Divrei Torah

Bereishit 5778

»Posted in Divrei Torah

Bereishit 5778

Rashi in his first commentary on the Torah quotes Midrash Tanchuma which poses the question that since the Torah is the book of mitzvot of the Jewish nation, it should begin with the first mitzva HaShem commanded us – to calculate and declare the new months and years. So why does it begin with the epic of Creation?

read more

Sukkot 5778

»Posted in Divrei Torah

Sukkot 5778

The critical factor in any sukkah is its schach (the leafy roof), which is governed by three Halachic conditions: (1) it must be from the vegetable family (grown from the earth); (2) it must be detached from the earth at the time of use; and (3) it must be an entity that cannot acquire tuma, making bread or fruit not valid material for schach.

The Zohar (Emor 103a) and kabbalists have revealed that during Sukkot the souls of the seven great leaders of Israel – Avraham, Yitzchak, Ya’akov, Moshe, Aharon, Yosef and King David – appear in every kosher sukkah as ushpizin (guests). Some claim that each one appears individually on his respective night, while others claim that they appear together, with one serving as the leader in his respective night.

read more

Yom Kippur 5778

»Posted in Divrei Torah

Yom Kippur 5778

On the wall in front of my desk there are several photos.

One of my father Z”L pondering over a Gemara. Another of my beautiful Mother at the age of 16 in the city of Dvinsk Latvia where her father was a renowned Torah scholar. A photo of our youngest son who is today a general in the IDF, receiving a citation for successfully completing a daring mission behind enemy lines by the general of the northern command.

A picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbe giving me two dollars in return for two books I had authored and presented to the Rebbe…

read more

Rosh HaShana 5778

»Posted in Divrei Torah

Rosh HaShana 5778

The following is a synopsis of many of this year’s weekly messages.

The messages were variations on one sole theme – the centrality of Eretz Yisrael to everything Jewish, and its corollary that the galut is dying and every Jew must return home.

Eretz Yisrael is not one more item in the ‘tool shed” of a Torah true Jew; it is the shed itself. The Holy Land determines the quantity and quality of our mitzvot. There are quantitatively more mitzvot to be fulfilled here than in the galut, and the quality of a mitzva observed in the galut compared to its observance in Eretz Yisrael is like a weed to a rose.

Our land is the border crossing between this world and the next. And when we sinned, HaShem exiled us to the brutal galut where our books and bodies were burned and our thoughts perverted.

Eretz Yisrael is the focal point of Judaism; the holy precinct which is directly under the kisei hakavod – the holy throne.

read more

Nitzavim Vayalech 5777

»Posted in Divrei Torah

Nitzavim Vayalech 5777

I am writing this on the 11th of September, the 16th anniversary of the Twin Towers tragedy caused by members of the dysfunctional, savage Arab people.

The world on 9/11 had the opportunity to empathize with the Creator in His regret for permitting the dysfunctional, savage Yishmael to come into the world; for on that day war was declared on the world order, and the value we place on God-given life. That infamous day radically changed the world, and has a unique message for the Jewish people.

read more

Ki Tavo 5777

»Posted in Divrei Torah

Ki Tavo 5777

Discernment, insight, and conscious awareness are the adhesives that bind the building blocks of Judaism.

They are the everyday qualities necessary for a Jew, but they gain prominence in two issues we face today: parashat Ki Tavo and the approaching “Days of Awe” of judgement and teshuva.

Our parasha begins with the mitzva of Bikurim, where the grower of any of the seven fruits indigenous to Eretz Yisrael brings a sampling to the Bet Hamikdash, and while standing before the holy altar, consciously declares:”… I have come to the land the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us… So, the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders. He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey; and now I bring the first fruits of the soil that you, Lord, have given me.”

read more