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Parshas Miketz/Chanukah - No, Thanks!

When the brothers return home after their first confrontation with Yoseif, Yaakov refuses to let them bring Binyamin back down with them. Reuvein boldly declare...

   
 

Parshas Miketz/Chanukah - It's Up to Us!

A major part of Sefer Bereishis is involved with the story of Yosef. He is a strong individual. He succeeds beyond all the expectations that people had for him....

   
 

A Lost Midrash, Antiochus IV, and the Historical Context of Chanukah

It is a sad fact that over 90% of our Midrashim have been lost. This is due primarily to the seizure of manuscripts and seforim by the Catholic Church in Europe...

   
 

Parshas Miketz - Finding The Good In Everyone

This past week, I read a beautiful insight from Rabbi Chayim Shmuelevtiz, zt”l, the late Rosh Hayeshiva of Mir. How could pharaoh have trusted Yosef to such a...

   
 

Parshas Miketz/Chanukah - Elephants Can Jump!

The reading of the portion of Mikeitz always coincides with Chanukah. There are many allusions within the portion to this association. One of the first striking...

   
 

Parshas Miketz - The Nile and Dream Interpretation

1) Pharaoh on the Nile We know that Mitzrayim had the Nile river in it, and in Pharaoh's dreams he saw himself standing on top of the Nile, the Ye’or. ...

   
 

Parshas Miketz/Chanukah - A Dose of Inspiration

The Best Gift Buyer When the cupbearer presented Yosef to Pharaoh, he tried to denigrate him by describing him as a “young lad”, a “Hebrew (a foreigner...

   
 

Chanukah: Why 8 Days? (With 18 Answers)

The Famous Question We all know the famous question of the Beis Yosef (Orach Chaim 670) as to why we celebrate Chanukah for 8 days if the miracle of the oil wa...

   
 

Parshas Miketz - In the Midst of Plenty it is Possible to Starve

Man is a child of his environment - Shinichi Suzuki Sometimes, you really can’t see the forest for the trees… Awash in riches, it is not only possible bu...

   
 

Scented Candles and Chanukah – A Halachic Analysis

The answer is no – if that is the intention. The reason is that one may not benefit from the Chanukah candles. But there is a case that is of great interes...

   
 

Chanuka Today

The Gemara in Shabbos (21b) states: “What is the reason of Chanukah? The Rabanan taught: On the twenty-fifth of Kislev, the eight days of Chanukah begin, on w...

   
 

Miracles: They Spin and Spin All Around (Dreidel Photos)

For me, dreidels are personal. In years gone by, I have been a rabbi, a teacher, a principal, a rebbi, I have been a lecturer, a communicator.  I have bee...

   
 

Listen to Rabbi Moshe Hauer: Mikeitz - Machlokes and the Ambiguity of Dreams- First Aliyah (Audio)

Baltimore, MD - Dec. 11, 2017 - The dreams that we learn about in the first aliyah of Parshas Mikeitz are the last in the series of 3 dreams that Yosef deals wi...

   
 

Chanukah, A Time for Growth

I have heard a beautiful Dvar Torah from Rav Shimshon Pinkus. Rav Pinkus explains that one can compare the lifecycle of a human to the Jewish Holidays throughou...

   
 

Listen to Rabbi Moshe Hauer: Chanukah - Building for the Future (Audio)

Baltimore, MD - Dec. 10, 2017 - On Chanukah, we celebrate with parties, although there is no mitzvah obligation to do so. The source for the feasts co...

   
 

Parshas VaYeishev -Yoseif, the Ultimate Refusenik

Earlier this month, in my haste, I skipped my usual dedication for the yahrtzeit of my rebbe, HaRav Yaakov Moshe Kulefsky, zt"l, 3 Kisleiv. I will try to compen...

   
 

Chanukah Explained Like Never Before by the Nesivos Shalom

Nesivos Shalom on Chanukah – First Maamar The Gemorah (Shabbos 21b) asks, “What is Chanukah?” It cites the passage in Megilas Taanis that the Greek...

   
 

Lighting Outside on Chanukah – Israel and the USA – A Halachic Analysis

Go to Eretz Yisroel for Chanukah, and you will see Lucite and or glass boxes containing Menorahs for outside lightings. There is, however, a major halachic hurd...

