The Almighty communicates with us in mysterious ways. We may be going about our daily routine when G-d unexpectedly sends us a message of great importance. Such was the case about two years ago, when I had a harrowing experience sprinting down the corridor of the Love International Airport, outside of Dallas, Texas. I did […]
Why did the Rambam place Hilchot Teshuva in Sefer HaMada, the book that deals with the fundamentals of Judaism? Is it because Teshuva is fundamental to Judaism or because it deals with fundamental issues such as free will?
Shiur provided courtesy of Naaleh.com. One of the sins which we confess and for which we ask forgiveness on Yom Kippur is the sin of judgment. While one might think that this sin is specific and applies to judges and others in the practice of law, the truth is that it applies to each of […]
In a daring and optimistic passage, the rabbis describe the Divine assistance 1 received by those who make even the smallest gesture of repentance: Yassa said: The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Israel: My children, make for Me an opening of repentance no bigger than the point of a needle, and I will […]
There is a meaningful custom of visiting the graves of our loved ones during the period surrounding Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. What thoughts should enter our hearts and minds when we make this visit? We can gain an insight from a thought-provoking Talmudic teaching. The Talmud says that one who visits a cemetery is […]
As told to Chaia Frishman The chazzan begins to hum the familiar tune of Unesanu Tokef. Familiar, not because I’ve heard its melody in shul for the last few decades, but it is a part of me as I see its consequences every waking day of my life. As the Associate Director of Project Chai, Chai Lifeline’s Crisis […]
Asking Forgiveness If you know you have offended or otherwise injured someone, ask for forgiveness before Yom Kippur (if doing so will bring up bad feelings from the past, you may not do so–but you might not be forgiven for that injury). If you may have offended, ask for forgiveness. If you are certain that […]
I don’t know whether you ever noticed, but teshuvah, the whole cycle of repentance and forgiveness, plays no part in the early dramas of humankind. It doesn’t in the story of Adam and Eve. As for Cain, God mitigates his punishment but he doesn’t forgive him for his crime. There is no call to repentance […]
Professor Reuven Feuerstein who died aged 92 in April 2014 was one of the great child psychologists of the world, a man who transformed lives and led severely brain-damaged children to achievements no one else thought possible. I knew him and admired him, and I was recording a tribute to him when his son told […]
On Yom Kippur at Mincha we read the book of Yonah. The message of Yonah is that even if your teshuva isn’t 100%, it still has an impact, you have to do something small. Yonah’s demand of 100% teshuva is incorrect.