Sefirat Ha’Omer – 5764

Rav Moshe Aberman Former Rosh Kollel in Chicago   Though to most people the period between Pesach and Shavuot is identified with the custom of mourning, the true identity of this period is expressed through the mitzvah of Sfirat Ha’omer. The counting of the days...

Leprosy, Crusades and the State of Israel – 5764

Rabbi Emanuel Cohn Former Avrech in Montreal (2001-2003) Founder of “Torah MiCinema” – Teaching Film and Judaism   The fact that both Yom Ha’atzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim occur in the period between Pesach and Shavuoth, known as Sefirat HaOmer,...

Thirty Days Proceeding Pesach – 5764

“Shoalim ve’dorshim be’hilchot ha’Pesach kodem la’Pesach shloshim yom” (Pesachim 6a), we ask and teach about Pesach during the thirty days which proceed the Pesach,. Two issues are discussed in reference to this Halachic dictum. The primary question is what does the...

A Day Like Purim – 5764

Purim is related by name to Yom Kippur. The day of solemn atonement and prayer is called Yom Kippurim, which can be read as The Day That is Like Purim. What can be the possible connection between these two days? Yom Kippur is a day of fasting; Purim is a day of...

Ta’anit Esther – 5764

This coming Thursday will be the Fast of Esther known in Halacha as Taanit Esther. This fast poses several questions. First, we must try to understand what is the basis for Taanit Esther. We know of Yom Kippur, which is of biblical origin, or of Taaniot at times of...

The Buds are Appearing in the Land – 5764

Tu Be-Shvat, as we know, is the “birthday of the trees”. But we may ask: what is the significance of Tu Be-Shvat for man? For many shlichim in diaspora communities, Tu Be-Shvat is a problematic festival. It seems – by its very definition – to be a festival...

Truth & Harmony – 5764

Three levels of fulfilling the mitzva of lighting the Chanuka lights are addressed by the Halachah: 1)Kiyum hamitzvah, The minimum fulfillment, 2) Kiyum le’mehadrin, beautifying the fulfillment, 3) Kiyum le’ mehadrin min hamehadrin, additional beautifying...

Light Up Your Life – 5764

During the Second Temple period, Hannukah was a festival of independence and victory. This is how the historians of the time describe it, and so it is eternalized by our Sages in the prayer service and the Grace After Meals: “You, in Your great mercy, stood with them...