas Bo - The difference between FALLING and FAILING ...

   
 

Insights Into Halacha: Kedushas Sheviis Produce: Shemitta Basics Part II

One of the most imperative aspects of observing Shemitta concerns the proper treatment of produce that has Kedushas Sheviis, Shemitta sanctity. Not a simple tas...

   
 

Who Is The True Redeemer? Discussin the Mitzvah Of Pidyon Haben

Question #1: Deadbeat dad Mrs. Gerusha* calls me with the following question: “I am a divorced baalas teshuvah with two young children, a son and a daug...

   
 

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&r...

   
 

Parshas Va'Aira - Hail to the Chief

In the plague of barad, hail, HaShem brought down hail accompanied by kolos, thunder. The hail also seemed to include rain. However, points out Minchas Yitzchak...

   
 

Welcome Rabbi Eli Scheller to Baltimore and BJL - Watch: Parshas Va'Aira - The Definition Of Greatness Is... (Short Video)

Baltimore, MD - Jan. 16 - BJL Welcomes Rabbi Eli Scheller to Baltimore  - Take 1:22 (that's a minute twenty two seconds)  to watch his vort. Abo...

   
 

Parshas Va'Aira: Connecting to G-D ' Middah K'negged Middah

“Y’hee chas’d’cha Hashem aleinu, ka’asher yee’chalnu lach • May Your kindness, Hashem, be upon us, just as we have year...

   
 

Parshas Va'Aira - The Sweet Taste of Charoses

קול ישראל R’ Akiva Weinberg לעילוי נשמת ר' יעקב שלמה בן אפרים וויינבערג ז"ל לעילוי נשמת ר...

   
 

Parshas Va'Aira - Wise Guys

Among the cast of characters in the story of the exodus from Egypt the Chartumim, those ancient Egyptian sorcerers seem to go through a rapid transformation. A...

   
 

Parshas Va'Aira - 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'Aira - Aderes HaTorah

In last week's Parsha, Moshe went to Pharaoh telling him to let the Jewish Nation go. Not only did Paraoh refuse, he increased the Jews'...

   
 

Parshas Va'Aira - A Man Without A Name

In Australia I ran a beginners minyan. One Shabbos morning an older man came in. He wasn’t the usual type of attendee, he stood out. He was an old-timer, ...

   
 

Parshas Vaera - A New Parsha

Parshas Shemos ends on a seemingly dark note. Moshe, in his mission to end the servitude of Bnei Yisroel under Pharaoh, fails. In fact the servitude gets even...

   
 

Parshas Va'Aira - Greatness from Within

Parshas Va’eira begins with a curious conversation between HaShem and Moshe. HaShem reassures Moshe that the redemption is at hand, but Moshe questions hi...

   
 

Parshas Va'Aira - Passionate Prayer

This week's parsha begins with Hashem reiterating to Moshe that He "remembers" the covenant that He made with our forefathers and will now redeem the Jews....

   
 

What Was Being Served for Haftarah for Parshas Sehmos?

 BJL apologizes for not sending this out last week.... Question #1: What Haftarah does Klal Yisrael read on Shabbos Parshas Shemos?  Question #2: Wh...

   
 

Parshas Shemos - Giving Life

At this beginning of this week's parsha, Shifrah and Puah are faced with the daunting challenge of defying Paroah's orders to kill all firstborn males...

   
 

Parshas Shemos: Moshe - A Leader?

Moshe was eighty years old when he stumbled upon the burning bush. He was a senior shepherd entering into the final trimester of his life. He was a poor man. Th...

   
 

Parshas Shemos - A Blessing In Disguise

There is an enigmatic Gemara in Sotah concerning a Pasuk in this week’s Parsha. The Pasuk says  .ותתצב אחתו מרחק לדעה מה יעשה...

   
 

Parshas Shemos - Life's Distractions

This weeks dvar torah is dedicated לעלוי נשמת my great grandmother Etya Feiga bas R' Mordechai ע״ה.  Life's Distractions The Jews w...

   
 

Parshas Shemos - A Sign of the Times

On the night of Pesach we retell how G-d brought us out of Egypt with a ‘strong hand’ and an ‘outstretched arm’ and with ‘great te...

   
 

Parshas Shemos - 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 Shemos - The Redemptive Power of Brotherly Love

“Va‘teeftach va’teer’ayhoo es ha’yeled v’hee’nay na’ar bocheh va’tach’mole ah’lav … &bu...

