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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...

   
 

Parshas Matos - Corageous Soldiers

Israel is again at war against Amalek. I dedicate this week’s divrei Torah to our holy soldiers of Tzahal, from privates to major generals, from regular a...

   
 

Parshas Matos - Aderes HaTorah

The end of this week's Parsha speaks about the Arei Miklat that were established in Eretz Yisroel and Ever L'Yarden. Moshe Rebbeinu, who was not Zoche...

   
 

Parshas Matos - The Final Battle

Moshe Rabbeinu is told that he is to take vengeance against the Midianite nation. The Midianites had just successfully carried out a devious plan seducing 24,00...

   
 

Parshas Pinchas- Bad Neighbours

This Shabbos is the Yahrzeit of R' Yaakov Yitzchack Ruderman, zt"l, the first Rosh HaYeshivah of Yeshivas Ner Yisroel.  This Sunday is the ...

   
 

Parshas Pinchas - Peace on Israel

“Lachain eh’mor hee’nehnee nosain lo es bree’see shalom • Therefore say [to Pinchas]: Behold! I am giving him My convenant of Peace...

   
 

Parshas Pinchus - Conquering Trauma

One of the greatest tragedies to occur to the burgeoning nation, in their journey towards the promised land, is only hinted at in this week’s portion. &n...

   
 

Parshas Pinchus - Aderes HaTorah

In this week's Parsha,we are told of the brave and heroic act of Pinchos in killing Zimri and Kuzbi.  Pinchus is rewarded with Kehunah for his act of ...

   
 

Parshas Pinchas - Video: A Leopard Can't Change Its Spots

 A Leopard Can't Change Its Spots ...

   
 

Parshas Pinchus - Ka'naaut Zealotry and the Argument Against the Extreme

We live in an age of extremism.  Whether in “personal expression”, politics, art, music or religion, we seem to be overrun by people who live ...

   
 

Parshas Pinchas - The Voice Inside

“Pinchas, the son of Elazar, the son of Aharon HaKohain, appeased My anger against the Bnai Yisroel by taking My revenge amidst them, and so I didn’...

   
 

Hamakom Yinachem Eschem b'Soch Sha'ar Avelei Tzion v'Yerushalayim

[R' Shay Schachter was sent by his shul [the White Shul in Far Rockaway] to be menachem avel the Shaer, Frenkel and Yifrach families.] "I honesty do not k...

   
 

Parshas Balak - Le'iluy Nishmos Eyal Ben Uriel Yifrach, Yaakov Naftali Ben Avraham Frenkel And Gil-ad Michael Ben Ofir Shaar, H'yd

Following the unfortunate discoveries in Eretz Yisrael this week, it is only appropriate this week's shtikle be dedicated le'iluy nishmos Eyal ben Uri...

   
 

Parshas Balak - Behold A People

Dedicated in Memory of  Eyal Gil-ad & Naftali, H'yd Bilaam was the most successful gentile, of that generation and possibly in history. He was t...

   
 

Parshas Balak - How to Achieve Ahavas Yisrael

“Vayar Balak ben Tzipor ais kol asher asah Yisrael la’Emori • Balak the son Tzipor saw all that Israel has done to the Amorites” [Numbers...

   
 

Parshas Balak - REVENGE!

REVENGE! Once again we face a cowardly enemy who ruthlessly extinguished three brilliant lights. We are a resilient people. No matter how hard they try to def...

   
 

Parshas Balak - Parsha Pearls - Easy Come, Easy Go

And Hashem came to Bilam…” (22:9) Chazal say that Hashem gave prophecy to Bilam in order that the nations should not be able to say that had they ...

   
 

Parshas Balak - Aderes HaTorah

This week's Parsha records the incident of Bilam with his donkey, on his way to curse the Jewish People. The donkey has strayed from its normal path and ve...

   
 

Parshas Balak - Longing for Light; The Jewish Year and the Spiritual Quest

As we enjoy the light of the summer sun, basking in its delightful warmth, it is possible to ask, “Have we gotten our calendar all wrong?  Are our lo...

   
 

Parshas Balak - Through the Eyes of History (Video)

“Pinchas, the son of Elazar, the son of Aharon HaKohain, appeased My anger against the Bnai Yisroel by taking My revenge amidst them, and so I didn’...

   
 

Parshas Chukas - Just Do It!

Parshas Chukas begins with the laws of Parah Adumah, the Red Heifer, which was used to purify those who became impure by means of coming in contact with a dead ...

   
 

Parshas Chukas - A Special Message for Edom

This week's parsha contains two episodes which are very similar and yet, at the same time, drastically different. After traversing mostly uninhabited desse...

   
 

Parshas Chukas - Knowing and Not Knowing

A little less than two weeks ago, our youngest daughter, her husband and their one-and-a-half year old daughter were traveling back from Cincinnati, Ohio after ...

