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Rabbi Yochanan Bechhofer

Tu B’Shvat: The Tree as a Metaphor for Reality

January 26, 2018, by

Why is there a new year for trees? What is the connection between the word עץ (tree) and עצה (advice)? The connection to the 2 trees in Gan Eden – the עץ הדעת טוב ורע and the עץ החיים. Delivered 1/25/18 at the Young Israel of Long Beach L’ilui Nishmas Dovid ben Reuven Michoel z”l

Changing the World

December 18, 2017, by

Understanding what the Greeks had against Kiddush Hachodesh When the moon complained that the sun and moon were the same size, why did it use the analogy of the crown? Why was Rosh Chodesh the first mitzvah given to Bnei Yisrael?

What Holds Reality Together

December 14, 2017, by

Understanding why the Greeks hated Bris Milah and the special significance of “Zos Chanukah”. The concept of eight is intrinsic to milah and milah typefies the number eight. Why does the Torah give a summary of all the korbanot of the Nesi’im? Why do we burn the leftover wicks and oil from the eight nights? […]

Yom Kippur, Tu B’Av, and Purim

October 3, 2017, by

The mishna says that Tu B’Av and Yom Kippur are the happiest days of the year. Why isn’t  Purim included? What is the difference between Yom Kippur and Tu B’Av on the one hand and Purim on the other hand?