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Life

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 2020

Megillat Esther is not just a story, let alone a simple one. There are lessons to be gleaned that can help us to address issues that are eclipsing life. Let’s begin with Haman the vizier who was able to pass a decree calling for our annihilation. How did we Jews ever get ourselves into the

Singing the Hadassim Blues in Memphis

October 10, 2019, by

With Sukkot on the horizon, one of my rabbinic tasks was making sure that the Young Israel of Memphis’s aravot (willow) and hadassim (myrtle) gardens were getting all the TLC they need. This year my concern grew after my wife, Layala, pointed out that while our aravot were thriving, many of the leaves of our

Three Keys to Success: Persistence, Advice and Prayer

September 26, 2019, by

I would like to tell you something about yourself. There is an area of your life that you have likely given up hope on. Perhaps you’ve given up on moving to Israel, getting married, becoming more observant, or any other goal. You’ve tried, you’ve failed and you’ve given up; you’ve thrown in the towel. But

Shavuot: Claiming What’s Ours

May 29, 2019, by

As Shavuot approaches, it seems like a good time to think about our relationship with Torah, and our role in that relationship. At the beginning of chapter 3 in the Laws of Torah Study, Rambam writes: Israel was crowned with three crowns: the crown of Torah, the crown of priesthood, and the crown of kingship.

The Six-Day War: A Personal Account

May 6, 2019, by

Goldie Warhaftig first came to Israel in 1966 to learn for a year in Machon Gold. She recalls what she experienced as a newcomer to Israel during the Six-Day War just months after her arrival. Recorded at OU Israel’s L’Ayla Rosh Chodesh Iyyar 5779 Women’s Event sponsored in memory of Mrs Linda Pruwer-Brachfeld, מרת חיה

Egypt in Contrast

April 10, 2019, by

Often, it’s not really a good idea to inspire through contrast. For instance, “Oy, your older brother gives me such trouble; don’t be like him!” is probably not the best way to instill positive values and behavior. Another great example can be found in the old Berenstain Bears books, in which Papa Bear was portrayed