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Rabbi Moshe Taragin

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The Changing Tides of the Omer

May 9, 2022, by

Jews experience time very deeply. Different stages of our calendar are suited for different religious experiences. During the forty days leading up to Yom Kippur, Hashem is available for human penitence, as He extends mercy to errant children. The month of Av witnessed horrible tragedies during the mikdash era. Sensing that that this overlap of […]

The Land of Hope and Dreams

May 2, 2022, by

What happens when a dream becomes a reality? It loses much of its luster. Reality leaves a lot to the imagination. The dream of returning to the land of Israel is the oldest dream in history. It is a dream that has stirred imaginations across the generations. Despite our dark world, for centuries we preserved […]

Yom Ha’atzmaut: Jewish History Under Construction

April 25, 2022, by

Redemption comes in many varieties. Sometimes it is a rapid swell and sometimes a gentle flow. Sometimes history is overhauled in a heartbeat and other times its revolutions are gradual. Though redemption is often compared to a sunrise, in Psalms chapter 18, King David compares it to the construction of a fortress, reminding us that, […]

Yom HaShoah: Interviews with Three Jewish Martyrs

April 25, 2022, by

On a wintry October day in 1941, the Jews of the Kovno ghetto were assembled at an Umshlagplatz (gathering place), about to be deported to their eventual death. As word spread about their inevitable fate, the following question was posed: what beracha should be recited when performing the mitzvah of “kiddush Hashem?” Surrendering your life […]

Rabbi Sacks Revived a Jewish Voice That Had Been Muted for Centuries

April 11, 2022, by

A Revelation, Not a Revolution On this night we were chosen to inspire the world to monotheism and to moral conscience. Pesach is our Independence Day, the genesis of our nation, and the launch of our historic mission. Sadly, during our long and bleak exile, this mission was suppressed. Exile banished us to margins of […]

Guardians of the Galaxy

April 4, 2022, by

As the seder winds down the tension builds. Who has stolen the afikoman, and what price will it take to release this crucial hostage, so that the seder can continue? Nervous negotiations unfold at seder tables across the Jewish world, in an attempt to liberate the afikoman “prisoners.” After all, Pesach is the night of […]

Shushan and the Culture Carousel

March 10, 2022, by

Everything in the Purim story happened so quickly. Out of nowhere, an unknown upstart named Haman rose to power and launched a genocidal plan against the “scattered and separatist Jews.” His heinous decree was issued on the 13th of Nissan and three days later, as Pesach begun, the tide had already turned and Jewish salvation […]

Greeks, Jews and the Value of Charity

November 29, 2021, by

About 200 years prior to the Chanukah miracle, Alexander the Great marched upon Yerushalayim, designing to capture this renowned capital. Encountering the Kohen Gadol named Shimon HaTzadik, Alexander immediately recognized this man as the saint who had visited his dreams prior to each Greek military victory. Deferring to this holy man, Alexander spared Yerushalayim, opting […]

Chanukah: One Last Taste of Sovereignty

November 22, 2021, by

The celebration of Chanukah is most often associated with the dramatic miracle of the menorah oil. After vanquishing the invading Greek armies, it was crucial that the iconic menorah lighting be restarted as quickly as possible to signal the resurgent Jewish victory. Unfortunately, most of the oil in the plundered Temple had been vandalized and […]

Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah: A Duet Between Hashem and Man

September 24, 2021, by

The chag of Sukkot isn’t anchored to a particular historical period or geographical location. It doesn’t commemorate a miraculous event that occurred on a specific day in history. Sheltered huts positioned under the open sky symbolize Hashem’s compassion for creation, His care for humanity and His love of the Jewish people. Exiting our homes and […]