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Life

Closing the Door: A Pandemic Chanukah Gift

December 10, 2020, by

This Chanukah we must learn to celebrate the gift of a closed door. Yeshayahu (26:20) said: “Go my people, come into your chambers and close your door behind you, hide for a moment until the wrath passes.” It is this verse that the Talmud (Bava Kamma 60b) cites in providing its own public health guidance

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