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Shavuot Tips

May 15, 2015, by

The three pilgrimage festivals commemorate and celebrate our relationship with the Creator and the miracles He has performed for us throughout the ages. The prayers we recite on these holidays reflect our recognition and appreciation of G-d’s omnipotence and ultimate kindness manifested at these periods in history. The Amidah/Silent prayer that we offer during every […]

Ashrei XXI

May 7, 2015, by

“ קרוב ה’ לכל קראיו, לכל אשר יקראהו באמת  – G-d is close to all who call unto Him, to all that call upon Him in truth.” The Ibn Ezra remarks that if an earthly king is distant from his subjects, he will be unable to respond to their needs. However Hashem is always as […]

Ashrei XX

April 30, 2015, by

“צדיק ה’ בכל דרכיו וחסיד בכל מעשיו – Hashem is just in all ways and kindly in all deeds.” The Etz Yosef explains that this verse demonstrates that G-d’s interaction with humanity is sometimes commensurate with the behavior of the individual, and sometimes Hashem gifts us with more than we deserve. There are people who […]

Haggadah Tips

April 2, 2015, by

The Seder night is the yearly exhibition of Jewish Education in the home. We discuss the four types of children that make up Jewish families, their questions, and some answers. As we sing and eat our way through the night, there are plenty of customs and rituals to give definition and meaning to the evening(s). I would […]

Rosh Chodesh Tips

March 19, 2015, by

The time honored custom of the people of Israel is to announce the date and time of the new moon the Shabbat before it arrives. The reason it is done in Synagogue on Shabbat is simply because it is the time of the week when the most congregants are present. Last week the Jewish people […]

Purim Tips: Shoshanat Yaakov

February 25, 2015, by

At the conclusion of the Megillah reading both at night and in the morning on Purim we say a prayer called “Shoshanat Yaakov – The Rose of Jacob”. This small paragraph reiterates the conclusion of Megillat Esther as well as restates the who’s who of the  “heroes and villains” of the Purim story. As you […]

Tefillah Tips: Ashrei XVIII

December 3, 2014, by

“עיני כל אליך ישברו, ואתה נותן להם את אכלם בעתו – All eyes  hope unto you, and You provide them sustenance at its appropriate time.” The Talmud Ketubot 67B states that it would have been grammatically correct for the verse to read את אכלם בעתם –Sustenance at the appropriate time for them and not את […]

Tefillah Tips: Lessons for Thanksgiving

November 26, 2014, by

This post will not be about the Halachic intricacies involving Jews celebrating Thanksgiving. I identify with Jews in this country that feel gratitude to G-d and to the United States where we are currently able to live freely and pursue the study of Torah and the performance of Mitzvoth without fear or disturbance. I also […]