Parashat & Current Events

Yitro 5780

»Posted in Parashat & Current Events

Yitro 5780

An incident that occurred in my formative years as a student at the Rabbi Jacob Joseph Yeshiva HS in New York’s lower east side.

I was one of ten boys in the Thursday journalism class who put out the yeshiva newspaper four times a year. The class was on the entrance floor to the building right above the school cafeteria. The rule was that no student may go to the cafeteria during study hours, but we considered ourselves to be the elite of the yeshiva, so the rules did not apply to us. So, one boy would collect orders from all the others – what they wanted us to bring from the cafeteria, from ice cream to spaghetti – which we would devour when Mr. Brown our teacher, who I really liked, was not watching us. It was my turn to bring the illegal, but kosher, food, but while making the order at the cafeteria the sky fell from above. The assistant principal who was the yeshiva’s disciplinarian appeared. He asked me, “Kahana, what are you doing here?”

read more

Bo 5780

»Posted in Parashat & Current Events

Bo 5780

Last week’s visit of many heads of European states to Yerushalayim on the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp is indeed an unprecedented historical event, but more so because it resolves a seeming contradiction between two of our sources.

read more

Shemot-Va’eira 5780

»Posted in Parashat & Current Events

Shemot-Va’eira 5780

At the heart of our parasha is one of the most emotionally charged human dramas in history, before which the greatest plays of Shakespeare pale. It is the story of the child with the Hebrew name Tuvia, who later became the Egyptian called Moshe.

But as is the way of the Torah, the words tell us little with much more alluded to between the verses.

The following are only a few of the mysteries hidden in the parasha…

read more

Vayechi 5780

»Posted in Parashat & Current Events

Vayechi 5780

President Trump, may HaShem grant him long life, announced that in the wake of the deliberate neglect of the Obama administration of the US military and the threatening dangers of Moslem radical nations and others, the United States has spent two trillion dollars (that is 2,000,000,000,000) on upgrading the US armed forces over the last three years. New and repaired planes, ships, submarines and “stuff” we don’t talk about.

I am quite certain that the next phase in strengthening the military will, by necessity, be the re-introduction of the Selective Service Act (draft) which was ended in the late 1970s. I have often written of the pending reinstatement of the draft, but now it is imminent.

read more

Vayigash 5780

»Posted in Parashat & Current Events

Vayigash 5780

To my holy brothers and sisters in the Chareidi Chassidic centers of Monsey, Williamsburg, Boro Park and Crown Heights.

The initial steps in solving a problem are to define it, then to measure its intensity and its implications. In your case the problem suffers from an additional complexity, in that you have no one who can help you; because those who should be holding the light at the end of the tunnel are the very ones who cannot discern between light and darkness.

A short story to illustrate the point…

read more

Mikeitz-Chanukah 5780

»Posted in Parashat & Current Events

Mikeitz-Chanukah 5780

Pirsumei nisa, our duty to propagate HaShem’s miracles, constitutes a major element in many mitzvot. When reading the Megillat Esther, we publicly proclaim that HaShem saved us from Haman and Achashverosh. At the Pesach Seder, we lean in comfort as we consume our matzah and drink wine to proclaim that we were freed through HaShem’s great miracles in Egypt. Yet there is no mitzvah in which pirsumei nisa is as emphasized as it is at Chanukah.

read more