Climb the Ladder to Hashem

The story of Jacob's dream and the famous ladder with its feet on the ground and head in the heavens has an important message for all of us: "And behold the angels of G‑d were ascending and descending on it."

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Kiddush Hashem

If an nonreligious Jew is murdered just because they are Jewish, is that still considered dying al kiddush Hashem - for sanctification of G-d's name? 

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The Alter of Kelm, Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv

Amazing Statement by the Alter of Kelm, Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv on the Value of Talmud Torah.

Hashem created this world so that mankind should come to recognize Him and proclaim: baruch hu ubarach ubaruch shemo. “It was worth creating the entire universe, sustaining and fueling it for six thousand years... all so that... in the course of its existence - there will be at least one person who will say baruch hu u’baru’ch shemo at least once in their lifetime. For this alone, the world's purpose has already been fulfilled. And yet…

  • 1,000 of these baruch hu ubaruch shemos do not measure up the value of one amen!

  • 1,000 amens will not measure up to the value of one amen yehe shmeh rabbah!

  • 1,000 Amen yehe shmeh rabbahs will not add up to the value of one word of Torah!

The Lesson of Parashat Achrei Mot-Kedoshim

This week’s parasha speaks about the importance of being kaddosh-holy.

A man under the chuppah tells his bride הרי את מקודשת לי - You are holy to me - what does that mean? He is telling his wife under the chuppah that you are special and unique to me.

Hashem tells us to be kaddosh because we are different than the world out there: we eat differently; speak differently and have different goals and commandments. We were handpicked by Hashem out of all the nations to be his nation a 'mamlechet kohanim vegoy kaddosh' a kingdom of priests and a holy nation therefore we need to act differently than others, we need to be kaddosh - holy. Through this we get closer to Hashem and our goal is fulfilled. But how do we become kaddosh - holy?

The answer is by learning Torah and keeping the mitzvot and changing the way we act we become holy as we say in blessings over mitzvot "אשר קדשנו" - You make us holy through performing your commandments - through these mitzvot we sanctify ourselves and get closer to our Creator. The more the mitzvah is done with love and devotion the more it sanctifies us.

Do You Want Wisdom or Money?

Most people pray for two things money and good health. How many pray for wisdom? Very few. The quest for wisdom was made a priority by the rabbis evident by their making the petition for wisdom the first of the thirteen blessings of petition said in the amida (the nineteen blessing prayer said at least three times a day).

The Talmud Bava Batra 25b Rabbi Yitzchak said: “A person who wants wisdom will turn toward the south and a person who wants wealth will turn toward the north the sign for this was that the table in the Temple was in the north and the menorah in the south.” Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said “Always tun to the south because wisdom is the key to riches.”

The menorah symbolizes the light of Torah and therefore symbolically turning towards it grants a person the capability of attaining wisdom by desiring it. However why not turn to the repository of wisdom itself - the Aron Hakodesh the Ark of Testimony which contained the Two Tablets and the Sefer Torah written by Moses himself. Why turn to the menorah that stands outside the holy of Holies outside the curtain that marks the boundary?

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch states that: “The human mind, turning towards the Torah and receiving enlightenment from the Torah has to be kept conscious that it stands outside the Torah. The Torah is something that has been given to it and not produced by it. It has to draw and increase its enlightenment from the Torah but never to take its own light into the realm of Torah to alter it or reform it...”

Remember: Torah wisdom is the key to riches and so much more.



Fight or Flight by Rabbi David Bassous

The fight-or-flight response occurs in the presence of something that is terrifying, either mentally or physically. When the newly free Jewish slaves left Egypt and were camped by the Reed Sea they notice Pharoh and his army rapidly approaching  behind them. They were terrified.

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