Devotionals

So integral is the value of beautifying the Land of Israel through its agriculture that the Bible mentions it well over a dozen times throughout! Most crucial is for each of us to understand that it will only be through our hands that the Holy Land will be restored to its glory as God intended.

The prophet Zachariah foretells of the time shortly before the redemption when the non-Jews from among the various nations of the world will literally cling to the “skirt” (i.e. coattails) of the Jew and beg to be taught the truth of Hashem’s Torah. Indeed we see this prophecy coming true before our very eyes; non-Jews… Read more »

These words introduce the count of the tribe of Levi. However, the Bible goes on to count only the descendants of Aharon and not those of Moshe, Levi’s most famous offspring. According to the sages, Aharon’s descendants were considered to be Moshe’s as well, since Moshe was the one who taught them God’s word. Aharon… Read more »

The name of the Holy City of Jerusalem in Hebrew is Yerushalayim, ירושלים. This very special name has two important words inside it. Yirah meas fear, and it is a combination of awe and fear that everyone is supposed to have for the Almighty God. Anyone who has ever been to this holiest of cities… Read more »

Daily Devotional

This verse teaches us of the miracle of the manna bread, which sustained the Children of Israel the entire forty years they wandered in the desert up until they were literally in sight of The Promised Land. The Jews then went from being directly fed by the manna to being sustained by the bountiful produce… Read more »

The word ‘Amen’ is one of the most famous examples of an English word that comes from Biblical Hebrew. Even the English word ‘amenable’ which means willing to believe and submit is a direct offshoot of ‘Amen’ which appears throughout the Bible to mean, ‘so be it!’ In Hebrew, Amen is related to ‘Emunah’ an… Read more »

Zion Karasanti, then 24, fought in the Battle of Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem, and was the first paratrooper to reach the Western Wall. “I remember my mother’s fear — and her tears. I knew our country had no choice, and I had to do my duty to defend it,” Karasanti said. When Karasanti reached the… Read more »

This verse uses two different expressions to connote happiness, ‘sasson’ (ששון), joy, and ‘simkha’ (שמחה)‭,‬ gladness. According to Rabbi Mordechai Willig, ‘sasson’ is the enduring happy feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment. ‘Simkha,’ on the other hand, refers to a special but temporary experience of joy, felt on special occasions. The feeling of ‘simcha’ is more… Read more »

The phrase “Or L’Goyim”, a light unto the nations, is commonly used in Judaism as a reminder that the Jewish people have a responsibility to not only live by the Torah, but to do so in a way that sanctifies God’s Name and thus inspire the nations of the world to follow in their footsteps.

The Torah portion, which includes today’s verse, contains the commandment to set aside a portion of one’s bread to offer up as a gift to the priest in the Temple in Jerusalem. The nation relied on the priests for spiritual matters, and in turn, these servants of God relied on the nation for their physical… Read more »

A legendary Israeli storyteller describes three clergymen on a visit to Mount Zion in 1965. When they asked the Jewish curator why the Jews claim Jerusalem as their capital, he replied with a story. When Moses appointed Aaron as High Priest, a man named Korach objected. It was only once Aaron’s staff blossomed that the… Read more »

The prophet Zachariah prophesied that despite the overwhelming trauma of the exile, the day would come when the plains of Judea and Samaria would once again be filled with the laughter and joy of Jewish children as they play and run through the fields of the Holy Land. Today, we see that prophecy has so… Read more »

While the Bible is full of God’s promise to redeem the Jewish people, many have asked what the Jewish people have done to deserve His redemption. This verse implies that the redemption will begin through their commitment to the Land of Israel and the stones of Jerusalem. Even if the Jewish people demonstrate an insufficient… Read more »

What is the meaning of the double word ‘man’ in today’s verse? Tradition teaches that when King David refers to those who were born in Zion, he is not only referring to those actually born there. Rather, the double word is meant to teach us that even those who yearn to be in Zion are… Read more »