When one reads about the wrath of G-d in the story of the Meraglim, the spies sent to scout the Land of Israel, one finds that to trust in G-d, to be confident in his care for us, to be optimistic, is no privilege, not something we may or may not do, but an obligation. … Continue reading The Right to be Afraid
In Parashat Naso we learn about the Mitzvah of Nazir, the Byblical Jewish hermit. That's a person who has been exposed to some unlawful conduct, as witness or participant, and wishes to cleanse his soul. הרואה סוטה בקלקולה יזיר עצמו מן היין He who has witnessed a Sotah (a divergent woman) in her downfall should vow … Continue reading Bending Bars & Hassidut
Israel on Mt Sinai used a strange formula. נעשה ונשמע We shall do, (perform, observe) , and we shall hear It should have been vice versa! First you hear and listen, then you do what should be done. Of course "hear" here means harken, understand. Our vow at Mt Sinai was to observe the Mitzvot, … Continue reading The Secret of the Angels
The Midrash says that our forefathers, Avraham, Yizhak & Yaakov, fulfilled all of the 613 Mitzvot of the Torah, of their own initiative, through their own intuition. קיימו האבות את התורה, אפילו עירובי תבשילים. Our fathers fulfilled the Torah - even Eruvey Tavshilin! (which is a decree of our Sages, obviously at a much later age). … Continue reading Their Torah or Ours?
More than once I've noticed that what the Torah wants to say and how it says it - are one. One example can be found in our Parasha (Bamidbar) where we are told about the formation of the tribes around the Tabernacle. The Camp of Israel, the Machaneh Israel was actually four minor camps, each … Continue reading Unity of Means & Contents in the Torah
One of the least known tombs of the Tzadikim in the Galilee is the tomb of Rabbi Nehemiah HaAmsouni (ר' נחמיה העמסוני) at Parod. It resides right next to another tomb - Rabbi Yishmael Baal HaBraytot (ר' ישמעאל בעל הברייתות) and it is one of the prettiest spots on Earth, to my mind. To see … Continue reading My Journey to the Tombs of the Tzadikim in the Galilee (2017) – part 2, R’ Nehemiah HaAmsouni
Today is La"g BaOmer, which is a special day not only because of the Sefira itself, and because it's the day in which ceased the plague which inhilated 24,000 of Rabbi Akiva's pupils. It is also the Hilula of Rabbi Simon Bar Yochai זיע"א, the day of his parting from this world. Rashb"i was a … Continue reading Where was Kabala before Rabbi Shimon?