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?
Every year, around La"g Baomer, our Kolel of Torah studies sets out to the North to the Galilee to the Tombs of the Righteous, for a lovely (and hopefully useful) excursion. The word for "north" in Hebrew is צפון, Tzafon. It is derived from the verb צפן, Tzafan, which means to hide, most usually a … Continue reading My Journey to the Tombs of the Tzadikim in the Galilee (2017) – part 1, about the North
Now is the time for a bit of Pirkey Avot! עֲקַבְיָא בֶּן מַהֲלַלְאֵל אוֹמֵר: הִסְתַּכֵּל בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה דְּבָרִים וְאֵין אַתָּה בָּא לִידֵי עֲבֵרָה. דַּע, מֵאַיִן בָּאתָ וּלְאָן אַתָּה הוֹלֵךְ וְלִפְנֵי מִי אַתָּה עָתִיד לִתֵּן דִּין וְחֶשְׁבּוֹן. מֵאַיִן בָּאתָ - מִטִּפָּה סְרוּחָה, וּלְאָן אַתָּה הוֹלֵךְ - לִמְקוֹם עָפָר רִמָּה וְתוֹלֵעָה, וְלִפְנֵי מִי אַתָּה עָתִיד לִתֵּן דִּין וְחֶשְׁבּוֹן … Continue reading Pirkey Avot chap. 3 Mishnah 1, an Insight
The definition of holiness, sanctity, in Loshon Hakodesh, in Hebrew, is to be "set apart", be nivdal. When you sanctify something, you take it away from all other things and give it special importance. It becomes absolute, and all else - only relative. As Rashi says in our Parasha: בכל מקום שאתה מוצא פרישות גדר ערוה … Continue reading To be AND not to be – That is the Answer
What a relief it is to begin again saying Tahnun in prayer... From the beginning of Nissan we do not mention our own sins and confess them in prayer, because in holidays we think only positive and try not to look at what's bad (plenty of time for that the rest of the year) - … Continue reading Our True Self – Back to Tahnun
It's extraordinary. We're extraordinary. Because Judaism is the racist of all religions. Because if your mother's a Jew, then you're a Jew, no matter what you do; you can covert to Christianity, Islam, Buddhism or Hari Krishna, and it won't help you. You are still a Jew. And, if you're mother's a Gentile, no matter … Continue reading Judaism – Blood or Philosophy
Lately I've read an article, here on wp.com, in which the writer argues that Truth is absolute, but we aren't. What he was driving at was, it seems, that no religion is, nor should it claim, that it is the "right" one. Every relegion has at least something of the Truth, so all religions must respect … Continue reading About Relative & Absolute Truth