   
 

Parshas Shemos - How's Your Yiras Shamayim

A new king emerged in Egypt who did not know of Yosef. Yosef's contribution to Egypt was enormous. He developed the country into the dominant empire in the...

   
 

Parshas Shemos

This week's parsha speaks about the miraculous story of how Moshe Rabeinu came into this world and how he developed and matured to become the savior of the...

   
 

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 - [by studying] sh...

   
 

Parshas Shemos - Derech Eretz Kadma L'torah -To Be A Mensch

When I was growing up, a friend whose parents were not home when school let out often came to my home after school.  We enjoyed our afternoons together; we...

   
 

Parshas VaYichi: Keeping Your Word - Le'iluy Nishmas Rabbi Joseph Schecter, z'l, Whose Yahrzeit is 12 Teves

A special Mazal Tov to my nephew, Dovid Nisson Shonek on his upcoming marriage to Tova Lidsky of Passaic and to my cousin Nechama Tzirel Jakobovits of Lakewood ...

   
 

Parshas VaYichi - Seeds in Winter

This is the time of year when the seed catalogues begin arriving in the mail. I am an avid vegetable gardener, and a get a large part of my seeds through mail-o...

   
 

Parshas VaYichi - 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 so...

   
 

Parshas VaYichi - Aderes HaTorah

Sefer Bereishis is now drawing to a close. In this week's parsha, the final installment in the saga of the lives of the Avos and the Shevatim, Yaaov Avinu ...

   
 

Parshas VaYichi - To Smile is Divine

As Yaakov is about to bless Yosef’s children he contemplates the irony of the moment by exclaiming, “I dared not accept the thought that I would see...

   
 

Parshas VaYichi - Diamonds

In this week's parshah, Yaakov blesses Ephraim and Menashe saying that for all future generations, Jews will bless their sons that they should be just like...

   
 

Parshas VaYichi - Unique Blessing Each Student, Each Person

The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all its grace is as the flower of the field; The grass withers, the flower fades; wh...

   
 

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...

   
 

Insights Into Halacha: The Many Facets of Asarah B'Teves

Baltimore: Asara B'Teves - Fast Begins Jan. 1, 2015 -  6:00 AM Fast Ends: 42-5:37 PM / 50 - 5:45 PM / 72 - 6:07 PM Although to many the only notable ...

   
 

What Is An Otzar Beis Din, And Is It Good For The Jews?

Well, what do the words “Otzar Beis Din” mean? And, as an old friend of mine would ask, “Is an Otzar Beis Din good for the Jews or bad for the...

   
 

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 - Journey to Gan Eden

Concerned that Yaakov might be dangerously startled by the news of Yosef being alive the brothers approach their young niece Serach, the daughter of Asher, to b...

   
 

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...

   
 

Parshas VaYigash - Aderes HaTorah

This week's Parsha relates how Yosef Hatzadik wanted to incarcerate Binyomin for his "theft" of the goblet, telling his brothers that Binyomin shall remain...

   
 

Parshas VaYigash - Who Was That Masked Man?

A special Mazal Tov to noted Weekly Shtikle reader, critic and contributor David Farkas and his wife Sara on the birth of their son, Chanan Nachman. I...

   
 

Parshas VaYigash - Things Never Said

A young boy runs his fingers over the leather spine of the story book he receives as a Hanukkah gift.  He loves the feel of the beautiful lettering playing...

   
 

Parshas VaYigash - It's Never Too Late

״ויאמר יוסף אל אחיו ׳אני יוסף.העוד אבי חי? ולא יכלו אחיו לענות אתו כי נבהלו מפניו״ "And Yosef ...

   
 

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 m...

   
 

Olive Oil Concerns

The beginning of this week's parsha discusses the kindling of menorah with pure olive oil. In the days of Tanach and Chazal, olives and olive oil had many ...

   
 

Parshas Mikeitz/Shabbos Chanukah 5775 - Voluntary Thanks!

As part of the Hallel we recite all eight days of Chanukah, we include the following pesukim from Tehillim (116) "Ana HaShem ki ani avdecha. Ani avd'cha be...

   
 

Chanukah TOMO Shmuess 5775

Chanukahh Shmuess 5775 As we enter Chanukah, we need to review what the Rambam tells the story of Chanukah and describes who the Greeks were. Mishneh Torah is ...

   
 

Parshas Mikeitz/Shabbos Chanukah 5775 - What Side Are We On?

The Chanukah story took place 2190 years ago in the year 176 BCE. At that time the Jews lived in Israel in relative peace. Yet, while we were living a tradition...

