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Life

All About Hoshanos

September 20, 2018, by

From OU Holidays! What are Hoshanos? Why do we say them? Why is the schedule the way it is? What’s “Ani Vaho?” Find out all this and more with this colorful, downloadable PDF!

If Your Sukkah and Your Lulav Could Talk…

September 20, 2018, by

Shlomo Horwitz is the founding director of Jewish Crossroads, an educational theater project that has provided creative Torah programming across the US, Canada, England and Israel. He studied at Yeshivat Shaalvim and Yeshivat Ner Yisrael in Baltimore, where he received ordination from Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg. Shlomo is a CPA and a director of a consulting

Rosh Hashanah and the Fall of Winston Churchill

September 5, 2018, by

On July 5, 1945, the world witnessed one of the greatest “betrayals” in the annals of human existence. Two months after the Allied victory over the Nazis, in one of the most crushing political upsets in history, Winston Churchill was defeated in English Parliamentary elections. Shockingly, one of history’s greatest leaders, who led a weakened

The Heat is On

September 4, 2018, by

The crisis was real. My wife had tried to bake bread and left it in the oven for the right amount of time at the right temperature. But the results were poor. It wasn’t fully baked. There were other issues as well. Certain foods were undercooked and needed to be reinserted for a longer period.

Tisha b’Av is not about the Beit Hamikdash

July 19, 2018, by

Everyone knows that the reason we fast on Tisha b’Av is because we are mourning the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash, the Temple that stood in Jerusalem.  Everyone but the Rambam, Maimonides. In his commentary to the first chapter of Tractate Rosh Hashanah, the Rambam presents an interesting assertion with regards to Jewish history.  He

Breaking in Order to Build

July 18, 2018, by

Thinking about the upcoming observance of Tisha b’Av, I was struck by a bit of irony. (At least, I think it’s irony, though I’ve been a little paranoid ever since I heard a song mocking Alanis Morissette’s use of the word “ironic.” I comfort myself that I’m unlikely to make it so big that people

The Psychology of Tisha B’Av & Kinot: Five Questions for Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb

July 18, 2018, by

We recently had the privilege of speaking with Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb about the deeper meaning of Tisha B’Av. Rabbi Weinreb, a clinical psychotherapist and internationally-renowned Torah scholar, hosts the OU’s annual Tisha B’Av webcast. He is also the translator of the kinot in The Lookstein Edition of the Mesorat HaRav Kinot (co-published with the OU).

9 Questions for 9 Av

July 18, 2018, by

1. What is Tisha b’Av? Tisha b’Av – the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av – is the saddest day in the Jewish calendar. It commemorates a number of tragedies that occurred on that date, most notably the destruction of both Temples, some five centuries apart. 2. Why did so many tragedies occur

Tisha b’Av: When It’s Wrong to be Right

July 16, 2018, by

For as long as I can remember, “winning,” has been a goal of mine. Board games. Athletics. Test scores. My enjoyment of these topics usually depended on if I was winning or not. In professional life too, I find myself looking at things through the lens of winning. Did we reach our campaign goals? Did

When Nothing Feels Missing: How Do We Make Tisha B’Av Personal?

July 16, 2018, by

Yom Kippur is my favorite day of the year (I know, I’m weird). The intensity, the single-minded focus that spending the day davening in shul allows, the steps of teshuva and self improvement which are spelled out already from Elul; all contribute to allowing me to leave the day feeling cleansed and spiritual. I literally