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              As we approach the ninth of Av once again to mourn the destruction of the two temples, we are left wondering what exactly are we missing?  And more to the point, we are not a religion that simply dwells on the past and laments. There must be something that we can do right now.  But how can we rebuild the temple? It seems that it is out of her hands. Aside from the political upheaval that it would cause, even we believe that to rebuild the temple is the job of a messianic figure. Gi...
by April 29, 2020
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Moral problems in Halacha: Women (With a short piece on Zeligman's "forbidden thought" attack at the end)Zeligman now attacks the Torah’s stance on women. Many of the attacks - and the ones that are commonly used by others as well - are based on quotes taken out of context, misunderstandings of Jewish law and literature and a general approach to women’s issues that judge the Torah using secular values and perspectives, instead of trying to p...
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  Could The Torah Have Been Written Down By Moses Question: The Torah, written before the Jews entered Israel, mentions the city of Dan, which was only settled years later. Answer - http://www.aishdas.org/toratemet/en_vayera2.htmlAdditionally, Zeligman dismisses the explanation of many Rishonim (medieval bible commentaries) that the verse was stated in a prophetic sense and was referencing the city that would be eventually called Dan. Their explanation, however, is not unreasonable, since we b...
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Da Ma Shetashiv - Series by Harav Aaron Lopiansky   ...
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  Moral problems in the Halacha: The status of non-Jews Zeligman attacks Torah for its attitude regarding non Jews. These issues have been discussed many times over the past two centuries. I will attempt to point the reader in the right direction and demonstrate that the Torah, when properly understood and in context, is not immoral. Some websites that deal with these issues: Gil Student’s: http://www.angelfire.com/mt/talmud/Also: http://www.frum.org/talmud/index.aspx (It should be noted that...
by April 29, 2020
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  Archaeology Special thanks to Yosef Back and Lisa Liel, both archaeological researchers with extensive experience and knowledge, for helping me with some of the approaches. A word about archaeology ...
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Evidence of the Divine Origin of the Torah We will now take a break from our analysis and refutation of Zeligman's attacks and focus on what is the rational basis of belief in Judaism. We will resume our refutation of Zeligman at a later date. The purpose of this essay is to provide evidence that G-d gave the Jewish people the Torah at Sinai approximately 3300 years ago. I will not attempt to provide absolute proof for this, since absolute proof is almost impossible to find for most historica...
by April 27, 2020
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                In front of the Smithsonian museum of Air and Space, a tour group of Asian students sat on the steps waiting for the bus to come.  Out of the ten students in front of me, I counted eight engaged with their ipad oblivious to the other members of the group.  Although these gadgets are produced in Asia, I don’t think this sight had anything to do with their Asian background. This is a standard scene for most young adults in the developed world and it may explain a strange incident t...
by April 27, 2020
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Great concern about women’s rights has erupted in Israel over several incidents- some inexcusable while others seemingly innocuous. There are two aspects to the issue.  First, does the separation of men and women imply discrimination against women, as Bill Gates commented in a recent interview on the BBC?  Secondly, should the separation and cover up be enforced in the public domain? The second issue is fairly simple, no, and especially not in the way certain situations have been handled.  To be...
by April 27, 2020
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The media is not known for its affinity for the religious establishment. Yet, it could be the media unknowingly will help create a religious revival.  With the constant conjectures of what the future holds: will Greece default, will Israel attack Iran, and what will be with this so called Arab spring, the media is creating a culture of dealing with an unknown future on a consistent basis.  This creates a mentality that the future will be different, that what there is now won’t be.  Used healthil...
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Rabbi Shlomo Landau began working for Torah Links (the outreach arm of the Lakewood Yeshivah) in the summer of 2000, and he was instrumental in founding Torah Links of Middlesex County located in East Brunswick, NJ. Torah Links of Middlesex County began with a few home-based study groups and has blossomed into a full service kiruv organization serving 400+ Jewish families in the area. From Sunday school to Hebrew High, from numerous daily classes to High Holiday programs, the organization works flat-out to create inspiring programs. The results speak for themselves. Thousands of Jews from all walks of life have been positively impacted by the uplifting and inspiring Judaism provided by Torah Links. In addition, countless individuals and families have found their way back to complete Torah observance, and Torah Links is proud to have graduates of its youth programs in top yeshivos and kollelim. Through Rabbi Landau’s tireless efforts, Torah Links is about to commence construction of the Torah Links of Middlesex County Community Learning Center; a 15,000 sq. foot beautiful state-of-the-art full service Kiruv center. Additionally, since the fall of 2002 Rabbi Landau has been a high school rebbi in various Modern Orthodox yeshivot. He is currently a beloved faculty member of the Ray Kushner Yeshiva High School (located in Livingston, NJ). For over a decade, Rabbi Landau has succeeded in inspiring hundreds of young men to investigate and appreciate Jewish living and learning. Rabbi Landau has built long lasting relationships with very many of his students – relationships that have lasted past graduation and continue to flourish today, when he is often called on to act as ‘mesader kiddushin’ at their weddings.
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"I thought I would do this [ponzi scheme] for just a short time and then extricate myself and my clients from it" —Bernie Madoff, during his sentencing hearing in court. We can imagine the temptation, the first time Madoff's investments turned sour, to use the money from new investors to pay the old. What harm could there be in borrowing in hard times and paying back when things improved? ...
by June 19, 2020
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It is hard to see the world in the way we are supposed to- with a lens of optimism and positivity. This is especially true now with all of the tumult in society today.  But the reality is that it is always challenging to see the world correctly. The Torah records the initial visual impairments when the spies sent to Israel to scour the land.  This one episode led to a thirty eight year extension in the desert.  Apparently, Jewish vision always had its issues.              After a taste of giant...
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Jewish mysticism is often perceived as ethereal abstract and beyond the ken of all but a select few. It is often considered to have little relevance to the day-to-day life of an ordinary Jew. Indeed, the laws and commandments found in the Torah and Talmud which form the framework of Jewish living can be understood and followed without any knowledge of the mystical literature. Chasidic philosophy teaches, however, that there is an essential, fundamental interrelationship between all levels of Jew...
by May 8, 2020
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Jews are credited with a plethora of creativity in the fields of arts, science, economics- basically any field under the sun. Unfortunately, we are not always credited with our most creative and productive work, sanctifying G-d’s name. What does it means to give sanctity to G-d’s name and why is it our most creative work?               To begin, we need a working definition of sanctity.  One way of defining sanctity is the ability to do an act purely for its own sake. In other words, our world ...
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by January 29, 2021
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Life is a process of highs and lows and these highs and lows can come close together. Many families have had births that occur right after a funeral and vice versa.  The question is will the high enhance the bitterness of the low or, the opposite- can we make the highs be a safeguard to the lows? Or even better, can we turn these temporary lows into long term highs?   A perfect illustration of this process happens right after the Jewish people’s greatest moment. The sea has just split in front...