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Showing posts from January, 2018

Childhood and Adulthood are like Autumn and Spring - Parashat Bo 5778 - January 19, 2018

In this week’s parasha, Parashat Bo (Shemot 12:2), Hashem commands Moshe and Aharon, hachodesh ha’ze la’chem rosh chodashim – this new moon is to you, the head of the months. In this verse, Hashem reveals to b’nei yisrael the mitzvah of kiddush hachodesh – the sanctification of the new month. Hashem also fixes Nissan chodesh ha’geulah – as the first of the months. That Nissan is fixed as the first of the months is puzzling. After all, the first of Tishre is Rosh HaShana – the New Year. Is Tishre not the first of the months? Why does the year have two beginnings?

This “dual-beginning” phenomenon is not unique to the Jewish year. Indeed, a Jewish day also has a dual-beginning. The Jewish day begins at night. Shabbat and holidays begin at night. However, sunrise is also a meaningful halachic event. It also marks the beginning of a day. In the Beit HaMikdash, two korbanot were brought daily – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Korbanot were not offered at night. Fu…

Signs, Wonders and Judgments - Parashat Va'era 5778, January 12, 2018

This week’s parasha, Parashat Va'Era, is the second of four parashiyot discussing the Jewish People’s enslavement in Egypt and Hashem’s salvation of His nation.

Hashem employed a series of miracles in freeing His people, beginning with the signs that Moshe showed Paroh and his magicians and culminating with the Egyptians drowning in the Reed Sea. The Torah refers to these miracles in different ways.

Two of these descriptors are used in one section early in our parasha. Hashem tells Moshe, “You will say everything that I command you, and Aharon, your brother will speak to Paroh and he will send the Jewish People from his land. And I will harden Paroh’s heart and I will increase my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. And Paroh will not listen, and I will put My hand in Egypt, and I will bring out My legions, My nation, the Jewish People, from the land of Egypt with great judgments.” (Shemot 6:2-4)

In what way were Hashem’s miracles signs and wonders and in what way were they gre…

Thoughts from Yerushalayim - Parashat Shemot 5778, January 5, 2018

I am writing this article from Yerushalayim, ir hakodesh, my home base to visit prospective Yeshivot and Seminaries for our students and to visit our alumni who are studying in Eretz Yisrael for the year. It is such a privilege and honor to represent our school in this way. I am so proud of our students – each one of our students have shared with me how successful they are in their studies and I have heard so many wonderful reports from the heads of the programs that our students are attending regarding the positive contributions that our students are making.

Israel is an unbelievable country and Yerushalayim is a very special city. The land itself is beautiful. So far, my visits have taken me from the northern part of the country – Haifa – where I visited Technion University, to the southern coastline of the country – Givat Washington and Kibbutz Yavneh – where I visited Machon Ma’ayan Seminary and Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh. In this two-hour drive, I saw the landscape change from verdan…