   
 

Parshas VaYeishev - Strength in Numbers

At the end of Parshas Vayeishev, Yoseph is languishing in jail when a ray of hope seems to come his way.  Yoseph has proven to be an effective, even prophe...

   
 

Parshas VaYeishev - Dancing Shoes

The prophet Amos proclaims that G-d could overlook the three cardinal sins of idolatry, adultery and murder but he cannot forgive having sold a tzaddik, a right...

   
 

Parshas VaYeishev - What Are The Odds?!

Many confusing things happen in this week’s Parshah: Yaakov’s favorite son Yosef was sent down to Egypt. Instead of Hashem revealing to Yaakov that Yosef wa...

   
 

Parshas VaYeishev - What Really Counts?

This week's Parshah opens וַיֵּ֣שֶׁב יַעֲקֹ֔ב בְּאֶ֖רֶץ מְגוּרֵ֣י אָבִ֑יו בְּאֶ֖רֶץ כְּנָֽעַן...

   
 

Baby Names and Halacha

Americans name their babies all sorts of names. Indeed, Parents Magazine has just published the top most popular names for babies that are – food related. Her...

   
 

Listen to Rabbi Moshe Hauer: Chanukah and the Definition of Life (Audio)

Baltimore, MD - Dec. 4, 2017 - On Chanukah, we celebrate and appreciate our definition of life-a life of connection to Hashem and spirituality, and that which t...

   
 

What Makes Bread Jewish?

Since the end of our parsha discusses Pharaoh’s non-Jewish baker, I thought it appropriate to discuss some of the laws of pas akum, pas Yisroel and pas paltar...

   
 

Parshas VaYeishev - Yosef’s Lessons and Jewish Name Significance

1) Who Was Yosef Telling On? Yosef brought bad reports to his father about his brothers. Ramban starts off by quoting Rashi who says that any bad Yosef would s...

   
 

Shabbos Candles and the Psukim Behind Them – A Halachic Analysis

They are called, “asmachtas” – Biblical allusions to future Jewish practices or Rabbinic enactments in the form of verses from Tanach. And in regard to li...

   
 

Parshas Vayishlach - Antithesis

A special Weekly Shtikle mazal tov to my nephew, Shlomo Yitzchok Shonek of Far Rockaway, who is celebrating his Bar Mitzvah this Shabbos. When Yaakov learns th...

   
 

Parshas Vayishlach - Back Me Up

When Yaakov strategizes how to most effectively present his tribute to Esav, he implements two important protocols. The first code of etiquette he instructs hi...

   
 

Parshas Vayishlach - Hearts Reflect Like Water

[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 memor...

   
 

Parshas Vayishlach - "In Out, Right Wrong, Oy Vey"

Vateizei Dina.  And Dina went out.  Today, the mere words conjure up thoughts of negativity and of the recklessness of Dina in venturing out of the pr...

   
 

Parshas Vayishlach - Modesty in the Age of Abuse

Rescue me, please, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esav (Bereishit 32:12).  Mi’yad – from the hand.  Why does Yaakov repeat mi...

   
 

Office Holiday Parties and Halacha

It is the question most asked by observant Jews when they enter the workforce:“Is it halachically permitted to attend the office holiday party?” Before we ...

   
 

Parshas Vayishlach - Taking on Eisav and Life’s Challenges

1) Yaakov Gives Eisav Respect Eisav was coming after Yaakov with four-hundred men, and was ready to kill him. Yaakov sent a message to Esav, “Ko somar ladoni...

   
 

Slowly Positioned - Halachos of Tefilah

Since our parsha shares with us Yaakov’s Avinu’s prayer prior to his confrontation with Eisav, I thought it appropriate to discuss some laws of tefillah. Q...

   
 

Parshas VaYeitzei - Is Everybody Happy?

The great Chassidic leader and profound thinker, Reb Tzadok HaKohen of Lublin, taught that wherever a word, a concept, makes its first appearance in Torah there...

   
 

Parshas Vayetzei - Watch Your Step

At the beginning of this week's parsha, Yaakov leaves his home to Charan where he would spend the next 20 years. In his famous dream, he sees a ladder with...

   
 

The Opinion of the Tashbatz

The long golus has certainly been hard for Klal Yisroel. However, every so often, something happens in our history that we should all be extremely grateful for ...

