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Hashem (God) refers to the Children of Israel as His first-born son. A firstborn is not the only child, but yet his status is unique and therefore carries extra responsibility. Similarly, all nations of the world are Hashem’s children; anyone can form a meaningful relationship with Him. However, He chose the Jewish people as a… Read more »

One of the central characters of the Passover store is Moshe (Moses). Moshe was the greatest of all of Israel’s leaders. Although Moshe had an intimate relationship with Hashem (God), he is identified as the most humble person to ever live (Numbers 12:3). The name Moshe is a constant reminder of his modest origins. According… Read more »

In the above verse, Moshe (Moses) demonstrates his love for the Land of Israel. Although Hashem (God) already forbade him from setting foot in the Promised Land, Moshe pleads with Him to change his mind. The words “Let me, I pray, cross over and see the good land on the other side of the Yarden”… Read more »

Chana’s prayer of thanksgiving, recorded in I Samuel 2, is considered a model prayer. In her time, there was still no established liturgy, and there was not yet any concept of organized prayer among the Israelites. Chana’s prayer was a spontaneous expression of her deep spirit, after finally being blessed with the child for whom… Read more »

The last ten verses of the this chapter of Nehemiah focus on reviving the sacrificial obligations. The word for ’sacrifice’ or ‘offering,’ korban (קרבן), indicates its true purpose. Korban comes from the word karov (קרוב) which means ‘close’. The korban facilitates a close relationship between man and Hashem (God). Although the korbanot can only be… Read more »

The Book of Samuel records a young David running for his life from King Shaul (Saul), and escaping to a cave in Adulam. Once David reached Adulam he refused to be overcome with fear and instead built an army of some 400 men. These men – bitter, depressed and lacking direction in life – were… Read more »

The final chapter of the Book of Zechariah describes the future purification of Yehuda and Yisrael, as the impure spirit is removed from the land. The purification will take place in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) through the waters of an unnamed fountain that will gush from the earth and stream over the countryside, purifying the people and… Read more »

Daily Devotional

Zecharya (Zechariah) prophesied about a future attack against Yehuda (Judah) by the nations of the world. In that attack, the nations will besiege Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), Israel’s capital, only to be miraculously defeated by Yehuda. Zecharya states that Yerushalayim will become “a stone for all the peoples to lift,” and “all who lift it shall injure… Read more »

Zecharya (Zechariah) described the arrival in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) of Israel’s king Mashiach (Messiah), to the cheers of the people after defeating Israel’s enemies. Returning in miraculous victory, the Mashiach will not enter the gates of Yerushalayim on a glorious military steed. Instead, the Mashiach will ride into the holy city on a humble donkey. Rabbi… Read more »

The Prophet Zecharya (Zechariah) proclaimed that in order for the kingdoms of Yehuda (Judah) and Yisrael (Israel) to receive Divine blessings, they had to perform emet umishpat shalom (אמת ומשפט שלום). While this phrase is translated here as,“true and perfect justice,” the words literally mean “truth” and “judgement of peace.” When two people claim to… Read more »

In the fourth year of King Darius’ rule, a delegation is sent to the Prophet Zecharya (Zechariah) in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) by the Jews who remained in Babylonia. They asked Zecharya if they must continue fasting and mourning the destruction of the first Temple since the Jewish people had returned to the Land of Israel and… Read more »

There are many explanations of the meaning of the name Yerushalayim (ירושלים), the Hebrew for Jerusalem. According to the Sages, the name Yerushalayim comes from the words Yirah (יראה) and Shalem (שלם). Yirah is the Hebrew word for awe, and shalem means complete. According to this interpretation, the name Yerushalayim means to completely submit oneself… Read more »

The prophet Zecharya (Zechariah) lived during a very exciting time in Jewish history, when the Persian King Darius allowed his Jewish subjects to return to Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) and rebuild the Beit Hamikdash (Holy temple). While there are some who heeded the prophet’s call to return to the Land of Israel, many Jews did not. Zecharya… Read more »

Micha concludes his prophecies by declaring his belief in Hashem’s (God) loyalty to His people and His land. This verse echoes the thirteen attributes of Mercy that Hashem presented to Moshe (Moses) after the sin of the golden calf (Exodus 34:5-7). By recalling these attributes, the prophet also expresses his confidence in the people’s ability… Read more »

In the times of Micha the Prophet, the People of Israel search for Hashem (God) earnestly but blindly, by increasing their offerings and bringing more sacrifices. Micha replies with the most sublime answer, linking piety with ethics, righteousness with empathy. What Hashem wants from man is to act justly, and walk humbly in His ways…. Read more »

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