Eikev: With All Your Hearts and All Your Souls

August 13, 2014, by

All over the world, every day, as they have for millennia, Jews recite the three chapters of the Shema. The first chapter is found in Parashat VaEtchanan, last week’s Torah reading. The second chapter is found in this week’s Parasha, Ekev. At first glance, there seems to be quite a bit of repetition between the

Three Questions to Ask Your Local Atheist

August 13, 2014, by

Imagine you are standing in an orchard filled with orange trees in full blossom. The branches are heavy with ripe, succulent oranges stretching out as far as the eye can see. The grower explains that a mere ten years ago, it was a barren field. Over time, he planted the rows and rows of seeds,

Let’s Talk About Depression and Mental Health

August 12, 2014, by

This article originally appeared on It’s time we had a conversation about mental health. Two weeks ago, I lost a dear friend to a toxic combination of severe mental illness and crushing addiction, two very dangerous conditions that compound their severity exponentially. Yesterday the world lost a genius who battled severe depression and addiction

Yad B’Yad 2014: Inclusion and Friendship Know No Borders

August 12, 2014, by

In one week, the staff of Yachad was able to accomplish what normally takes months of planning. When recent events in Israel rerouted summer plans to the West Coast for 190 Yad B’Yad participants, the message was loud and clear that inclusion and friendship know no borders. Hebrew for “hand in hand,” Yad B’Yad (YBY)

Where is Hashem?

August 7, 2014, by

Reprinted with permission from Imagine you are seated in an ornate concert hall. The upholstery is stately, the ambiance thick. Suddenly, the house lights dim. The stage is dark. Slowly, the curtains lift, and a train of smartly dressed musicians take their places behind the eighty-one instruments arranged on the stage. On cue, the

Ask Aviva: Invisible

August 6, 2014, by

Dear Aviva, I’m an introverted, reserved person who enjoys having close friendships. I moved to a new neighborhood six months ago and haven’t made any friends yet. I walk down the street and I am invisible. I go to shul and nobody even bothers to look at me. It’s not that this neighborhood is unfriendly—everybody

Armed With Love – NCSY Summer 2014

August 6, 2014, by

Shoshana and Dr. Yitzchok Schechter heard about Hamas’s rampant rocket attacks while driving their daughter to the airport. Ayelet, 15, was flying to Israel for NCSY’s Michlelet program. Their son, Yoni, 17, had left the day before to learn in the NCSY Kollel. NCSY promised their children the “best summer ever.” The Schechters expected nothing

Why we Want to be Here – a Message for the Jewish People from Battalion 969

August 6, 2014, by

This article originally appeared on Upon learning that we would be released next week – a month after our emergency call-up to fight this war – my reserve unit drafted a petition expressing our willingness and desire to continue in this war effort and defeat those who have been murdering and terrorizing our nation.

Rabbi Noach Weinberg z”tl on Israel’s Battles

August 5, 2014, by

While the founder of Aish HaTorah gave this speech in Jerusalem years ago, it rings true today, in particular given the recent weeks of fighting in Gaza and anti-Semitic incidents in Europe and around the world:

The Human Tragedy of Tisha B’av

August 5, 2014, by

One of the biggest challenges of Tisha b’Av is finding the strength to feel pain that has had thousands of years to heal. For many people, the day ruefully memorializes our fallen temples, but unfortunately, the loss of our temple is no reason to be sad for many of our brethren. Perhaps this explains the