Boy Reading Torah

We Need to Offer Halachically Acceptable Bar Mitzvah Celebrations for Children With Mental Disabilities

The Beit Hillel rabbinic organization has initiated a public campaign within the religious communities to encourage bar mitzvah celebrations in synagogues across the country for children with mental disabilities and developmental issues. For years, Reform synagogues in Israel were the convenient alternative for parents of disabled children who wanted their children to enjoy a bar […]

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Prayer of Jews at Western Wall

Parshat Va’era – The Unity of Moshe and Aharon

There are many intriguing facets of Moshe’s life story. Our earliest introduction is his being sent away by his biological family. Not much later, we read about him fleeing his adopted family. Perhaps, then, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we find him employed as a shepherd, wandering alone through the wide expanses of Midian, […]

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Where Do I Go What Do I Do

Parshat Shemot: The Circle of Compassion

The Missing Name Parshat Shmot opens with the story of Moshe Rabbeinu, who grows up to be the most important of all Israel’s leaders, the greatest of all the prophets, and the primary personality in the saga of the Exodus from Egypt and the journey to the Land of Israel. But in telling the story, […]

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Make Changes Not Excuses

Parshat Shemot: Judaism as a Rebellion

What Makes a Great Jewish Leader? Leadership is one of the most difficult tasks for man to undertake. It requires a rare combination of wisdom, courage, knowledge and experience. Very few people possess all of these qualities and even fewer know the art of combining them in a balanced way. When looking into the personality […]

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Permanent Record

Parshat Vayechi: The Eternal Life in This World

The Days Don’t Pass Each encounter with death emboldens the notion that death is infinite and eternal, leaving man to contemplate the temporal and finite nature of life. These feelings could lead one to belittle this world, based on the assumption that this world is merely a stepping stone to true life, the life that […]

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Moving truck

God Is Relocating!

Lately, a strange feeling has gotten hold of me. I am not yet able to fully articulate it, but something tells me that God is relocating to a different residence. He has hired a moving company and they are at this time loading all His furniture and possessions into a van and awaiting His instructions […]

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Leadership is about taking responsibility

Parshat Vayigash: Taking Responsibility – For Ourselves and For Others

Yehuda – Taking Responsibility This week’s parsha opens with the dramatic confrontation between two brothers, Yosef and Yehuda.  The standoff between Yosef and his brothers has reached its climax.  Yosef has manipulated events so as to ensure that his brothers, who had sold him into slavery so many years before, find themselves once again confronted […]

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sufganiyot

Sufganiot and Jewish Law

Introduction This essay is dedicated to a topic central to the observance of Chanuka: Sufganiot (fried donuts). Many attribute the custom of eating sufganiot (i.e. dough fried in oil), to a passage authored by the Rambam’s father, R. Maimon (Sarid Ve-Palit, 1945). He writes: One should not be lenient regarding any custom, even the lightest […]

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