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Shemoneh Esrei 53 – More Than Meets the Eye
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ועל כלם יתברך ויתרומם שמך מלכנו תמיד לעולם ועד For all these, may Your Name be blessed and exalted, our King, continually forever and ever. Rav Yisrael Salanter once left his family and students to go to Paris to try to influence the assimilated Jews there to return to Torah Judaism. One day, he entered an elegant hotel […]
Shemoneh Esrei 52 – Boundless Chesed
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הטוב כי לא כלו רחמיך, והמרחם כי לא תמו חסדיך, מעולם קוינו לך The Beneficent One, for Your compassions were never exhausted, and the Compassionate One, for Your kindnesses never ended – always have we put our hope in You. Recently, the January 13, 2016, US Powerball drawing created the largest jackpot in world history. […]
Shemoneh Esrei 51 – V’al Nisecha: Miracles Large and Small
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ועל נסיך שבכל יום עמנו, ועל נפלאותיך וטובותיך שבכל עת for Your miracles that are with us every day, and for Your wonders and favors in every season Throughout our history, Hashem has performed many open miracles and even many more hidden miracles for klal Yisrael.  Some of these open and initially hidden miracles are celebrated […]
Eilu Devarim: Part I – The Mishna in Peah
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Introduction There’s something recited every day of the year as part of the preliminary morning blessings that most people probably don’t give too much thought. I refer to the two paragraphs of Eilu Devarim, which we recite after the blessings on Torah study. Each day, we recite the brachos of laasok b’divrei Torah (that God […]
Aleinu 5: Hide and Seek
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…בשמים ממעל ועל הארץ מתחת, אין עוד …in heaven above and on the earth below, there is none other. The word עולם–olam stems from the word נעלם–ne’elam (hidden).  Hashem hides from us, and our job is to find Him – everywhere.  Everything that happens in the world only happens through the will of Hashem, though […]
Aleinu 4: Do We Really Know?
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ככתוב בתורתו: וידעת היום והשבת אל לבבך כי ה’ הוא האלוקים… …as it is written in His Torah: “You are to know this day and take to your heart that Hashem is the only G-d…” Knowing that “ה’ הוא האלוקים–Hashem Hu HaElokim (Hashem is the only G-d)” must be as “clear as day” to us; […]