   
 

Parshas Mikeitz/Shabbos Chanukah 5775 - What Yaakov 'Saw' in Mitzraim

“Va’yar Yaakov ki yesh shever b’Mitzraim… • Jacob saw that there were provisions in Egypt…” Genesis 42:1 The followi...

   
 

Parshas Mikeitz/Shabbos Chanukah 5775 - Aderes HaTorah

In this week's parsha, Yosef's men found that Binyamin had "stolen" his goblet. To steal the viceroy's goblet was an extremely serious&...

   
 

Parshas Mikeitz/Shabbos Chanukah 5775 - Hail to the Women! It's Not Just About Latkes!

 There is a fascinating custom that calls for women to refrain from work activity while the Menorah remains lit, or at least for the initial half hour. Thi...

   
 

Chanukah 5775:- The Wisdom of the Dreidle - Comfort in an Impossible World (Photo Essay)

Can a simple top, a delightful toy for children, really speak to me in the aftermath of tragedy? In the aftermath of a Har Nof?  Although some might sugge...

   
 

May Oil of Shmittah Be Used for Ner Chanukah?

The kedusha of peiros shvi’is is mechayev many different halachos pertaining to the way the peiros are to be consumed and treated. For example, the Gemara...

   
 

Insights Into Halacha: The Chanuka Candle / Havdalah Hullabaloo

Chanuka, O Chanuka… Just thinking about the upcoming holiday of Chanuka should be enough to warm the cockles of anyone’s heart. With Menorah light...

   
 

Parshas Mikeitz/Shabbos Chanukah 5775 - Defining Moments

In this week's parsha the שר המשקים, Chamberlain of the Cupbearers, finally remembered Yosef and mentioned him to פרעה, recommending that he re...

   
 

Chanukah 5775 -The Successful Jew

The story of Chanukah teaches us that our mission as a nation is not merely to survive. Our mission is to flourish. Even in our darkest hours, we are forever fo...

   
 

Parshas Miketz - Guest Post by Dr. Michael Samet

In Parshas Vayeishev, the Pasuk tells us that as Yoseif approaches the brothers in Dosan, the brothers conspire to kill Yoseif.  Reuven objects a...

   
 

Parsha Vayeshev - A Cover Up

After throwing Yoseif into the pit, the brothers had clearly paid no attention to Reuvein’s previous demand and were still contemplating killing Yoseif. F...

   
 

Parsha Vayeshev - The Struggle for Peace and Tranquility

 Jacob dwelt in the land of his father's sojournings, in the land of Canaan (Genesis 37:1).  Yaakov had one simple desire, “Bikeysh Yaakov...

   
 

The Heroism of Tamar (Vayeshev, Covenant & Conversation 5775 on Ethics)

This is a true story that took place in the 1970s. Rabbi Dr Nahum Rabinovitch, then Principal of Jews College, the rabbinic training seminary in London where ...

   
 

Parsha Vayeshev - Chanukah 5774: Preparing For Chanukah

[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 VaYshev - Attachment Parenting

Yosef Hatzaddik was a teenager with most of the Jewish world out to get him. He stayed strong. The wife of his boss Potiphar tried to seduce him but he would no...

   
 

Parshas VaYshev - Being Grateful ' Even for the 'Small' Things

 “Va’yishma Reuven va’yatzilainu mi’yadam. … • And Reuven heard, and he rescued him from their hand …” Gen...

   
 

Parshas VaYshev - 'Biz a Toizent und Tzvei Hundred!' Friends Forever!

After the tortuous events that lead up to the selling of Yosef down to Egypt, and the awareness of  the resulting intense pain and grief their father Yaako...

   
 

Parshas VaYshev - Aderes HaTorah

In this week's Parsha, Yosef Hatzadik finds himself in the house of Potiphar. He is faced with the tremendous temptation of being seduced by Potiphar'...

   
 

Chanukah 5775 - Getting Our Hearts Back In It

Chanukah – Getting Our Hearts Back In It based on a shiur by HaRav Yitzchak Sorotzkin, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva Telz and Mesivta of Lakewood The commentator ...

   
 

Torah or Menorah?

To learn or not to learn? That is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind of halacha to light the Chanukah licht at home thus leaving seder early...

   
 

Celebrity? Stardom? Glory

“In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”              &...

   
 

Parshas VaYashev - This Too Is For My Best

In this week's parsha, Yosef's brothers sell him as a slave to a caravan of Arabs headed to Egypt. The Torah tells us that the wagon that the Arabs we...

