gap year in israel

Parashat Shlach

Parashat shlach

This week in Israel we read the Torah portion of Shlach. As the Jewish people encamp outside of what will eventually be their new home in the Land of Israel, Moses, as any good Commander-and-Chief would do, decides to send spies on a reconnaissance mission. He deems it important to ascertain what kind of land […]

Parsha Behaalotcha

Parsha behaalotcha

This week in Israel we read the Torah portion of Behaalotecha. It begins with the instruction to Aaron, the high priest, to light the lamps of the sacred Menorah in the sanctuary. Last week’s reading concluded with the offerings that were given to the sanctuary by each of the tribal leaders of the twelve tribes […]

Shavuot Dvar Torah

Shavuot dvar torah

This Friday we celebrate the festival on Shavout. It was on this day over 3,300 years ago that the Jewish people stood at the base of Mount Sinai and received the Torah according to the Jewish tradition. Undoubtedly, the reception of this G-dly wisdom greatly influenced the moral and ethical fabric of human civilization. However, […]

Parshat Bamidbar

Parshat bamidbar

This week we begin the fourth book of the Five Books of Moses entitled “Bamidbar,” or “In the wilderness.” G-d has created so many wondrous sites in this world. There are the massive, awe-inspiring mountain ranges of the Himalayas, the incredibly beautiful chains of islands in the Caribbean, as well as the wildly fruitful jungles […]

Parashat Hashavua – Behar and Bechukotai

Behar and bechukotai

This week we read the Torah portions of Behar and Bechukotai. The latter portion discusses various curses that will come upon the people should they not act in accordance with the moral and ethical specifications of the Torah. If G-d is all good and loves His people as His children, how can we understand this […]

Pesach Sheni

Pesach sheni

This Friday is the widely unknown festival known as Pesach Sheni, or “Second Passover.” After the Jewish people celebrated their first Passover as a free people, a number of people who were unable to celebrate Passover due to circumstances beyond their control approached Moses. “What of us?!” they cried. “We too desire to fulfill the […]

Parshat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim

Yom hazikaron

This week we read the Torah portions of Acharei Mot and Kedoshim. Additionally, we find ourselves in the middle of Sefirat HaOmer; the special countdown, or more accurately count-up, to Shavuot. There is a clear connection between a verse in the portions and the Sefirat HaOmer. Beyond just being the counting between Pesach and Shavuot, […]

Last Day of Pesach Dvar Torah

Last day of pesach dvar torah

The final day of Pesach commemorates the separation of the Reed Sea. It was at this time that the liberation from Egypt was finally complete as Pharaoh and his riders were crushed in the Sea. As a result, many recall the miracle by reciting the song at the sea. When we look at the verses […]

Parashat Shemini

Parashat shemini

The Baal Shem Tov was once traveling with some of his disciples. They decided to stop at an inn for a meal. Immediately upon arrival the students went to inquire about the shochet (ritual slaughterer). They inspected his knife and began questioning him on his knowledge of kashrut and Jewish law. They returned to the […]

Pesach Dvar Torah

Pesach dvar torah

During Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, a group of his highly trained soldiers got stuck in a snowstorm and had to spend the night in the home of a pious Jew. Although Napoleon’s cavalry was the best of their kind, the heavy winter snow would not allow them to journey on any further. As they were […]