We live in a world of kaanaus. Zealotry and extremism fuels politics, relationships, worship. Kanaaim fail to understand how demeaning their perspective and behavior is to their fellow Jews; how degrading. In their eyes, Jews who are not like them are hardly worthy to be considered Jews at all. Has their kaanaus enriched our community
In my previous essay, I wrote about the shanda of families turning away from their children when they became OTD children, Off the Derech. While acknowledging how hurtful and confusing it is to have children who leave the path, I wrote that the only way for them to find a way back to the path is
The Nesivos Shalom teaches that in Mitzrayim, Hashem purposefully waited through our generations of slavery for us to finally arrive at our lowest possible spiritual and physical condition before referring to us as, “My firstborn son.” Why? He waited in order to prove to us for all time that He does not love us based
We Jews wandered the four corners of the earth for so many centuries, never having a home where we could feel completely safe. Our experience from Egypt to the galut taught us to respect the dignity of the stranger and to reach out to the needy. When we were vulnerable, the voices of our sages
Every Jewish educator knows that what they teach is vital. Fewer seem to appreciate that who we teach is even more important.
These fasts demand that we bring “suffering” upon ourselves. But why? do our fasts accomplish what the mitzvah demands? After all, the events that these fasts commemorate happened long, long ago. How could we possibly identify with those times. And how does giving up our Starbucks help us do so?
Just as a fish cannot live out of water, Rav Yose made clear that a spiritually-motivated Jew cannot survive away from a dynamic, honest, ethical and moral Torah environment. Nothing of the world, no gold, silver, luxury or technological toy can substitute for “the Torah of Your mouth.”
Rabbi Yechezkel Levenstein, the revered mashgiach and Ba’al Mussar was once riding in a cab and the Israeli driver related the following story: “Rebbi, when my friends and I completed our army service, we decided to go on a world tour. We found ourselves in the jungles of Africa one night when all of a
“You stay on your side of the fence and I’ll stay on mine.” What could be wrong with such an attitude?
We live in fraught times; times of anger and fear; times of polarization. We see this in the politics of our nation and in the discourse by people of faith. In so many aspects of life, people seem to sullenly retreat into those beliefs, feelings or opinions to which they subscribe, without regard for the