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Jewish Holidays

The Students of Rabbi Akiva

May 11, 2017, by

Is it possible that all 24,000 of Rabbi Akiva’s students committed the exact same sin? Why do we mourn over these students if they didn’t even learn from their rebbe’s most famous teaching?

Mesorah and Middos

September 9, 2016, by

Historically, the period between Pesach and Shavuos was meant to be a period of great joy and anticipation, for our redemption from Egypt was the precursor to the ultimate goal of receiving the Torah on Shavuos and symbolically consummating our relationship to Hakadosh Baruch Hu. Yet the period has changed to become a period of […]

Lag BaOmer: Bows and Arrows

February 26, 2014, by

Obviously, bows and arrows are military symbols. In this context, they are doubtless a reminder of the Revolt of the Jewish People, led by Bar Kochba, against the Romans in 135 C.E. (some 1,865 years ago). In this revolt, which took place some sixty-five years after the Destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans […]

Lag B’Omer from Torah Tidbits

February 26, 2014, by

Lag BaOmer is an enigmatic semi-holiday, of which the Shulchan Aruch speaks in terms of “a bit of joy”, which grew to a festive day of major proportion in the Chassidic world. Lag BaOmer should be seen in the context of the whole Omer period, in order to be properly understood. From the perspective of […]

Rainbows and Arrows

February 26, 2014, by

The Bible makes reference to the “bow of Hashem” appearing in the skies in the time of Noach, after the Great Flood, “I have placed My bow in the clouds and it will be a symbol of the covenant between Myself and the Earth (Bereshit, 9:13).” This bow represented the covenant that G-d had made […]

Bar Yochai Song for Lag BaOmer

February 26, 2014, by

For the Kabbalistically inclined, the following enchanting Shabbat “zemer,” festive song, is shown below. It was composed by Shimon ibn Lavi, who had fled as a child from the Spanish Inquisition, and arrived in Fez, Morocco, where he remained until 1549. He later set out for Eretz Yisrael, but on his way there, as fate […]

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