Devotionals

devotional

Jacob gives parting blessings to each of his twelve sons, with prophetic insight into their character and destiny. To his son Naftali, Jacob blesses him with speed to deliver “good words.” Indeed, when Jacob’s burial in the last remaining spot in the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron was disputed by Esau, Naftali ran to retrieve… Read more »

devotional

Tsiporah צִפוֹרָה is the daughter of Jethro and the wife of Moses, who we read about in Parshat Shemot (see Exodus 2:21). Her name is derived from the word ציפור / Tsipor / ‘Bird’ and connotes a sense of graceful beauty. Today Tzipora is a popular and beautiful feminine Hebrew name.

devotional

The Hebrew word for language, ‘safa’ also appears in Zephaniah (3:9) when the prophet describes how all the nations of the world will have “purity of speech” in the end of days: “For then I will change the nations [to speak] a language of purity so that they all will proclaim the Name of God, to worship… Read more »

devotional

The Hebrew month of Adar is the most joyous month of the year, filled with hidden blessings. In it we celebrate the festival of Purim, when the evil Haman of ancient Persia sought to destroy the Jewish people, but the Almighty saved the Jews in a complete turnaround. The month that Haman set aside for… Read more »

devotional

Job poetically describes a tree of hope: if cut down, it will sprout anew, and “at the scent of water it will bud” (Job 14:9). Jewish tradition compares man to a tree, also full of hope and potential, where no matter how difficult a situation, there are unending opportunities to renew.

devotional

We learn an invaluable life lesson from just one Hebrew word in today’s verse – awoke early/ וַיַּשְׁכֵּם. Abraham was zealous to do God’s will at the first sign of daybreak, teaching that we too should grab opportunities to do good without hesitation.

devotional

Throughout Scripture we meet biblical figures who prayed to the Almighty for all of their needs, showing that He is the Source for all blessings in our lives. Jewish tradition explains that prayer, however, is not meant to change the “mind” of the Almighty. What changes through prayer is us. By recognizing the Source of… Read more »

devotional

This famous chapter in Psalms asks for God to provide assistance through all of life’s trying moments, but according to Jewish mysticism, it contains a specific secret formula as well. “From where does my help come” in Hebrew is ‘from where does my עזרי come from. This is the same word used in Genesis when… Read more »

devotional

The sharp sounds of waters crashing into the rocks, as if calling out to God, and the juxtaposition of great mountains which stand as an affirmation of God’s wondrous creations, can only be referring to one place in Israel: Rosh Hanikra. In the northwestern tip of the country, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea,… Read more »

devotional

The stirring declaration “trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield” is repeated three times in this Psalm, to refer to three kinds of people: those who serve God from a feeling of love, those who do so out of fear/awe, and finally those who trust in the Lord naturally as a… Read more »

devotional

The Holy Ark is brought from the City of David to the holiest place on Earth- the Holy of Holies in the Temple. While the entire Temple Mount is endowed with a high level of holiness, the Temple’s courtyard is endowed with a higher level, and the interior of the Temple itself with an even higher level. But the… Read more »

devotional

Surprise … today’s verse is NOT referring to Israel! In Chapter 27, Ezekiel sorrowfully laments the downfall of Tyre, a large port city which arrogantly prided itself in its might and beauty. Here we see the greatness of Israel’s prophet. In his sincere words of admonishment to inspire Tyre to repent, Ezekiel shows he was… Read more »

devotional

The Lubavitcher Rebbe gave a beautiful insight into the meaning of the words “according to the children” in today’s verse. When young children eat,they are prone to drop crumbs on the floor, thereby wasting some of their food. Joseph of biblical times was so sensitive to each person, that he made sure to give the… Read more »

devotional

The prophet Zecharia is known as one of the 12 minor prophets who lived during the exile period between the two Temples in Jerusalem. Zecharia describes what life will be like in the end of days and here describes the “living waters” emerging from Jerusalem bringing spiritual blessing and sustenance to the entire world. In… Read more »