Elul – Getting Ready

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, […]

Nachamu – Consolation

The Shabbat directly following the fast of Tisha B’av is called Nachamu or “be consoled”. The name is taken from the prophet Isaiah who prophesizes the return of the Jewish people from their exile to Israel. The prophecy begins with the words, “Nachamu, Nachamu”. Whenever there is, what seems to be, a superfluous word in […]

Tearing Kriyah

Many of the prohibitions and customs relating to the day of Tisha B’av are the same that relate to a mourner. For example, we sit on the floor and refrain from greeting people. Why then do we not tear kriyah, one of the most fundamental signs of intense mourning, on Tisha B’av? One possible answer […]

Tisha B’av – Mourning Details

This Wednesday night, we will observe Tisha B’av, the day on which both of our holy temples in Jerusalem were destroyed. It is a time of sadness, mourning, and reflection. It’s really almost impossible to feel true sadness and loss for a Temple that has been gone for nearly 2ooo years. No one ever seen […]

Remembrance and Celebration

Today we remember the more than twenty thousands soldiers and civilians that fell in defense of Israel. It is no coincidence that we celebrate our independence directly following this day, for although Yom Hazikaron (the day of remembrance) is a day of solemn introspection, it is not a day of mourning. We do not sit […]

Yom Hashoah

Today is Yom Hashoah, the day when we remember and honor the sacrifice of our six million brothers and sisters who were murdered during the holocaust, as well as those that survived to rebuild. Here in Israel the day is filled with inspirational and emotional programs and testimonies from survivors. At 10:00am this morning, the […]

Dayeinu – Is it Enough?

Every Passover we sing a beautiful song towards the end of the Seder. The refrain of the song is “Dayenu”, which means “it would be enough for us”. The song enumerates the great miracles performed for the Jewish people from the Exodus until their entrance into the Land of Israel and after each one proclaims […]