A Chassidic story: A wealthy merchant would regularly visit the Baal Shem Tov and would donate large sums of money for the Rebbe’s charitable causes. Eventually his fortune changed and his business failed, leaving him nearly penniless. When he went to visit the Rebbe again the Baal Shem, undoubtedly aware of the man’s dire straits, […]
In this podcast episode Rabbi Singer discusses the famous song Dayenu that we sing at the Passover Seder and explains the true meaning behind it. You can apply the important lesson you’ll learn from this teaching to your daily life.
In this podcast episode Rabbi Singer discusses the fundamental theme of the holiday of Purim: Hiddenness. It is reflected in the absence of God’s name in the Book of Esther and the reason we dress up in costumes. You can apply the important lesson you’ll learn from this teaching to your daily life.
It was told that in the shul of the great Chassidic Master, the Chozeh (Seer) of Lublin, they sang and danced on the night of Rosh Hashanah. When the Misnagdim, the anti-Chassidic proponents, heard of this they were taken aback. How could the so called great Rebbe allow dancing on the awesome Day of Judgment? […]
The High Holidays present us with a paradox. On the one hand, we stand before the heavenly court in judgment, unsure of our verdict, anxious about our fate for the coming year. On the other hand, we celebrate Rosh Hashanah and the day before Yom Kippur with joyous feasting in a festive atmosphere. How do […]
Chanukah and Purim differ drastically in their manner of observance and in the message that they convey. The Mitzvot of Purim revolve around the “physical” — we feast, drink, give gifts of food, and charity. The message is clear: they tried to destroy us, so we celebrate by highlighting our continued physical existence. There is […]
One of the most famous questions related to Chanukah is as follows: Since the Jews had sufficient oil to burn for one day, then the miracle is that that oil burned for an additional seven. Why do we celebrate the miracle for eight days? There are many answers to this questions. A few of them […]
There is a dispute in the Mishnah regarding the order of the Chanukah lighting. According to the school of Shamai we start by lighting eight lights on the first night and decrease by one light each night until we are left with one light on the eighth night. According to the school of Hillel we […]
It’s no coincidence that we read the Torah portions that relate the story of Joseph, around the time of Chanukah. Joseph is described by the Torah as being handsome and good looking. The wife of Potiphar went to great lengths to try and seduce him. The midrash tells us that he might, in his youth, […]
According to the Kabbalah, there are two types of miracles. One kind of miracle comes from “above”, with no participation from “below”. An example of this are all the miracles surrounding the exodus from Egypt. The Jews sat passively while God reaked havoc on Egypt. The second kind of miracle is started “below” and is […]