"O L-RD, Who are my power and my strength and my refuge in the day of trouble, to You nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, 'Only lies have our fathers handed down to us, emptiness in which there is nothing of any avail! Can a man make gods for himself, and they are no gods? 'Therefore, behold I let them know; at this time I will let them know My power and My might, and they shall know that My Name is the L-RD".
Jeremiah 16:19-21

Jewish Jems

Broken and Whole …

October 20, 2011

And there arose not since a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom G-d knew face to face; [who performed] all the signs and wonders which G-d sent [Moses] to do in the land of Egypt… [who equaled] that mighty hand, those great awesome things, which Moses did before the eyes of all Israel (closing verses of the Five Books of […]

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HaShem’s Divine Presence …

September 20, 2011

Parshas Netzavim/Vayeilech Yeshaya 61:10 This week’s haftorah marks the climax of a seven week series of reflection on Jewish redemption. In this final presentation, Hashem announces His personal return to the Jewish people. Now that every other dimension of redemption is in place, the time has finally arrived for Hashem to rest His Divine Presence […]

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Torah and the The Tree of Life

September 10, 2011

Torah and the Tree of Life Chapter 6, Mishna 7(b) “Great is Torah, for it gives life to its doers in this world and in the next world, as it is written: ‘For they [the teachings of the Torah] give life to those who find them and healing to all flesh’ (Proverbs 4:22). It also […]

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Sinless Jesus?

August 27, 2011

I.            BACKGROUND   Why would the concept of a sinless Jesus be of interest to a Jewish person?  In principle, it should not matter to a Jew, since Jesus is irrelevant to Judaism – he is in the realm of Christianity.  The notion of Jesus being without sin is tied to the claim that Jesus died as a sacrificial […]

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Jewish Answers to Missionaries …

August 21, 2011

  I like the following piece from the introduction by Rabbi Stuart Federow (http://whatjewsbelieve.org/) to his pamphlet on Isaiah 53.  It is short, funny, and to the point.. One day in heaven, Jesus decided to look for his father. He came upon an elderly gentleman in the Carpenter’s area of Heaven. Jesus entered into a […]

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Q & A Noahide vs. Torah Law

August 21, 2011

by Moshe Ben-Chaim   Doug: During a session today of my class on Fundamentals of Torah for Non- Jews, one of the participants asked about the verse in Genesis to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it, etc. This person wondered about that as a commandment. My understanding from Rabbi Chait is that […]

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Jew vs. Gentile in the Eyes of the Torah, Part I

August 20, 2011

Chapter 1, Mishna 18(a) By Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld “Rabbi Shimon ben (son of) Gamliel said: On three things does the world endure: justice, truth and peace, as the verse states, ‘Truth and [judgments of] peace judge in your gates’” (Zechariah 8:16). This mishna is similar to an earlier mishna in this chapter. Mishna 2 stated as […]

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Jew vs. Gentile in the Eyes of the Torah, Part II

August 20, 2011

Chapter 1, Mishna 18(b) By Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld “Rabbi Shimon ben (son of) Gamliel said: On three things does the world endure: justice, truth and peace, as the verse states, ‘Truth and judgments of peace judge in your gates’ (Zechariah 8:16).” Last week we discussed the difference between this mishna and Chapter 1 Mishna 2. […]

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Life and Death are in the Hands of the Tongue …

August 11, 2011

Life and death are in the hands of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Sometimes we do not take this biblical phrase literally, because talking about other people may have become a pastime. We can feel good about ourselves by noting other people’s faults. Gossip can help us prove that we are the better one. And sometimes, […]

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Who is Wise?

August 2, 2011

L’zecher nishamos Rav Yochanon Motel ben Rav Ephraim and Moras Esther Leah bas Rav Yehudah Yoseph B”H The Salant Center    Mussar – A Healing Spirit for the Heart and Soul   PIRKEI AVOS\THE ETHICS OF OUR FATHERS\4:1  “Ben Zoma said, ‘Who is wise? The person who learns from everyone, as conveyed in the verse: […]

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Q & A – A Very Good Comparison of the Good and Evil Inclination ….

July 16, 2011

By Frances Q. What is the good and evil inclination? A. The evil inclination is that which tempts us, the good inclination is what we use to fight the ‘evil inclination’ I am pretty sure that I mentioned to you some time back about Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, when Luke Skywalker […]

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We Are Endowed With Both Positive and Negative Emotions

July 13, 2011

L’zecher nishamos Rav Yochanon Motel ben Rav Ephraim and Moras Esther Leah bas Rav Yehudah Yoseph B”H The Salant Center   Mussar – A Healing Spirit for the Heart and Soul Sefer Mitzvoth HaBitachon/The Book of the Mitzvah of Faith We are endowed with both positive and negative emotions. The purpose-and challenge-of our existence is […]

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If I Am Not For Myself Then Who Will Be For Me?

July 12, 2011

  L’zecher nishamos Rav Yochanon Motel ben Rav Ephraim and Moras Esther Leah bas Rav Yehudah Yoseph B”H The Salant Center    Mussar – A Healing Spirit for the Heart and Soul   PIRKEI AVOS/THE ETHICS OF OUR FATHERS “If I am not for myself then who will be for me; and if I am […]

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Why Did HaShem Create Bacteria?

July 8, 2011

QUESTION: Why did Hashem create bacteria which cause disease to man? Which means, why did Hashem create disease? ANSWER: Rashi explains in one place, disease comes for a very important purpose. There’s a bigger sickness that disease can overcome; that sickness is arrogance. Hagaavo Rosh Kol Chatos, the worst of all disease is arrogance, when […]

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The Purpose Of Falsehood I

July 8, 2011

By Rabbi Daniel Travis Two by two the animals came into the Ark to Noach. (Bereshith 7:9) The concepts in this verse are illustrated by the following allegory: Sheker approached Noach and requested entry into the Ark. Noach refused sheker on the grounds that it did not have a “mate.” When sheker left Noach, it […]

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The Purpose of Falsehood II

July 8, 2011

By Rabbi Daniel Travis Two by two the animals came into the Ark to Noach. (Bereshith 7:9)   As mentioned in the previous article, at the time of the flood sheker joined with pachsa to teach the following generations the futility of trying to acquire wealth dishonestly. Although this type of destruction is certainly a […]

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What is the Root of Immortality and the Soul?

June 29, 2011

by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan  Look at your hand. What do you see? A part of your body, an appendage made of bone and sinew covered with flesh and skin. It is filled with nerves, blood vessels and lymph ducts which run through it and connect it to your body, making it part of you. You can […]

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More is Never Enough …

June 29, 2011

  by Rabbi Benjamin Blech I used to think that the main goal of American business was to make people happy. Create new products so consumers have a better quality of life. Add new bells and whistles to existing technologies to offer a more satisfying experience to the users. I thought happiness was the objective. But […]

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The Divine Love Letter

June 28, 2011

  Translated by Rabbi Lazer Brody If Hashem wants us to get close to Him, why does He make us suffer? People who have it all – a loving spouse, health, children, ample income, and the like are usually very far from Hashem. The Torah itself testifies, “Yeshurun waxed fat and he kicked!” Those who have […]

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