   
 

Parshas Vayetzei - Do We Really Know What Tznius Is About?

Tucked away in this weeks Parsha, unbeknownst to many, is one of the chief M’koros the Gemara uses for the Mida of Tznius.   The Gemara cites Rochel...

   
 

Parshas VaYaitzei - A Dose of Inspiration

MY Cookie! When Leah was expecting her 7th child, she realized that there may be a problem. If her child would be a son, the result would be that Rachel would ...

   
 

Parshas VaYaitzei - The Power of the Womb; The Power of Prayer

There is an almost universally shared “first photo” in modern baby albums – the somewhat blurry image captured on a pregnant woman’s first ultrasound.&n...

   
 

Not Dating a Girl With the Same Name as Your Mother and More

“Don’t you dare go out with her! She has the same name as your mother!” “If you left and forgot something – Don’t go back for it!” “Doin...

   
 

Kidney Donations: A Halachic Analysis of a Shocking New Ruling

One of the top Poskim in the Satmar world has issued a controversial ruling. Rav Chaim Yoseph Dovid Weiss, the Satmar Dayan in Antwerp and author of the Respons...

   
 

Thanksgiving and Halacha

Some call it the great MO versus Yeshivish Community Divide. However, the question has not yet entered the list of “Shidduch questions” that are generally p...

   
 

Granola Bars – A Halachic Analysis

“What? It’s for sure HaAdama!” “What are you talking about? It’s Mezonos!” “Well, my Rabbi says that whatever you say is okay.” The iss...

   
 

Parshas Toledos - That Red Stuff

My nephew, Yisroel Meir Shonek, who was celebrating his aufruf exactly five years ago, along with his wife Miriam welcomed a new baby girl into the family this ...

   
 

Listen to Rabbi Moshe Hauer: Toldos 5778 - The Ambiguous Pact with the Plishtim - 2nd Aliyah (Audio)

Baltimore, MD - Nov. 17, 2017 - Listen to Rabbi Moshe Hauer: Toldos 5778 - The Ambiguous Pact with the Plishtim - 2nd Aliyah Click here to listen...

   
 

Parshas Toldos - Will the Real Esav Please Stand Up

When Rivkah gets wind of Yitzchok’s intention to bless Esav she immediately sets into motion her strategy to preempt Esav by having Yaakov bring the delic...

   
 

Parshas Toldos - Chinuch Habanim

Parshas Toldos presents us with one of the most difficult to understand and troubling narratives in the Torah.  Yitzchak, Kadosh Lashem, was bound on a Miz...

   
 

Parshas Toldos - Building The Nation and Hashem’s Plan

1) Rivka’s Pain in Pregnancy Rivka was pregnant with twins in her stomach and she was very confused by what was going on as we know from Rashi. There was...

   
 

Rabbi Avraham ibn Ezra, part II

A few weeks ago, we began reading about Rabbi Avraham ibn Ezra. This is a continuation of that article. Question #1: The Right Bensch “What is the corre...

   
 

Listen to Rabbi Moshe Hauer: Netziv on the Parsha - Chayei Sarah (Audio)

Baltimore, MD - Nov. 10, 2017 -  Netziv on the Parsha - Chayei Sarah Click here to listen...

   
 

Helping a Chosson the Second Time Around

“Look, for a regular chosson, I understand.  You are helping build up Klal Yisroel.  But this guy has kids already.  I don’t see any ...

   
 

Parshas Chayei Sarah - Trust..When it Counts

We see the advertisements,  selling the trustworthiness of financial advisors and institutions.  These commercials resonate with us because we know ho...

   
 

Parshas Chayei Sarah - Shalom Bayis

After Yitzchak takes Rivka for a wife, we are informed that Avraham remarried.  (Chayei Sarah 25:1) The Pasuk states that his new wife’s name was &ld...

   
 

The Motzei Shabbos Taxi – A Halachic Analysis

You are a post seminary girl working in Camp Sternberg. You have a date Motzei Shabbos and you hold the position known as a DH (Division Head). You do not want ...

   
 

Parshas Chayei Sarah; Simple Reading Rules and Mesorah Transmission

1) Avraham’s Location After Sarah’s death The parsha begins with Sarah’s passing and Avraham coming to eulogize her. “Vayavo Avraham l&...

