Chanukah is coming this week. Here are the basic laws.Read More
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."Read More
Is it okay to celebrate Halloween? What’s the harm in collecting a few candy bars?Read More
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?Read More
He had so many amazing and unique character traits. He was a true Torah genius, sharp and proficient in any and every area of the Torah. He was devoted to Torah study with every fiber of his being and the Torah.Read More
Many Jewish souls have been pauperized and deprived of their inheritanceRead More
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 day before Yom Kippur – this Tuesday is considered to be a quasi holy day.
It is important to attend Selichot at 6.00 am and hatarat nedarim at 7.15 am and again after mincha at 2.00 pm.
It is a mitzvah from the Torah to eat and drink on Erev Yom Kippur. This both gives us strength for the fast and substitutes for the usual Yom Tov meals, which cannot be eaten on Yom Kippur because of the fast. Ideally two meals should be eaten with bread. One must eat at least the seuda Hamafseket after Mincha before the fast starts, it should be a lavish Yom-Tov style meal with two challot on the table. One should refrain from eating nuts at this Seuda (particularly almonds). We don’t eat foods with garlic, nor do we eat dairy products.. It is good to eat fish or anything you like that is easy to digest but nothing pepper hot. One may not fast on Erev Kippur.
Sins committed against another person cannot be atoned for until one has first sought forgiveness from the person he/she has wronged. Even the great day of Yom Kippur or death cannot atone for sins against fellow people. A person should contact friends, family, associates and any person whom one may have somehow wronged or spoken ill of in the past year and ask forgiveness. Financial amends must also be made for loss. Any stolen objects must be returned to their rightful owners. Any person you have gossiped bad about, should be asked for their forgiveness.
It is a minhag for men (not boys) to immerse in a mikvah (ritual bath) on Erev Yom Kippur without a bracha. This is for purity and symbolizes a person’s rebirth associated with the doing of Teshuvah – return to Hashem.
Kapparot – An ancient and mystical custom designed to imbue people with a feeling that their very lives are at stake as the holy Yom Kippur approaches. The kapparot ceremony symbolizes our sins crying out for atonement.
It is customary to give charity as kapparot on Erev Yom Kippur. Charity helps to repeal any evil decrees and acts as a reminder that our good deeds, charity and repentance can save us from the penalty our many sins deserve. The money is taken and waved around one’s head while reciting prescribed verses which can be found in the Yom Kippur machzor (special prayer book) and then given to charity before Yom Kippur.
Checks can be made out to CEA Charity Fund or a donation to the Rabbi’s Charity Fund may be made through our webpage.
Viduy - confession, is recited at mincha, the afternoon service, during the silent Amidah in case a person should choke and die during his pre-Yom Kippur meal.
It is customary to wear white on Yom Kippur. This is symbolic of the angels and of spiritual purity. Males should wear a tallit (prayer shawl) for Kol Nidre and for the entire evening service, and is left unfolded at the synagogue to be donned again the next morning.
Despite, or perhaps, because of the many controversies swirling around us this year, it is more important than ever not to lose sight of one of our main goals as Jews: to pass on our glorious heritage to the next generation.Read More
Why is there so much emphasis on remembering Jerusalem in our lives?Read More
If you follow My statutes and observe My commandments and perform them… [A]nd you will live in security in your land. And I will grant peace in the Land, and you will lie down with no one to frighten [you]. - Leviticus Chapter 26 verses 3-6
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.
Moshe Rabenu’s famous rallying cry has often been quoted most famously in the large demonstrations around the world for Freedom of Russian Jewry. However the verse is always misquoted because it is quoted incompletely. The complete quote is ‘Let my people go and serve me (Hashem).’Read More
Many Jews around the world will be celebrating the seder this Pesach and many of them will not realize that the word seder means order or structure. Judaism is all about structure and order.Read More
Pesach this year extends from Friday night, March 30, until Saturday night, April 7.Read More
There are four mitzvot you need to do on Purim Day.Read More
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.
There are five extremely important lessons we can learn from the manna. (Exodus Chapter 16)Read More
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.Read More
Interestingly the first mitzvah given by God in Egypt to the recently freed Jewish slaves was that to sanctify the new moon.Read More