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Messages From the War – Oct 16

Yerushalayim has been uneventful for the last few days. Services are pretty much at normal levels, except for the public schools, which are still closed. Still hard to find bottled water, after the stupid...

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Messages From the War – Tuesday

Tuesday It’s been a quiet day in Yerushalayim, at least insofar as the sirens going off. In the skies above, it’s been non-stop bombing runs. Government schools will again be closed tomorrow. Busses are...

Beraishis –  Marriage Medicine

The first marriage in history, which we reference in the Birchos Nesuin recited under the chuppah, differed in a fundamental way from all marriages to follow. According to one Midrashic opinion, Adam and Chavah...

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Messages From the War – Monday

Monday. Haazinu ha-shomayim/Heavens, give ear! (Devarim 32:1) The heavens over Yerushalayim complied, with a pall that hung over the city, reflecting back the mood of shock, disbelief, and foreboding of the people. Roads were...

Vizos Habracha – Four Fundamental Letters

The Torah begins with an act of kindness, Rabi Simlai points out – Hashem’s providing clothing to Adam and Chava; and ends with an act of kindness – the burial of Moshe Rabbeinu (Sotah,...

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The State Triumphs, and a Patient Dies

Once again, life imitates art. The result is not pretty. Doc Daneeka, a fictional character in Joseph Heller’s modern classic, explains its eponymous Catch-22. A flyer can escape combat duty if he is insane....

Ha’azinu – And Zaidy Makes Three

The Gemara (Shabbos 88a) quotes “a certain Galilean” as having said “Blessed is the Merciful One, Who gave a three-fold Torah [in the broad sense, Torah, Neviim and Ksuvim] to a three-fold nation [Cohanim,...

Who By Tongue

There’s an often overlooked irony in the story of Rabbi Amnon of Mainz, whose poignant tefillah “U’nesaneh Tokef, describing the Ultimate Judge’s opening the book of our deeds and deciding our fates, is solemnly...

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