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Weekly Torah Portion: Pinchas and Your Inner Hero

Pinchas was a hero. Previously he had been a virtual nobody, but when the situation warranted it he became a somebody. The rewards for doing so were tremendous, including becoming Eliyahu HaNavi, the prophet who will eventually herald the Final Redemption, may it happen soon,…

Weekly Torah Teaching: Bilaam the Donkey

One of the questions that has to be asked about Bilaam is, “What was he thinking?” From the beginning he knew he was playing with fire and continued to do so anyhow. He spoke to God firsthand. God told him the direction from the start…

How it Might Play Out, Part II

  Sirens screamed everywhere. They were not the air raid sirens around Israel, but those too would start soon. These ones told pilots of the multi-nation force to man their planes and take for the skies. This occurred on land and at sea. Someone high-up made the call.…

How it Might Play Out

Very little is ever what it seems to be on the outside. Sometimes that’s a good thing, sometimes a bad one. That’s why there is a mitzvah to judge a person to the side of merit: what we see is rarely the whole story, or…

What is the Shemitta Year All About?

This year, from Sept. 25, 2014 through Sept. 13, 2015, Jews in Israel observe the laws of Shemitta, the Sabbatical year, set forth in the Scriptures (Leviticus 25), requiring us to completely desist from cultivating our fields. During this year we relinquish personal ownership of…

Rav Aharon Lichtenstein ztz”l: Four Vignettes

Lessons from a Giant He was considered to be one of the greatest rabbis of this generation. His complete mastery of the entire gamut of Torah and Talmud reflected a level of proficiency that is possessed by only a few in this generation. His PhD…

Paul Shaffer: The Mensch

When David Letterman steps down from his Late Show, his musical director and comic foil for the last 33 years will do the same. Paul Shaffer, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Grammy winning musician and bandleader will be moving on. The millions of viewers…