Devotionals

devotional

One of Israel’s most fascinating spots is what is known in Hebrew as יָם הַ‏‏מֶּ‏‏לַ‏ח – yam ha-me-LAKH, which literally means, “Salt Sea” but is more commonly referred to in English as the Dead Sea, יָם הַ‏‏מָּוֶת – yam ha-ma-VET. Fresh water flows in but no water flows out. The stagnant and non-flowing waters of… Read more »

devotional

The Book of Genesis describes the inner meaning of the names of each of Jacob’s twelve sons. Did you know that all of the sons were named by their mothers, except for Benjamin? Rachel, who died in childbirth, called her son, “Ben-oni” meaning “son of my mourning.” But Jacob wanted his son’s name to reflect… Read more »

devotional

Today we gain beautiful insight into Abraham’s generous ways. The “eshel” was a fruit tree that Abraham planted to serve fruits to his guests. Our Sages go even deeper and say that “eshel” is an acronym for three Hebrew words: eating (אכילה a-khee-la), drinking (שתיה sh’tee-ya) and escorting (לויה levaya), the three types of hospitality… Read more »

devotional

When Moses stood at the burning bush (Exodus 3:5), he was also told to remove his shoes, just like Joshua. But there’s a slight difference in the wording which is so meaningful. Moses was told that “the place upon you stand is holy ground” – notice the extra word “ground.” Since Joshua was standing in… Read more »

devotional

The inspiring Book of Nehemiah describes the return of the exiled Jews to the Land after the destruction of the First Temple. The book is permeated with stories of hope, as well as hardships, of the returnees, together with endless gratitude to God. Last week, 40 new immigrants arrived in Israel from the Lost Tribe… Read more »

devotional

In Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital, the cardiology ward hosts a beautiful sculpture engraved with all the verses in Scripture containing the word “heart.” Our verse describes a day when our hearts will become wholly good and seek only to follow in God’s ways.

devotional

Sukkot stands out from the other pilgrimage holidays in that not only Jews would celebrate in the Temple in Jerusalem. Bull offerings were brought on behalf of all 70 nations of the world during the Feast of Tabernacles in a mighty display of universal solidarity and worship of the One True God of Israel.

devotional

The Book of Exodus (21- 24) contains the first reference to the Sabbatical year. Every seventh year, all the farms, fields, orchards and vineyards in the Land of Israel were left “untended and unharvested.” To this day, the Sabbatical year is kept strictly in Israel providing a major test of faith in God, similar to… Read more »

devotional

In the Book of Numbers (Chapters 16-18) we learn about the rebellion by Korach against the leadership of Moses and Aaron. Upon careful analysis, a remarkable pattern emerges, one with a powerful lesson for those who still try to rebel against God’s will, especially when it comes to denying the Jewish people’s right to the… Read more »

devotional

Ezekiel was one of the few prophets in the Bible that served outside the Land of Israel. He is the paradigm of a leader who stays committed to his values even under difficult circumstances. In Hebrew, the name is pronounced יחזקאל/ye-HEZ-kel which means “God will strengthen.”

devotional

Listen to the incredible faith of the parents of Eyal Yifrach, one of the kidnapped teens. “We are believers and children of believers, and we believe that everything God does is for the best,” stated Eyal’s father, adding his immense gratitude “for the wonderful embrace, for the prayers … We believe that this great unity… Read more »

devotional

While Eskimos may have dozens of words for snow, the Jewish people have several words for knowledge. In this verse we are introduced to khach-ma-TO (wisdom) and t’vu-na-TO (understanding). With such a strong value placed on learning and growing each day, it comes as no surprise that Israel is known as the Startup Nation with… Read more »

devotional

While the Bible makes frequent mention of military affairs and speaks often of soldiers, the important principle that emerges is that which is found in today’s verse. We must always remember that it is not our own efforts that matter, rather it is “He who makes our borders peaceful.”

devotional

This Torah portion contained one of the worst, if not the single gravest sin in the entire Torah: the slanderous report of the spies against the Land of Israel. Moses sends one representative from each tribe to scout out the territory and ten of the twelve return with a negative report. Only Caleb and Joshua… Read more »

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