Anti-Semitism rears its head!

In the parshiyot which we are reading now in Sefer Shemot, we read about what occurred with Paroah. This is the first time that we see anti-semitism beginning. Paroah goes against those people who specifically helped save Mitzrayim. Just a couple of parshiyot ago we read about how Paroah praised and recognized the greatness of […]

סגולות לחג החנוכה

סגולות לחג החנוכה    את  האור הגנוז קיבלנו מהקב”ה בשמונת ימי החנוכה… כל יום לאחר הדלקת נרות חנוכה סגולה עצומה לנשים, לשבת חצי שעה ליד הנרות הדולקים: לא לעשות מלאכה, להסתכל על הנרות ולהתפלל, לשאוב מהנרות את האור הגנוז. בימי בראשית היה אור גנוז שהאדם הראשון השתמש בו לראות מקצה עולם עד הקצה השני. אחרי חטא […]

The Mystery of the Jewish People- Parashat Hukat

  Parashat Hukat begins with the Misva of “Para Aduma,” the red heifer whose ashes were used to make the waters through which people would be purified after becoming Tameh (ritually impure).  The Torah refers to this Misva as “Hukat Ha’Torah” – the “statute” of the Torah.  Para Aduma is the quintessential “Hok,” or law […]

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach z”l – Holy Mommies and Daddies

Here are some wonderful, spine-tingling, goose-bump raising sayings from the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach z”l. You can read these teachings over quickly, or you can close your eyes after each one and savor it for a long time. That’s because all of Reb Shlomo’s teachings are inspiring on a simple level, and much deeper and […]

Rambam’s Principles of Health: Portion Control

It is not so much what you eat (quality) but rather how much you eat (quantity) that matters. In his non-fanatic and sensible approach Rambam asserts that it is better to eat a little unhealthy food than to overeat from healthy foods:   All physicians agree that eating a small quantity of bad foods is less […]

שולחן שבת – פרשת בשלח

וידבר ה’ אל משה: “שלח לך אנשים ויתורו את ארץ כנען …” כל שבט שולח נשיא כנציג. משה קורא להושע בן נון יהושע ושולח אותם לשליחות עם הנחיות ברורות: עליכם לעלות מהנגב, ולבדוק האם העם שיושב בארץ חזק או חלש? האם הם מעטים או רבים? האם הארץ טובה ויש בה מים? האם התושבים שיושבים בה […]

Inviting a Non-Observant Jew to a Simha or to One’s Home on Shabbat

Is it permissible to invite non-observant friends and relatives to a family Simha, such as a wedding?  In many cases, it can be assumed that the non-observant guest will eat without washing Netilat Yadayim and without reciting Berachot or Birkat Hamazon.  Seemingly, then, by inviting him to the affair, the host is causing him to […]

The Obligation to Eat Bread on Shabbat, and the Guidelines for One Who Forgot to Add “Reseh” in Birkat Hamazon on Shabbat

Rav Abraham Palachi (son of the famous Rav Haim Palachi of Izmir, Turkey) was once asked why the Sages did not enact a Beracha to be recited before eating bread on Shabbat.  On Pesah, for example, when we have an obligation eat Masa, we recite the Beracha “Asher Kideshanu Be’misvotav Ve’sivanu Al Achilat Masa” before […]