   
 

Parshas Chukas - The Red Heifer

This week’s parsha discusses the mysterious law of “parah adumah”, the red heifer, which is used for purification, but contaminates those who ...

   
 

Parshas Chukas - Rebuke, The Right Way

[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 me...

   
 

Parshas Chukas - Counter-Terrorism

Each Shabbos we recite Psalm 134 that describes G-d’s continuing role in supervising and guiding history. It was He Who smote many nations and slew kings...

   
 

Parshas Chukas: Parsha Pearls - We're Only 'Visitors' in This World

“This is the chok of the Torah…and they shall take to you a Para Aduma (Red Cow)…19:2) The mitzva of Para Aduma is classified as a chok, me...

   
 

Parshas Chukas: To Sing a New Song...Our Children and Students

When my children were small, they all attended school where I was the principal.  As you can imagine, while I cared about all my students, I took delight i...

   
 

The Right Type of Help - Review of Bishul Akum

Since one of the sources for the prohibition of bishul akum is in parsha Chukas, this presents an ideal time to review these laws. Household help Shirley* ask...

   
 

Parshas Korach - The Power of Prayer

“Va’yichar l’Moshe m’ode vayomer el Hashem al taifen el minchasam … • And Moshe was greatly distressed and he said to Hashem...

   
 

Parshas Korach - United We Stand!

[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 me...

   
 

Parshas Korach - What Goes Around Comes Around

There are some obvious connections between the parsha and the haftarah we read from (beginning at Shmuel I 11:14). As indicated in Divrei HaYamim, Shmuel was a ...

   
 

Parshas Korach - Parsha Pearls ' Warning, Machlokes!

“…And he shall not be like Korach and his followers” (17:5)             Chazal derive...

   
 

Parshas Korach - Seek and You Will Find

In the midst of World War II, the great Hungarian sage, spiritual leader and martyr, Harav Yehoshua Bucksbaum of Galanta wrote a powerful message of encourageme...

   
 

Parshas Shelach: There's Spying, And Then There's Spying. (Lzacher Nishmas HaRav Ephraim Eisenberg, zt'l)

Tomorrow, 16 Sivan, is the Yahrtzeit of R' Ephraim Eisenberg, zt"l of Ner Yisroel. The shtikle is dedicated l'iluy nishmaso, Ephraim Zalman ben C...

   
 

Parshas Shelach: The Book of Numbers

The fourth installment of Chumash is entitled Sefer Bamidbar. Literally translated, this means the Book of (Being) In the Wilderness – because it tells of...

   
 

Parshas Shelach - Off the Derech?

One of the greatest tragedies of our times is when every once in a while a young man or women makes a decision to walk away from generations of tradition, from ...

   
 

Parshas Shelach - Aderes HaTorah

At the end of this week's Parsha, the Torah tells a story that involved a person who desecrated the Shabbos and how Hashem told Moshe that he should be sto...

   
 

Parshas Shelach - Parsha Pearls: Kavod (Honor) - Friend and Foe

“Send forth men to spy out the land…And Moshe sent men who were the leaders of the tribes of the Jewish nation (13:2-3). Each of the twelve spies ...

   
 

Parshas Shelach - Very, Very Land (From Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh)

Anyone visiting our holy land will immediately discover a land of extremes. Extremely hot, extremely cold. Extremely religious, extremely secular. Extremely pas...

   
 

Parshas Shelach - Given Eyes to See...Seeing is Not Always Believing

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. They say that you cannot tell a book by its cover.  True, but more damning is ...

   
 

Parshas Shelach - The Power of the Spoken Word (Video)

“Send forth men, if you please, and let them spy out the land of Canaan that I give to the Children of Israel” — Bamidbar 13:2 Timeline of th...

   
 

Parshas Shelach: What Makes Good People Turn Bad?

Baltimore, MD - June 11 - Learning the parsha with Rashi today I was struck by two comments of Rashi. At the beginning he asks why the story of the Meraglim - s...

   
 

Separating Challah when the Owner is not Observant

This week’s article is dedicated in celebration of the birth of Avigayil Tova By her grandparents, Dr. Esther and Dr. Bob Libman Clara and Murray Shore...

   
 

Parshas B'Ha'alos'cha - Good Advice

On the 20th day of the month of Iyar in the second year since the exodus from Egypt, the Jewish nation was poised to enter the Land of Israel within just three ...

   
 

Parshas B'Ha'alos'cha - The Greatness of Every Jew

We are commanded to remember the episode with Miriam that appears at the end of this week's parsha. Part of this remembrance is being careful not to speak ...

   
 

Parshas B'Ha'alos'cha - Aderes HaTorah

In the beginning of this weeks Parsha, the Pasuk describes the building of the Menorah. The passuk says "And the Menorah should be hammered out of one solid pie...

