Devotionals

devotional

Since the Torah is concise and no word is extraneous, our Sages asked what is added by the words “and He took him outside” as it is obvious when looking at the stars that one is outside! Our Sages explain that God meant, “Go out of your astrology,” for you have seen in the stars… Read more »

devotional

On Passover, we celebrate God’s awesome display of miracles during the Exodus. For the sake of Israel, a ‘pillar of cloud’ protected it from the shooting arrows of the Egyptians in hot pursuit. Today we celebrate the mighty sacrifices and bravery of the soldiers of the IDF, shielding Israel from its enemies. May the God… Read more »

devotional

Here’s a cool fact about Jerusalem hospitality during Temple times! Three times a year, Jews from all over the nation ascended to the Temple, including on Passover. There was a custom for Jerusalemites to warmly welcome and host all visitors, free of charge. It was this custom that led today’s verse to be interpreted by… Read more »

devotional

This verse contains the central message of the Seder and a Hebrew word rich in meaning. והגדת לבנך – v’-hi-gad’-ta l’-bincha means “you shall teach your children” and is the root word for the more familiar Haggadah ( הגדה ) which primarily consists of telling the Passover story to the next generation. The same Hebrew… Read more »

devotional

Psalm 117 beseeches the nation of the world to thank the Lord for His overwhelming kindness to Israel. But why would other nations be so grateful to God for Israel? The Psalmist is inviting all the world to bear witness and be awed by the miracle that is Israel. To witness a miracle is in… Read more »

devotional

The Hebrew month of Nissan, “the first month” described in today’s verse, was when the Children of Israel ascended from the Jordan River onto the holy soil of Israel for the first time. Amazingly, this exact date, the tenth day of Nissan, is also mentioned in the Book of Exodus (12:2-3), as the day, forty… Read more »

devotional

The nation of Israel is compared to the moon for just as the moon waxes and wanes, so too have the Jewish people suffered and triumphed over the ages. The message is eternal: life can be difficult, and seem to diminish, but then, when things look their bleakest, hope arises. A situation can always change… Read more »

devotional

The Book of Leviticus describes in great detail all of the various sacrifices that were offered in Biblical times. The offerings as described in Leviticus are often hard to relate to in our modern times, but the Hebrew word for sacrifice sheds light into their deeper significance. The Hebrew word for sacrifice is קרבן /… Read more »

devotional

Malachi was the last of the Prophets of Israel, and his final recorded message is found in today’s verse, where he describes Elijah heralding in the future redemption. We read Malachi’s hopeful words on the Sabbath before Passover. Then, during the Seder, we pour a special cup of wine and open the door to symbolically… Read more »

devotional

The Hebrew word for camel is גמל, ‘gamal,’ which also means “to be independent,” as seen in this verse: “And the boy grew up, and was weaned (vayigamal)” (Genesis 21:8). The name describes the camel’s ability to survive without water for many months. (Rabbi Natan Slifkin). It is fitting that the independent camel journeyed with… Read more »

devotional

The Hebrew month of Nissan is known as the ‘Month of our Redemption.’ Jews believe that whatever happened to our Biblical ancestors has direct bearing on us and that everything recorded in the Torah is not merely a historical record but has prophetic implications. Therefore, the Talmud teaches that in the month of Nissan we… Read more »

devotional

When Israeli Knesset member Naftali Bennett spoke in New York and was faced with protestors questioning Israel’s right to the Land, he took out an ancient coin. “This coin, which says ‘Freedom of Zion’ in Hebrew, was used by Jews 2,000 years ago in the State of Israel, in what you call occupied,” Bennett said…. Read more »

devotional

Today’s verse from Proverbs contains a wonderful tip for improving personal relationships. Our feelings towards another person reflect back to us like a mirror. If we feel love or hate for a person, he or she will feel the same way in return. To improve a relationship, one need only work on exuding positive energy… Read more »

devotional

On Election day in Israel, the country decides who will be the Prime Minister for the next four years. We are all concerned about the important domestic, foreign and security issues facing the State of Israel and pray that the God of Israel protects whomever emerges at the head of the Knesset. The Biblical Hebrew… Read more »

devotional

Recently we heard the incredible news that Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat was in his car when he saw a terrorist who had just stabbed a young Jewish man on a Jerusalem street. Barkat jumped out of his car with his bodyguard and tackled the terrorist. Only later did we learn about Barkat’s even greater act…. Read more »

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