Devotionals

Jeremiah wistfully compares the evil king of Judah, Jehoiakim, with his righteous predecessor, King Josiah. Jehoiakim misused the throne for his own benefit at the expense of the poor, building himself new mansions of cedar. Josiah also enjoyed the material comforts of the king’s palace, but understood his primary duties, to care for and protect… Read more »

We are all familiar with the Biblical city Hebron, burial place of our Patriarchs and Matriarchs, but did you know that Yaakov’s great grandson was named Hebron? Son of K’hat, Hebron was actually Moses’ uncle, named after the city of his forefathers, generations preceding his birth.

Look closely at today’s verse and you might be puzzled. Why does God command Moshe to tell Aaron to strike the Nile River to begin the first plague of Egypt. Why doesn’t Moshe do it himself? Our Sages tell us that God was giving over a crucial lesson about gratitude. The Nile River had saved… Read more »

Each of the seven species have characteristics that are symbolic of the Jewish people. The Sages teach that the palm tree is unique in that each part of the tree is used for various resources which include food, shelter and fuel. Similarly, each member of the Jewish people has a unique mission involving various areas… Read more »

The Hebrew word for name is ‘shem.’ The great master of the Hebrew language, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, explains that the word ‘shem’ is related to the word, ‘sham,’ meaning ‘there.’ Rabbi Hirsch explains that “in the realm of the mind, by naming and defining something, one puts it in its ‘proper place’.” Here, Jacob… Read more »

The Machpelah cave is where Avraham, Sarah, Yitzchak, Rivka, Yaakov and Leah are all buried. According to tradition, Adam and Chave were buried there as well. Avraham’s purchase of this property was the first concrete action to establish a Jewish connection with a particular site in the Land of Israel, and upon his death he… Read more »

On Rosh Chodesh Elul, the Hebrew month that immediately precedes Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, we begin to reflect on the past year and contemplate the ways we can grow in the coming year. In today’s verse, the prophet Jeremiah declares that the future should be seen in the children who inhabit the world… Read more »

In the Book of Proverbs, King Solomon offers wisdom for everyday living. Constructive criticism is most effective when offered to someone who has an open ear. Solomon likens this to precious jewels, as the ability to accept reproof is as valuable as gold.

Alexander, originally a Greek name, is one of the few names that has origins outside the Jewish faith, but has been made an official Hebrew name and widely adopted by many Jews on account of a fascinating story that occurred over two thousand years ago. During his conquest of the region, Alexander the Great met… Read more »

This verse highlights the close connection between faithful service to God and the strength of Israel. When we follow His word, God showers his blessings and protection unto Israel. Young brave soldiers of the Israeli army combine spirit and strength to defend the Land.

This verse appears in a beautiful poem by Rabbi Judah Halevi, one of the greatest Jewish poets of the Middle Ages, who wrote from Spain about his love for Zion and here describes his dream of visiting Hebron, the second holiest city in all of Israel: “I will fall to my face upon your land,… Read more »

Isaiah foresees when Israel will be developed and nature’s miracles will be clear for all to see. How fortunate we are to live in the times of prophecies fulfilled, when water runs through rocks and roads are cleared throughout the Land.

According to Jewish belief, our Hebrew name defines our very essence and so naming a baby influences his or her character and unique path in life. One Biblical example is King Solomon, or שלמה/she-lo-MO in Hebrew. Can you think of a word that sounds similar to שלמה? That’s right – its שלום/sha-LOME, peace! King Solomon… Read more »