   
 

Parshas B'Ha'alos'cha - Bring It Out!

This week's parasha, Behaalot'cha, contains an interesting anomaly. At the conclusion of chapter 10, we find the verse which is said every t...

   
 

Parshas B'Ha'alos'cha - Never Changing

[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 me...

   
 

Parshas B'ha'alos'cha - The Weekly WOW! ...Can we really connect?

I had a fascinating conversation with a few students over Shavuos. We discussed what people nowadays are really looking for. The phrase “connection”...

   
 

Parshas B'ha'alos'cha - Leaders: A Jewish Definition

A Jewish leader is the man or woman that has demonstrated that he can take the heat, even a beating, on behalf of the Jewish people. My son Yosef Moshe is name...

   
 

Parshas B'ha'alos'cha - Parsha Pearls: Weekly Insights for Personal Growth

 “And the leaders (nesi’im) of the tribes of Yisrael brought their sacrifices and offerings to the Mishkan…The first day Nachshon ben Am...

   
 

Shavuous & Yitzchak Avinu

[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 me...

   
 

Shavuos 5774: Seven-Fold

I recently happened upon a very interesting, simple point regarding Shavuos which can really change one's entire perspective on the chag. The mishnah (Chul...

   
 

Shavuos 5774: The Numbers Game

Because this article explains some basics of how Torah is taught by Chazal, I think it is appropriate to the week of Shavuos. Question #1: Pie r squared Yanki...

   
 

Hilchos Uminhagei Shavuos

The following is meant as a convenient review of Halachos pertaining to Shavuos. The Piskei Din for the most part are based purely on the Sugyos, Shulchan Aruch...

   
 

Shavuos 5774 - Making Shavuos More Meaningful

Shavuos commemorates the giving of the Torah, one of the most monumental events in Jewish history. Sefer Ha’chinuch (Mitzva 306) writes that accepting and...

   
 

Parshas Naso - Keeping the Peace

There are a number of interesting correlations between this week's parsha and this week's haftarah. The obvious connection is that the haftara speaks ...

   
 

Parshas Naso - Raise 'Em Up!

The name of this week's parasha is Naso (נשא) which in English means "raise up." :נשא את־ראש בני גרשון גם־הם לבית אבתם ל...

   
 

Parshas Naso - Understanding Birchas Kohanim & Practicing What We Preach

[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 liv...

   
 

Parshas Naso - Aderes HaTorah

In this week's parsha, we learn about the mitzvah of birchas kohanim. Unlike most other mitzvos, whose bracha includes the words "asher kidishanu b'mi...

   
 

Switching Sefirahs?

Your neighbor is planning on making a wedding on Rosh Chodesh Sivan, while a colleague did so the day after Lag B’Omer (not that he could have done it the...

   
 

Parshas Naso -The Weekly WOW! ...Night Vision

We all live with a set of values. I'd like to define the term using a parable: Night goggles allow you to see in the dark because instead of sensing light,...

   
 

Parshas Naso - When You Least Expect It

Life is full of surprises, sometimes for the better but often times for the worse. It can throw us for a loop and shake up all of our assumptions. Our challenge...

   
 

Parshas Naso - Parsha Pearls - Feelings Are Fragile, Handle With Care

 “And the leaders (nesi’im) of the tribes of Yisrael brought their sacrifices and offerings to the Mishkan…The first day Nachshon ben Am...

   
 

Shavuos 5774 - 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 Naso - The Nazir; Turning Away or Turning Toward Man's Desire for Meaning

“I just want it to mean something…” Meaning is a central, though often elusive, goal.  Whether the “it” is a particular tas...

   
 

Which Mitzvah Should we Drop?

There are sources that mention that one should study or at least review the 613 mitzvos on Shavuos. In advance of the holiday’s arrival, let us study: Whi...

   
 

Parshas Bamidbar - Big Things Start Small

[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 Bamidbar - Loving Rebuke

“V’ eileh toldos Aharon u’Moshe b’yom deebair Hashem es Moshe b’Har Sinai. V’ eileh shemos b’nai Aharon… •...

   
 

Parshas Bamidbar - With us in Spirit

Today is the yahrtzeit of my great aunt, Lady Amélie Jakobovits, a"h. The shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmasah,Mayla bas Eliyahu.This coming Sunda...

   
 

Parshas Bamidbar - The Desert - A Blank Canvas

When important meetings, conventions or summits take place location is of the utmost importance. The greatest political minds come together to choose Oslo or Ge...

   
 

Parshas Bamidbar - Aderes HaTorah

This week we begin the Sefer Bamidbar which is otherwise known as  "Sefer HaPikudim"-the book of Accounting.  Rashi tells us that the reason for ...

   
 

Finding Our Way; The Lessons of Bamidbar

…you can’t tell the players without a program... - anonymous ballpark vendor Everyone needs guidance.  No one would want a surgeon to perfo...

