You will often hear of the biblical lands of Judea & Samaria being generally referred to as the so-called “West Bank”, or the “occupied territories.” But, can Israel be an occupying power in its own land? We know that according to the Bible, Israel does not exist by the grace of the United Nations, but… Read more »
Just as a flower maintains its beauty even amongst the thorns, the State of Israel remains a beacon of light, freedom and democracy though surrounded by enemies. The Rose of Bethlehem is a flower emblematic of the nation’s spirit. It grows in the Judean desert and blossoms again and again with only a few drops… Read more »
From this week’s Torah portion (Numbers 33-36), we glean lessons to inspire us through the incredible security threats facing Israel. Our verse is the biblical commandment for the Jewish people to “possess the Land and settle in it.” Despite the constant attacks, these words are the source of our dedication to remain in this Land… Read more »
In today’s verse, Abraham and Sarah start out for the Land of Israel and bring along with them “the souls which they made in Haran.” This is understood to mean the people they influenced to believe in one God. While Abraham taught the men, Sarah took a proactive role in inspiring other women. Abraham and… Read more »
In a historic moment, King Cyrus ushers in new era of the flourishing of the Jewish people and the Land of Israel after the great destruction of the First Temple. As “God rouses his spirit” and bestows this worthy merit upon the gentile king, Cyrus, we see an example of the maxim that “the hearts… Read more »
There is a story of a great rabbi who recently passed away in Jerusalem, who, during his life, would sometimes sit near the window of his home and quietly bestow blessings on all those who passed by. He explained this unusual habit, saying that most people only wish someone a “good morning” when seeing them… Read more »
The period of the Jewish calendar that we find ourselves in now is the saddest time of the year, the three weeks when we commemorate the loss of both Holy Temples in Jerusalem. People born during this period are often given names of hope and comfort based on the Hebrew root “Nachum” which means to… Read more »
During Operation Protective Edge, former Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar visited IDF soldiers along the Gazan border, many of whom have been waiting anxiously for days as a possible ground invasion looms ahead. “I have come here in the name of the entire Nation of Israel in order to strengthen and pray with you,” he encouraged…. Read more »
The Hebrew word for olive is za-YEET, זַּיִת. Because olive trees were always such an integral part of the Holy Land landscape, they have been incorporated into the names of many of Israel’s cities and landmarks like Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives (הר הזיתים har ha-zay-TEEM) and Ein Zeitim (עין זיתים ayn zay-TEEM) near Safed.
God was with King Jehoshaphat during his 25 year reign for he uprooted idol worship from the kingdom and sent teachers throughout the cities of Judah teaching Torah to the people. We are fortunate today to have a resurgence of Torah coming forth once again from the “cities of Judah” and are proud of the… Read more »
The English word “charity” comes from the Latin root carus, which means “dear one,” implying that we help others because we care about them. Judaism has a different view. The same word in Hebrew, צדקה – tzedaka, which means “charity” also means “justice,” teaching us that the giving of charity is an act of justice,… Read more »
On the Jewish calendar, marks the bitter fast day known as the 17th of Tammuz which begins the ‘Three Weeks’ of mourning leading up to day when the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. During this period, we remember not only the ancient loss of the Temple, but pray for an end to the dangers plaguing… Read more »
The entire chapter of Psalm 122 is a hymn to the holy city of Jerusalem, the city where every visitor experiences a personal encounter with the Almighty. If you can’t be here in person, experience your personal encounter with Jerusalem by learning more about the Holy City and reciting today’s psalm.