Teachings on the Parsha, on the Chagim and on Jewish Thought
Rosh Chodesh Elul: Hashem is my Light and Salvation
A couple of years ago, on Rosh Chodesh Ellul, during one of the darkest and most challenging periods in my life, I visited the Alma Cave with my children.
What I experienced there in the cave, was among the most powerful moments of my life. It was a special lesson of faith, resilience and personal growth.
New Inner Vision Glasses for Life
By improving our inner vision, by putting on new glasses and seeing the world through different eyes, we can hear God callings to us through the events in our lives, through our social interactions and through our closest relationships “The blessing that you will hear”.
If we can wear these perceptive new glasses, we will see immediately, even during the current crisis, how even the most excruciating challenges we face are designed for our benefit. When we find the courage to look inside ourselves, we can understand that what seems to be a curse may actually be a blessing.
The Power of Listening
When we are not able to really listen to our loved ones it is often because we think they are threatening us, when in fact they serve as the mirror for our weaknesses. We instinctively feel the need to get into defense mode, or to flee, block our ears, and even blame others for our errors.
If we have the courage and patience to listen to the end, we can truly grow and deepen the bond with those closest to us. This will give us the courage to listen to opposing opinions, not to be afraid of them and not to try to silence them. Once we can let go of all these defensive strategies, we will begin to realize that true listening in the key to self-growth
Unfreezing Our Hearts – Reflections on Tu B’Av in COVID-19 Times
Tu B’Av, should be the happiest day of the year and a festival of true and authentic love. Olaf from “Frozen” teaches us that true love is putting someone else’s needs before your own.
On Tu B’Av and Ahavat Chinam
We have been practicing social distancing for months, because it has proven to be the most effective way to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, the pandemic of Sinat Chinam (baseless hatred) from which we have been suffering for thousands of years should be battled with the exact opposite weapon – social closeness.
Changing the Culture of Dispute
The remedy for the whole of society must begin with our personal actions, so I wish to suggest a road map to conduct what our Sages define as ‘machloket le’shem shamayim’ (dispute for the sake of Heaven). If we can implement these principles in every conversation, argument and conflict in our lives, between families and friends, in the workplace and in the political arena, and especially on social media, it will bring our society to a much healthier place.
The Courage to Cry
Authentic tears can melt away the layers of apathy and cynicism we wrap ourselves in and open the locked gates within our hearts. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch writes that just as sweat is the sign of a physical workout, tears are the sign of the soul’s workout since “tears are the sweat of the soul.”
Question Marks – the Essence of Jewish Faith
Every encounter with death raises theological questions, challenging questions, unanswered questions. Many of us have experienced this struggle, particularly recently with the many lives tragically lost during the Coronavirus pandemic. This is the essence of the Red Heifer commandment, an obscure and incomprehensible mitzvah that even King Solomon, whose wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people, […]