Devotionals

Daily Devotional

Throughout the Bible, horses are mentioned as animals of war. Here, King Shlomo is emphasizing an important lesson that is no less true today than it was when he said it centuries ago: Man prepares as much as possible, but ultimately, all victory and success comes only from Hashem.

The Torah names seven species as the special agricultural products of Eretz Yisrael. Even today, these seven crops can be seen growing all over Israel. In particular, the pomegranate has always been a symbol of beauty. Its unique shape was a favorite design element, appearing on the priestly garments and the pillars at the entrance… Read more »

A simple reading of this verse implies that after the implementation of Jethro’s suggestion for expediting the judicial process, every individual would be able to return to their homes much sooner. Based on a careful reading of the Hebrew words, however, the Kli Yakar explains that the verse does not refer to individuals returning to… Read more »

Based on this verse, Rashi explains that God’s forty-two letter name can only be uttered where the Divine Presence resides. The Beit Hamikdash in Yerushalayim was, therefore, the only place where the Kohanim could use this special name when giving the priestly blessing to the people. The description of the blessing, found in Sefer Bamidbar… Read more »

Yechezkel reverses the negative prophecies and includes a vision of hope. Referring to Mashiach, he describes a small cedar shoot which will be restored to the high mountain of Yerushalayim. This tree will grow, bear fruit, and provide protection for all those who seek it. Yechezkel is teaching that in the time of redemption, not… Read more »

Daily Devotional

“Operation Magic Carpet”,’ also called “Operation On Wings of Eagles” based on this verse, secretly airlifted almost fifty thousand Yemenite Jews to Israel between June 1949 and September 1950. Many of the Yemenite Jews had never seen an airplane before, and they likened the ride from Yemen to Israel as a fulfillment of this verse,… Read more »

The eagle flies higher than other birds. According to the medieval commentator Rashi, this is the reason why Hashem uses the metaphor of an eagle when describing the Exodus from Egypt: “I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Me” (Exodus 19:4). As opposed to other birds who carry their young between their… Read more »

When he composed this psalm, the psalmist might have been standing at the foot of a large mountain, perhaps the Chermon mountain range, about to embark on a long journey. As he looks up to the mountains, he stands in awe of their beauty, their massiveness, their sheer greatness. It makes him feel meek, and… Read more »

Honor is a funny thing. One who seeks it out is unlikely to earn it from others, but one who rejects it is likely to earn his fellows’ respect. As the Sages of the Talmud teach (Eiruvin 13b), “One who chases after honor, honor eludes him; but one who runs away from honor, honor clings… Read more »

“And plant them in Your own mountain” is understood as a reference either to Har Habayit or to the entire Land of Israel. When Hashem says that the Jewish people will be planted in Eretz Yisrael, He means that they will establish roots there and flourish. The Midrash explains that this is a reference to… Read more »

Despite the predictions of punishments that will befall the Children of Israel, Amos ends his prophecy with a message of hope. He proclaims that the day will come when the people will return to the Land of Israel, build houses, plant vineyards and trees, and enjoy their fruits. This is reminiscent of the idyllic times… Read more »

The wisdom of the Torah is described in this verse as the “beginning of His course.” The Hebrew word for ‘beginning,’ reishit (ראשית), is also used to describe the Children of Israel, called reisheet t’vuato, ‘the first-fruits of His [Hashem’s] harvest’ (Jeremiah 2:3), and it is also the first word of Sefer Bereishit, describing the… Read more »

Eretz Yisrael is described many times throughout the Bible as a land flowing with milk and honey. Rashi explains this expression quite literally: Milk flows from the goats, and honey comes from the dates and figs that Israel is known for. Ramban adds that the word “flowing” is used, which indicates exceptional fertility and abundance…. Read more »

Rosh Chodesh (ראש חודש), literally ‘head of the month,’ is celebrated when the first sliver of the new moon appears. In this verse, Hashem declares that the Hebrew month of Nissan is to be considered the first month in the Jewish calendar. It was in the month of Nissan that the Children of Israel were… Read more »

Yeshayahu’s vision of the redemption is a natural one. As the next verse states, there will be death, and people will still sin. However, the people will dwell safely in their land. They will live for an entire lifespan (verse 20), build houses and plant fields and vineyards (verse 21), and live without fear of… Read more »