   
 

Parshas VaYeira - A Father's Sacrifice

This week's shtikle, as per tradition for parshas Vayeria, is dedicated le'ilui nishmas my brother Efrayim Yechezkel ben avi mori Reuven Pinchas, whos...

   
 

Parshas VaYeira - Where Do Morals Come From?

When Avraham goes down to Mitzrayim he attempts to save his life by hiding his true relationship with his wife, Sarah. He instructs her to agree that she his &l...

   
 

Parshas VaYeira - Making A Lasting Impression

Three days after Avraham performed his own Bris Milah, the opportunity to do Hachnasas Archim (caring for guests) came knocking on his door. Despite being in pa...

   
 

A Friend in Need

A friend is a single soul dwelling in two bodies - Aristotle Picture the scene, a man, newly circumcised; just three days out from a painful procedure and st...

   
 

Parshas VaYeira - Rising from the Ashes

After the angels conclude their mission in bringing the good tiding of Yitzchok’s future birth, Avraham escorts them on their way out. Unbeknownst to Avra...

   
 

Rochel Imeinu – Getting More Out of the Yahrtzeit

Let’s not just let a yahrtzeit date pass by without improving ourselves significantly. The 11th of Cheshvan, marks the yahrtzeit of Rochel Imeinu, and it ...

   
 

Praying for a Rainy Day when Traveling to or from Eretz Yisrael in November

Whereas in chutz la’aretz ve’sein tal umatar (the prayer for rain added to the beracha of Boreich Aleinu in the weekday shemoneh esrei) is not recit...

   
 

Listen to Rabbi Moshe Hauer: Vayeira - The Bris of Chessed- 1st Aliyah (Audio)

Baltimore, MD - Oct. 30, 2017 - There are 2 covenants associated with Avraham Avinu-the bris of chessed, and the bris milah. Although we usually associate the b...

   
 

Parshas Vayeira - Actual History and Purpose of Nisyonos

1) The Angel's Visit Parshas Vayeira opens (18:1) with the story the three angels that came to visit Avraham. We have always understood like Rashi and rov...

   
 

Rabbi Baruch Leff in Mishpacha Magazine: Can We Teach Our Kids (and Ourselves) How to Daven?

I have heard many fast chazzanim in my life, but this one set the record. A nine-minute Minchah, with a full recitation of chazaras hashatz, including the Mour...

   
 

Parshas Lech Lecha - Three's a Crowd

In the beginning of the parsha we are taught of Avram and Sarai's sojourn to Egypt due to the famine in Cana'an. It is evident that Lot accompanied th...

   
 

The Shalom Zachar – And the Shabbos Kiddush for Girls

Written in honor of the shalom zachar of our sixth grandchild to take place b’ezras Hashem tonight. It is a minhag in Ashkenazic Jewish circles to ...

   
 

Listen to Rabbi Moshe Hauer: Netziv on the Parsha - Lech Lecha (Audio)

Baltimore, MD - Oct. 27, 2017 - Netziv on the Parsha - Lech Lecha Click here to listen...

   
 

Wrap Wars: A Halachic Analysis

“My Rabbi says its Hamotzi!” “Well, mine says you can make a mezonos!”  “What are you guys talking about?? It’s mefur...

   
 

Parshas Lech Licha - The Secret Behind Every Billionaire

Contrary to popular belief, the very first World War in recorded history did not occur in 1914. Rather, it occurred in this week’s Parshah, where 4 of the...

   
 

Parshas Lech Lecha - Doing Mitzvas for the Right Reasons

[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 Lech Licha - Take It on the Chin

The saga of Avraham begins in earnest as he and his family set out on their fateful trek to the Promised Land. After finally settling in the land, a famine stri...

   
 

Parshas Lech Licha

In the first Pasuk of this week’s Parsha, we have an unusual pair of Rashi’s.  First, on the words “Lech Licha”, Rashi immediately ...

   
 

Listen to Rabbi Moshe Hauer: Lech Lecha - Avraham's Life's Work- 1st Aliyah

Baltimore, MD  - Oct. 24, 2017  - mBefore Avraham's time, the world needed to be destroyed because of its corruptness. Avraham saved the world in...