Devotionals

devotional

The Bible clearly tells us that the holy resting place of Rachel our matriarch is in the city of Bethlehem, which is in the Land of Judah. This region is referred to by the media as the West Bank, implying the “west bank of the Jordan river” which cleverly undermines the Jewish connection to the… Read more »

devotional

According to Rabbi Joseph Rosen, a brilliant 19th century Talmud scholar, the job of awakening the will of God to rebuild the Temple is not limited to the Jewish people. Rather, the third Temple will be built by all of mankind. And if the Temple is to be built through prayers and good deeds, as… Read more »

devotional

Have you ever had a “bad” experience only to later discover that it was all for the best? Esther was the unwilling wife of an anti-Semitic king who lived a secretive life as a Jew. Yet her predicament places her in the perfect position to rise up and save the Jewish people. On Purim, we… Read more »

devotional

In 1948, when Israel was a fledgling state without its national airline we know today as El Al, the new government borrowed a four-engine Israel Air Force plane to bring Israel’s first president, Chaim Weizmann, home from a meeting in Geneva. The name El Al, which comes from the Hebrew for “ascend” was painted on… Read more »

devotional

We learn from this verse about Esther’s very humble and difficult beginnings as an orphan with neither father nor mother. Mordechai not only became her primary caretaker as a child, but he instilled in her the Godly values that followed her throughout life, and she never veered from his guidance. In her role as Queen… Read more »

devotional

Netanyahu’s determination to address the U.S. Congress contains many amazing parallels to the events of Purim. Rabbi Benjamin Blech points out that Bibi is scheduled to speak just a day before the holiday begins with the fast of Esther. In ancient Persia (which is modern-day Iran) Esther approached the king uninvited in a breach of… Read more »

devotional

The prophet Ezekiel was buried outside the Land of Israel, in Iraq, during the first exile. In an incredible discovery, a pair of tefillin was found buried with him. On the wall above his tomb remain the Hebrew words: “This is the monument of our master Ezekiel the Prophet son of Buzi the priest, may… Read more »

devotional

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 »

devotional

These verses describe a very special detour taken by the righteous Caleb, who was part of the team sent to spy out the Land. Caleb desperately wanted to avoid the slander of the spies, so he took quick action and prayed for spiritual strength at the tomb of Abraham in Hebron. Today, Hebron remains the… Read more »

devotional

Incredibly we find one of the ethical foundations of the Israeli army right here in today’s verse. The prophetess Abigail reminds King David that he may only fight God’s wars – which at that time were against the Philistines – and not wars of vengeance against his enemies. To this day, the nation of Israel… Read more »

devotional

The mystical book of the Zohar says that it was the blessing of this verse that has sustained Judaism throughout the millennia. If so, why was Isaac specifically the one who gave the blessing and not Abraham or Jacob? Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach explained that both Abraham and Jacob spent part of their lives outside Israel, and… Read more »

devotional

The Torah does not hide the imperfections of our greatest biblical leaders, teaching us a beautiful lesson on persevering despite one’s limitations. As today’s verse describes, Moses had a profound speech impediment from childhood. Yet he went on to become the inspiring messenger of God’s words.

devotional

In the Book of Exodus, God gives detailed instructions on building the Tabernacle and the glorious Ark of the Covenant into which the two tablets were placed. In Hebrew, the name of the Ark אָרון comes from the word אורה/ light, for it contained the spiritual light of the world. The Ark disappeared after the… Read more »

devotional

Throughout Scripture we are encouraged to trust in God, so why must we also put forth so much effort in this world to accomplish our goals? Surely God can take care of our needs! The answer is that being active creates positive change and growth within us. It is for our sake, not God’s, that… Read more »

devotional

We gain beautiful insight into Solomon’s role as king of Jerusalem just by studying his Hebrew name. In Hebrew, Solomon is שלמה/she-lo-MO. Look for the root of the word and you’ll see שלום/sha-LOM, peace! King Solomon built the first Temple in Jerusalem, without “hammers, chisels or any iron instruments” (I Kings 6:7), so that no… Read more »

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