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Rabbi Moshe Taragin

Rediscovering Grandparents

December 31, 2020, by

Covid-19 has changed everything. The past year has produced a seismic shift in almost every aspect of our lives and will continue to shape our identity for years to come. It is overwhelming to consider how much has changed in less than a year. Among everything else, the pandemic has considerably altered our view of

Did the Avot study Torah? Why Does it Matter?

December 24, 2020, by

One of the distinctive aspects of Judaism is its emphasis upon Torah study. Unlike other religions in which study is generally relegated for “men of the cloth,” in Judaism the study of the word and will of God – as distilled in His Torah, is incumbent upon everyman. It is the tri-part balance between belief,

How Did Chanukah Alter the Religions of the World?

December 9, 2020, by

The Chanukah miracle was a multi-layered experience: The ever-burning oil reminded us that even in a post-prophetic era Divine intervention still visited our people. For the very first time, we faced anti-religious hostility and fierce attempts to crush our religious belief and practice. Our triumph demonstrated the courage to sacrifice our lives for religion and

Six for Six : How the World Changed in Six Days

May 21, 2020, by

The actual state of Israel was established 72 years ago in 1948. However, the modern state of Israel as we know it, was launched in 1967. The six-day war was so revolutionary and so transformative, that in many ways, it was more groundbreaking than 1948. Thousands of years ago, G-d created our natural world in

Empty Cemeteries and Jewish Sovereignty

April 29, 2020, by

I just returned from the Gush Etzion cemetery having attended a very unusual Yom Hazikaron ceremony. It was a discouraging but also a triumphant experience. Let me explain. My family often refers to me as a crybaby¬-and they are right. When I witness an emotionally poignant situation, I find it difficult to suppress my tears.

Purim, the Holocaust and the State of Israel

March 2, 2020, by

The Purim miracle was a “milestone moment” in Jewish History as a nation, faced with almost certain annihilation, was rescued by Divine intervention. Unlike the Exodus from Egypt, the Purim experience unfolded without overt Divine involvement. It reminded us that G-d always manages history – sometimes in a manifest fashion while other times ‘behind the

Time After Time

January 29, 2020, by

Parshat Bo chronicles the dramatic redemption of the Jewish people from a two hundred-year nightmare of backbreaking slavery and oppression. The great “night of redemption” is punctuated by celebratory rituals which ultimately become incorporated into the Pesach Seder. However, before the Jews are informed of these ceremonies, they are instructed to reconfigure their calendar to

The Decision

January 15, 2020, by

The birth of Moshe represents a turning point of the Jewish saga in Egypt. This would-be savior arrives as the Jewish slaves are being mercilessly crushed by Egyptian oppression. Pharaoh had legislated that all Jewish infants be flung into the Nile river and delivered to their inevitable death; Egyptian discrimination had begotten slavery and slavery

The Siyum Hashas, Met-Life and Goshen

January 6, 2020, by

Each of the fifty-two sections or parshiyot of the Torah are separated from the previous section by an empty space of at least nine letters. There is only one exception to this policy –the beginning of parshat Vayechi – which is fused to the conclusion of parshat Vayigash without any intervening empty space. Rashi cites

Is Anti-Zionism Anti-Semitism? Does it Matter?

November 20, 2019, by

The parsha is dominated by two parallel stories of dramatic negotiations. Avraham bargains with the citizens of Chevron to secure a burial plot for his deceased wife. Afterwards he dispatches his loyal servant to secure a wife for his chosen son, Yitzchak.  In each instance local “parties” must be convinced – to sell land or