   
 

Parshas VaYishlach - The Two Sides of Eisav

Before his confrontation with Eisav, Yaakov prays to HaShem (32:12) to save him miyad achi, miyad Eisav, from my brother, from Eisav. Ohr HaChayim addresses the...

   
 

Parshas VaYishlach - Introspective Identity

It was an inevitable reality.  Yaakov knew the day would come when he would have to face his brother, Esav.  Would Esav be seething with anger or had ...

   
 

Parshas Vayishlach - The Seven Headed Snake

The Pasuk tells us that Yaakov bowed down seven times, and then Eisav ran forward and hugged and kissed Yaakov. Rav Shimon Bar Yochai’s opinion is that ...

   
 

Parshas VaYishlach - Aderes HaTorah

This week's Parsha chronicles the members of Eisav's family and the hierarchy of his empire. Those that are of greater importance are called the "Aluf...

   
 

Parshas VaYishlach - A Large Dose of Humility...

“[Va’yomer Yaakov] … katonti mikol ha’chasidim u’mikol ha’emes asher ah’seesah es av’dehcha…  &bull...

   
 

Parhsas VaYishlach - Momma

In the midst of an action packed Parshah; the wrestling match with an angel, the tense-filled moments as Yaakov finally meets up with Esav, the tragic abduction...

   
 

Parhsas VaYishlach - Limiting is Liberating

This week’s Torah portion includes the famous reunion of Yaakov and Esav, brothers at polar opposites of the spiritual spectrum meeting for the first time...

   
 

Insights Into Halacha: The Gid HaNasheh Incongruity

In this week’s parsha, Parshas Vayishlach, after Yaakov Avinu’s epic battle with Eisav’s guardian angel[1], where he got injured in his hip-so...

   
 

'I Have Lived with Laban' Our Galut in the Secular World

The Har Nof slaughter is just the latest atrocity in a history of atrocities perpetrated against Jews.  The wickedness pressing in around us feels relentle...

   
 

Parhsas VaYishlach - HaShem Runs the World

In this week's פרשה, Yaakov learns that עשו and a small army are on their way to attempt to kill him. The pasuk says that "Yaakov feared greatly". T...

   
 

The Halacha and History of the Gid Hanosheh

“And Yaakov was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man realized that he was unable to defeat Yaakov, he struck the “ka...

   
 

Parshas VaYaitzay - Living, Learning, Accepting

It was the dawn of a new age.  The era of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs paved the way for Twelve Tribes and the beginnings of the Nation of Israel.  T...

   
 

Parshas VaYaitzay - Don't Give Up!

One of the most painful dialogues portrayed in the Torah is the conversation that takes place between the beloved but barren wife, Rachel and her husband Yaakov...

   
 

Love Is Not Enough (Vayetse, Covenant & Conversation on Ethics 5775)

Judaism is supremely a religion of love: three loves. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might....

   
 

Parshas Vayaitzei - The Perfect Picture

The beginning of this week's Parsha speaks of Yaakov leaving the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever after 14 years of intense learning. It is now that he has the fam...

   
 

Parshas VaYaitzay - Twelve to One

[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...

   
 

Halachically Speaking - Thanksgiving and Eating Turkey

 Much has been discussed over the years regarding Thanksgiving dinner. We will discuss whether such a party is allowed, and if turkey may be served. The un...

   
 

Parshas VaYeitzei - Aderes HaTorah

In this week's Parsha, Yaakov Avinu and his family are all in transit towards Eretz Yisroel. Yaakov turned back alone and it was at that vulnerable moment ...

   
 

Failure is Our Only Option; Success is Built on a Foundation of Failed Attempts

Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly. - John F. Kennedy “ Look the day is still long, it is not yet time to bring the livestock in; wate...

   
 

Parshas VaYeitzei - I Can Do Anything

I Can Do Anything  In פרק כט׳ פסוק ב׳-ט׳, we are told that when Yaakov was journeying to Lavan's house, he stopped by a well. The well ...

   
 

Insights Into Halacha: Thanksgiving: Harmless Holiday or Chukos HaGoyim?

One of the interesting aspects of being American and living in the ‘Medinashel Chessed’ is dealing with secular holidays. A day off from work, more ...

   
 

Is it Time for Maariv?

Question #1: Why do we daven maariv on Friday evenings in the summer well before sunset, yet the rest of the week and in the winter we daven mincha immediately...