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...
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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...
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...
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When Rutgers students signed up to go on the Rutgers Jewish Xperience – Meor Israel trip this winter break, they were expecting to be inspired by the Torah, land and people of Eretz Yisroel.When trip leader Rabbi Yehoshua Lewis, director of the Rutgers Jewish Xperience on the Rutgers campus in New Brinswick, NJ, took some of the boys to the Kosel one morning, they were not quite prepared for whom they would meet.Rabbi Lewis organized a minyan so that many of these boys could put on tefilin for t...
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The biggest shul in the world is the Belzer Shul of Yerushalayim. It has 8,000 seats. On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, when many Belzer chassidim from around the world come to spend the Yamim Noraim with their rebbe, another 2,000 seats are added. The Belzer Rebbe wanted this huge shul to be built as a lasting memory of the Great Shul of Belz that his great-great-grandfather, Rav Shalom of Belz, built in 1843. That shul sat 5,000 people. The oldest shul in the world still in use is Prague’s A...
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"The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”So wrote the great American author Mark Twain and so, it seems, would be apropos for kiruv rechokim in America. One regularly reads about the end of kiruv, including twice recently from Rabbi Yonoson Rosenblum, who bemoans the apparent lack of interest in anything new, deep, or meaningful on the part of college students nationwide.Yet for those of us who work in the well-over 100 campuses and young professional programs around the country (t...
by April 3, 2020
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It is the day after 2012 Siyum Hashas at MetLife stadium and my heart is still racing, my mind is still whirling, my feet are still jumping, as they were last night. For most of us, this event has to be one of the most inspirational and incredible experiences of our lifetime. As a campus kiruv Rabbi, I wanted to give the frum world a different perspective, no less inspiring and uplifting. Several years ago, various kiruv organizations and specifically Partners in Torah, started to look to the ...
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While in the Janowska Road Concentration Camp, Nazi SS officers forced the Bluzhever Rebbe and fellow prisoners on a death march. The Rebbe walked with a maskil (free thinker) whom he befriended, a man who did not believe in G-d. As they approached several huge ditches, the prisoners were ordered to jump across, an almost impossible feat. If they landed in the ditch, they would be summarily shot. “Well Spira,” said the maskil to the Rebbe, “It looks like we’ve reached our end.” “Just hold onto ...
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It was with a heavy heart that I read your recent editorial regarding Daas Balabatim vs. Daas Torah. I would like to point out what I perceive to be certain flaws in your understanding of Daas Torah and how it is applied in our day to day lives.On page 210 of Yonasan Rosenblum’s “Rabbi Sherer” (ArtScroll 09), there is a letter from Rav Hutner zt”l to Rabbi Moshe Sherer written in 1970, in which Rav Hutner wrote the following:“There are very few gedolei Torah remaining after the holocaust whose d...
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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 ...