The Yom Tovim we just experienced are filled with so much simcha (joy). Where does that, however, leave those who have gone through, or are currently going through serious and painful life challenges? This article addresses this issue from classical Torah sources.
Viduy, confession, is an integral part of the Yom Kippur service; we say it each of the five times we pray the Shemoneh Esrei on Yom Kippur, both in the individual Shemoneh Esrei (at the end) and in the repetition of each Shemoneh Esrei (in the middle) by
This essay is a continuation of Rabbi Resnick’s first essay on “Appreciating the Benefits of Difficulties & Challenges.” Yissurim weaken our attachment to physicality, to purify us in preparation for Olam Haba (the World to Come). The Gemara Brachot (5a) discussed a sequence of three ways to understand and relate to Yissurim: First, one should examine his deeds;... Read more »
Every Shabbat we request from G-d in our davening (prayers): Sab’einu mituvecha v’samcheinu bishuatecha — Satisfy us from Your goodness, and give us simcha (joy or happiness) with Your salvation. These words seem quite puzzling. If something is from G-d’s own good, then why do we need to ask G-d to “satisfy” us? Won’t that happen automatically? And if what... Read more »
Pesach is probably the most widely known of all of the Jewish holidays. And if we would ask people what is its central theme, almost everyone would give the same answer — freedom. After all, the central focus of the holiday is the journey of the Jewish people from slavery to freedom.
Purim is both the final holiday of the year (since it is celebrated in the twelfth of the twelve months of the Jewish year) as well as an experience of the final stage of all of history — the time of the Mashiach (Messiah) and Olam Haba (the World to Come). King David describes this end of
There are actually numerous segulot that not only have no risks, but are the ones that our greatest rabbis and sources have constantly urged us to utilize and practice. The book “Eitzot L’z’chut B’din B’yamim Hanora’im” – Advice to Merit a Positive Judgment on the Days of Awe,”
While the gemara discusses whether or not there is mazel (astrological influence) for the Jewish people, it seems clear to all of the classical sources (besides the Rambam who viewed it as nonsense) that mazel is a spiritual reality which definitely does affect the Jewish people,
There are numerous examples of the ayin hara all throughout classical Torah sources: Sara put an ayin hara on Yishmael (Rashi on Bereishit 21:14) which gave him a fever and an inability to walk. That explains why, when Avraham threw Hagar out of the
The short version of the story is that the Greeks along with the assimilated Helenized Jews tried to destroy Judaism by imposing Greek values on the rest of the Jews. A small group of Jews (the Maccabees) successfully battled back and managed to maintain traditional Jewish