Torah Columns
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After she finished reading Dara Horn’s novel “The World to Come,” my wife said to me, “The last chapter is amazing.” I am more of a non-fiction reader, but on her advice … more
There is a powerful story I heard many years ago but never shared publicly, considering it too fantastic to possibly be true. But having recently read an accounting of it in Yitta Halberstam’s … more
While Shemini Atzeret occurs at the end of Succot, it is, as Midrash Bereshit Rabbah notes, a chag bifnei atzmo (festival in its own right) rather than a part of Succot. (100:7) This is clearly … more
The festival of Succot contains two major mitzvot, dwelling in the Succah on the night of the 15th of Tishrei, and the taking of the Arba’at ha-Minim (the Four Species). Both of these acts are … more
The holiday of Thanksgiving in the United States of America is classically observed as a celebration of G-d’s bounty. It is for the same reason, according to Ramban, that the Torah tells us to … more
His steely eyes should have given him away, but over 30 years ago, I was a new immigrant, only four months into my Israeli army service, and I had no idea who this Lieutenant General really was. We … more
We have been on a spiritual journey since the beginning of Chodesh Elul. This month helps us to focus upon what is false and what is real, in order that we may pursue matters of ultimate spiritual … more
Rabbi Yissachar Shlomo Teichtal, author of Eim Habanim Semeichah,  described a Kol Nidrei during the Holocaust, Yom Kippur 1942. He was in Hungary, from which mass deportations wouldn’t … more
I still don’t know how he made it into Infantry Officer’s course, but I do know how difficult it was for him. Overweight, and far from being an athlete, the physical challenges he … more
More than what he was saying, it was his face that caught my attention. Flicking on the television absent-mindedly as I was getting dressed for a wedding, I came across the middle of a program with a … more
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