Devotionals

The beautiful Israeli city of Netanya derives its name from the Hebrew word ‘natan’ – to give. Back in 1912, the famous American businessman Nathan Straus visited the Holy Land. He missed his boat back to America via England. That boat was the Titanic. Straus felt such gratitude to the Almighty for sparing his life,… Read more »

In this verse, King David inspires us to speak well of one another and seek peace for our brethren. When we look at others as “my brothers,” the Almighty rains down blessings of peace into the world in the merit of our unity.

Jerusalem’s famous Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem takes its name from this Biblical verse. Isaiah articulates God’s promise that even those who are unable to have sons and daughters will be memorialized in Jerusalem by their “everlasting name.” According to its mission statement, the museum “safeguards the memory of the past and imparts its meaning for future generations.” Yad… Read more »

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 »

Ezra lived at a very exciting time, when Persian King Darius allowed his Jewish subjects to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. At times, Ezra becomes frustrated that the people are not in fact returning with the proper enthusiasm, yet his righteous leadership brings the nation closer to God, and, among many spiritual accomplishments,… Read more »

The almond tree is the first to blossom in springtime in the Land of Israel. In Scripture, it symbolizes quick action, as here the Almighty is informing Jeremiah that He will hasten to fulfill His prophecies (Jeremiah 1:12). Amazingly, in Hebrew the very word for “almond” – sha-KAYD – is similar to the word for… Read more »

This verse gives a beautiful metaphor to describe the Messianic age. Just as nothing can halt the flow of the ocean, so too nothing will be able to stop the spread of the knowledge of God throughout the world. Yet just as the depth of the ocean waters varies from place to place, so too… Read more »

This verse serve as the basis of the tradition to drink four cups of wine at the Passover Seder. Each cup represents one of the four expressions of redemption with which God describes the exodus from Egypt: Take out, rescue, redeem, take to. A closer reading, however, uncovers that there is a fifth expression, “I… Read more »

One of the first things that Abraham does after receiving God’s eternal promise to inherit the Land of Israel is offer thanks to God in the holy city of Hebron. According to Biblical tradition, Abraham lived in Hebron for 35 years, and, along with his wife Sara, was buried there. Today Abraham’s city is the… Read more »

On Passover, the festival of our redemption from bondage to freedom, each and every nation stands to realize that freedom may not be taken for granted. Israel’s soldiers face some of the worst enemies of the Jewish people and of the free world. Stand with the Defenders of Freedom and support the LIBI Fund, the… Read more »

Since the Torah is concise and no word is extraneous, we note the unusual repetition of “justice”/tzedek in our verse. It reveals the high value that God places on righteousness in all of our personal actions, while also holding society accountable for morality and responsibility.

We learn in the Bible about how the Jewish priests (the “kohanim”) would assist the people in bringing gifts of offerings so they could feel closer to God. Sometimes the offering was given just for the love of God, and sometimes it was given to show gratitude or repentance. In our lives, gifts have a… Read more »

Isaiah’s stirring words take on incredible meaning in our generation, as the Land of Israel stands at the forefront of the world’s attention like never before. Efforts to vilify the Jewish State seem to expand every day across the globe, as does the growing movement of Biblical Zionists who stand with the nation of Israel… Read more »

Throughout history, the ‘watchmen’ of Jerusalem have taken many shapes and forms; guardians through might, as well as those who protect the Holy City through prayer. Both strategies are interwoven, and necessary, for the defense of the Jewish Nation.

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 »