   
 

Parshas BeChukosai - Engraved Forever

לעילוי נשמת גיטכא בת אליעזר שהלכה לעולמה בי' אייר, תשע"ד This week's Shabbat Thought is dedicated to the ...

   
 

Parshas BeChukosai - True Peace

In the beginning of the parsha, we are promised that if we follow HaShem's laws, we will receive great reward. Among those promised is the great blessing o...

   
 

Parshas BeChukosai - I Will Not Detest You

“V’na’sa’tee meesh’kanee b’so’che’chem v’lo seeg’al naf’shee es’chem – I will plac...

   
 

Parshas BeChukosai - Just One Droplet

Rabbi Akiva was forty years old and decided he wanted to study Torah. Thus far his life revolved around caring for the physical needs of the world. Like our for...

   
 

Parshas BeChukosai - Aderes HaTorah

This week's Parsha begins with Hashem saying, " Im B'chukosei Teileichu- if you follow my laws". Rashi tells us that this is referring&...

   
 

Parshas BeChukosai - Face It!

Do you ever have that feeling that you are being ignored? We try so hard to proverbially “gain G-d’s attention” in having our wishes, hopes a...

   
 

Parshas BeChukosai - Parsha Pearls: The Curse of Behala ' Impatience

“If you will not listen to me…I will send behala − a panic − upon you… (26:14, 16)    Chazal (Toras Kohanim, cited br...

   
 

Today is Pesach Sheni; What is it?

Pesach Sheni - the "Second" Pesach is today, 14th day of Iyar, May 14, 2014 First, a little background: One who was ritually unclean, ta'mai, was not al...

   
 

What is a Temurah?

Question: Two Temurahs “Why does the Torah mention the mitzvah of temurah twice at the end of this week’s parshah, once at the beginning of Chapter...

   
 

Parshas Behar - Life as we Know It

This week's shtikle comes with a double Mazal Tov dedication. First, to my father on the occasion of being inducted to the Order of Canada this past Wednes...

   
 

Parshas Behar - Liberty Heights?

Most people can quote from memory the phrase that is inscribed on the Liberty Bell, one of our nation's most potent and significant symbols.   Th...

   
 

Parshas Behar - Sefiras Ha'omer: Midas Netzach

Being that we are in the fourth week of Sefira corresponding to Moshe's Mida of Netzach, it is appropriate to understand what this Mida is, how it is ...

   
 

Parshas Behar - Aderes HaTorah

In this week's Parsha, the Torah mentions the prohibition against charging interest on money or using interest as a form of profit. This restriction appear...

   
 

Parshas Behar - On Mount Sinai

  “Vay’daber Hashem el Moshe behar Sinai laimor … kee savo’u el ha’aretz asher ani nosain lachem v’shavsa ha’...

   
 

Parshas Behar - Elevation to Revelation

Sefiras Haomer is an interesting mitzvah and an interesting period of time. The first time we experienced this period of time was when we left Mitzrayim an...

   
 

Parshas Behar - The Baal Shem Tov's Message

Shortly after moving to Israel I was given the opportunity to travel with a group to Mezibuz in the Ukraine. The purpose of the trip was to spend Shabbos in the...

   
 

Parshas Behar - The Weekly WOW! ...Living In Peace

The deepest existential question we all ask is, if God created us and He is all good, then why pain and suffering?  We are born without being asked, and...

   
 

Parshas Behar - Family Reunion

Parents often speak about the need for their child to become independent, to endeavor beyond the confines of family and familiarity, in a quest for identity ...

   
 

The Case of the Missing Haftara

For those paying attention in shul a little over a week ago on Parshas Kedoshim, chances are that they might have noticed something quite atypical during daveni...

   
 

Parshas Behar - Parsha Pearls: Onaas Devarim - Words That Hurt

“Lo sonu ish es amiso” – Do not aggrieve one another (25:17) Rashi explains that this pasuk is a prohibition against causing pain or ang...

   
 

Parshas Behar - The Halachos of Onaas Devarim in Brief

The Halachos of Onaas Devarim in Brief 1. It is prohibited to ask a shopkeeper the price of an item if you have no intention of purchasing it. This is because ...

   
 

Parshas Emor - A Passover Message for the Year

“B’chol dor va’dor chayav adam leeros es atzmo k’eelu hu yatza mee’Mitzraim – In every generation there is an obligation for...

   
 

Parshas Emor - What Do You Say?

This week's parasha, Emor, begins with instructions given to Moshe/Moses by G-d about the appropriate conduct for Kohanim, the people assigned priestly dut...

   
 

Parshas Emor - Understanding Sefiras Ha'omer

Parshas Emor contains the Pasukim of the special Mitzva that we have now between Pesach & Shavuous, namely the Mitzva of Sefiras Haomer. Let us tr...