For the Sake of Jerusalem … These are remarkable days. These days between Pesach and Shavuot, these days between Yom Hazikaron and Yom Yerusholayim. What more appropriate time than with Parshat Emor—“say to the Kohanim’—and at the beginning of the month of Iyar, to focus and stir our hearts with a deeper appreciation for geula […]
Why, in Shemoneh Esrei, does the bracha of Kibbutz Galuyot immediately follow Barech Aleinu? Because as the Gemara says, there is no surer sign that Moshiach is coming than the land yielding it’s produce: “‘ואמר רבי אבא אין לך קץ מגולה מזה שנאמר (יחזקאל לו, ח) ‘ואתם הרי ישראל ענפכם תתנו ופריכם תשאו לעמי ישראל” […]
The historical development of Yom Haatzmaut as a holiday among Torah-observant Jews. According to the Ramban. part of the commandment of יישוב ארץ ישראל, to settle the Land of Israel, is to cultivate the land, not to leave the land desolate (שממה) and to consider any land other than the Land of Israel as a […]
Is Yom Haatzmaut a Halachic holiday? Are we allowed to add holidays to the calendar? The Ramban writes that Yeravam commited a sin by adding a holiday to the Jewish Calendar. On the other hand, we have post-Biblical holidays such as Chanukah that commemorate miraculous events. The Chatam Sofer writes that we are biblically obligated […]
Delivered at the OU Israel Center, Yom Haatzmaut 5768 (April 19, 2018)
Even when redemption is unclear and incomplete, we are still expected to believe that Hashem is somehow revealing the redemption slowly but surely. Rabbi Shalom Hammer’s Sleepless Sermon for Yom Haatzmaut 5769
Despite R’ Akiva’s losing 24,000 students, he did not give up hope and went and acquired 5 new students in order to reinvigorate the future of the Jewish people.
The miracles of the modern State of Israel’s successes in making land that was barren for thousands of years produce again. This is the fulfillment of the verse in Bechukotai which shows that the land only produces when settled by the Jews.
In Parshat Nitzavim God says that after he brings us back he will increase us and bless the land. The State of Israel is clearly a manifestation of this.
…but I will make you a light of nations, so that My salvation shall be until the end of the earth. – Isaiah 49:6 Haters gotta hate. Sadly, this dismissive shorthand for the cruelty of individuals and nations has weighed on Israel too heavily throughout our history. Our tradition has incorporated it into its teaching. […]