gap year in israel

Parshat Noach

Friends, there is something incredible in this week’s Torah portion of Noach. Prior to the flood, the Torah relates, “Now the earth was corrupt before God, and the earth became full of violence [Literally: Hamas]” (Genesis 6:11). We know what happens next; G-d sends a great flood and commands Noach and his family to enter […]

Parshat Bereshit

Parshat bereshit

We are currently in one of the most trying periods in our national history. We’ve experienced unimaginable darkness and devastation. How do we respond in such situations? We are the people of the Book. When we seek clarity we need look no further than the Book; our holy Torah. This week we read the Creation […]

Shabbat Simchat Torah

Shabbat simchat torah

Once upon a time there was a king with an only daughter. As she reached marriageable age, the king sought a prince to wed his daughter. The greatest princes came for her hand but she turned everyone down. Fed up, the king decided the next person to ask would merit marrying his daughter. The next […]

Sukkot Dvar Torah

Sukkot dvar torah

A revered philosopher once came to visit Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov. The philosopher asked, “Rabbi what does it feel like to have bitachon (faith or confidence) in G-d?” The Baal Shem Tov responded, “What is it to you?” The philosopher began expounding upon the idea with a lengthy discourse. He journeyed through the opinions […]

Yom Kippur

Yom kippur

A young man grew up in a very small and secluded village. He longed to journey beyond his village and see new places. After years of saving money, he managed to accumulate enough money to leave the village. With excitement, he took off to a neighboring town. Upon arrival, he was immediately captivated by his […]

Rosh HaShana Dvar Torah

Rosh hashana dvar torah

The animals of the jungle were crippled with fear. Word had spread like wildfire to every corner of the jungle that the king of the jungle, the mighty lion, was furious at the animals. Every one of them worried for their lives. They convened an emergency meeting to discuss what actions to take given the […]

Parshat Nitzavim-Vayelech

Parshat nitzavim-vayelech

The anecdote is told of a man who took out a rather substantial loan. As the payback date approached, the borrower still did not have the finances to pay off his loan. The lender was pressuring him and it was causing him much stress. He came up with a plan to deal with the situation. […]

Parshat Ki Tavo

Parshat ki tavo

A king once took a stroll in the fields. As he passed by a farm, he couldn’t help but notice a certain worker chucking hay with his pitchfork. The worker had clearly mastered the technique. Beyond his impeccable form, the king marveled at the sheer strength and pace that the worker exhibited. Upon his return […]

Parshat Ki Teitzei

Parshat ki teitzei

The anecdote is told of a businessman who was traveling by carriage. He decides to take a short break by a nearby stream. Upon arrival, he sees a man sitting peacefully by the water playing with a large, shiny object. As the businessman approaches closer, he sees that the shiny object is in fact a […]

Parshat Shoftim

Parshat shoftim

There is an ancient Cherokee anecdote that is told of a chief that sits around the fireplace with the children of the reservation. He tells the children, “You should know that within each of you, a war is being waged between two wolves. The first wolf is a wolf of love, tolerance, patience, compassion, peace, […]