Food For Thought
Apr02

Food For Thought

HaLakhma Anya – This is the bread of affliction that our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. All who are hungry, come and eat! All who are in need, come and join in celebrating Pesach! This year we are here, next year we will be in the land of Israel! This year we are [...]

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How Do We Redeem Ourselves?
Jan01

How Do We Redeem Ourselves?

I woke up this morning after another restless night. With an achy back, stuffy nose and aggressive cough, I wished I could stay in bed under the warm covers. After getting dressed and finally getting all the kids on their way, I opened the front door and was besieged by the freezing cold wind. I [...]

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How We Can Bring Mashiach
Jul17

How We Can Bring Mashiach

  We think of Moses as being the ultimate prophet, someone who spoke “face to face” with God and stood between Heaven and earth. Therefore we assume that when he experienced a prophecy, its message and interpretation were obvious to him. Indeed, in this week’s parashah Moses states, “This is the word that God has [...]

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Have Faith In Your Prayers
Jan16

Have Faith In Your Prayers

We all want and need different things. Sometimes those things are spiritual, like feeling closeness with God or working on our own character traits. Sometimes they are physical needs, like a working car, a reasonably-priced house, and the like. Whatever we need, Reb Noson teaches that prayer is the way to bring about a manifestation [...]

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The Secret of the Redemption
Dec25

The Secret of the Redemption

“Jacob called for his sons and said, ’Come together’... ‘Gather together’” (Genesis 49:1-2). Jacob wanted to reveal the time of the Redemption to his children, but the Divine Presence left him (Rashi). It was the end of Jacob’s life and he had brought together all of his holy offspring, the twelve tribes. Jacob had accomplished [...]

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The Message In The Menorah
Dec12

The Message In The Menorah

Each year when Chanukah time swings around, fond memories of lighting the menorah come to mind. I remember being with my family, singing Maoz Tzur and eating latkes with applesauce. But year after year as we continue to light the menorah, are these experiences just a nostalgic ritual, or do they grow and become exciting [...]

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A Chassidishe Maaseh #2
Jul03

A Chassidishe Maaseh #2

Shivchei HaBaal Shem Tov #60 Reb Yosef the Melamed (cheder* teacher) once visited Linitz and told the following story. Reb Yosef was a trustworthy individual and held money in escrow for many people. During a certain period, he had many people’s money in his care. One of those people was the rebbetzin** of his town, [...]

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Questions—and Answers
Apr11

Questions—and Answers

Part of the freedom process that culminates in the existence and celebration of Pesach is asking questions. You've got to ask! The son “who doesn’t know how to ask” is not, according to the Maharal of Prague, someone who is unwise. He is someone who is indifferent, someone who is criminally negligent. Rebbe Nachman teaches [...]

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Erase Their Name?
Mar25

Erase Their Name?

I thought I was imagining the dearth of media coverage on the recent (Adar-2 5771/March ’11) terrorist (?) attacks in the Holy Land, but a friend pointed it out so it seems I am not. There is nothing new under the sun. Lack of media coverage reminded me that Haman's son tried to erase from [...]

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Dvar Torah for Purim
Mar10

Dvar Torah for Purim

Dvar Torah for Purim Based on Likutey Moharan II, Lesson #74 “Because initially all beginnings were from Pesach. That is why all the mitzvahs are a reminder of the Exodus from Egypt. But now....” (And [Rebbe Nachman] did not conclude.) Rebbe Nachman did not conclude, so we must begin. Exactly what the Rebbe was implying, [...]

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You Don’t Say
Mar09

You Don’t Say

A friend was upset recently and e-mailed me. He had seen—on a website that attempts to spread the teachings of Rebbe Nachman z”l (Hebrew for zikhrono livrakhah, may his memory be for a blessing)—that the Holocaust was good. And, that in order to hasten the arrival of Mashiach, we would need to thank God for [...]

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In Honor of Purim
Feb24

In Honor of Purim

So, we all know Rebbe Nachman said (Likutey Moharan II, Lesson #78), “Never give up! There’s no such thing as despair!” And Purim was—and is—living proof of that. So, I was thinking: Let’s put together a list of quotes that “show once again” that there really is no reason to give up, that salvation and rescue can [...]

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SHOVaVYM (ToT)
Jan06

SHOVaVYM (ToT)

This is “extra credit,” intended to be informative, not obligatory. This is a slightly updated version of a dvar Torah from many years ago, so if it looks familiar, you know why. The week of the Torah-reading (parshat) Shemot begins the period of Shovavym. SHOVaVYM is an acronym for the first six parshiot found in the [...]

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42nd Day of the Omer (Tuesday, 11 May)

Week of Yesod, Seventh Day Major sefirah: Yesod/Foundation; minor sefirah: Malkhut/Royalty-Kingship You know, even in the darkest days in Egypt, we always had the tradition that the Redeemer would come, a towering tzaddik. And we were fortunate. Many of the ancients, the founders of our tribes, the children and grandchildren of our third patriarch Yaakov, [...]

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41st Day of the Omer (Monday, 10 May)

Week of Yesod, Sixth Day Major sefirah: Yesod/Foundation; minor sefirah: Yesod/Foundation What’s the foundation of the Foundation, eh? Good question. I’ve discovered that quiet itself is foundational (Zohar 3:115b). When I reach that inner-stillness I feel the strength to carry out my resolutions because that inner-quietness can overpower all the outer-noise. And that strength of [...]

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37th Day of the Omer (Thursday, 6 May)

Week of Yesod, Second Day Major sefirah: Yesod/Foundation; minor sefirah: Gevurah/Strength How does an ordinary person like me become a tzaddik? Like in any other endeavor, it takes practice. But unlike other endeavors you can’t choose when to practice! It’s like being at sea in a small boat. It’s smooth sailing, but all it takes [...]

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