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Rosh Hashanah 5781 - Musings from a Bee's Sting

[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, z’l, we will maintain a living memor...

   
 

Rosh Hashanah - A Breathtaking Year

Someone approached me to suggest an appropriate verse to imprint on a protective face mask he was interested in marketing. My instinctive response was a passage...

   
 

Watch: Rabbi Menachem Goldberger - Sings and Speaks Erev Rosh HaShannah (Video)

Baltimore, MD - Sept. 17, 2020 -  Rabbi Menachem Goldberger - Sings and Speaks Erev Rosh HaShannah Click here to watch      ...

   
 

Watch: Creative Textual Studies by Rabbi Yonah Sklare: How to Live Tekias Shofar as a Deep Personal Experience (Video)

Baltimore, Md - Sept. 16, 2020 - BaltimoreJewishLife.com (BJL) is pleased to welcome Rabbi Yonah Sklare to its growing list of Torah contributors. Rabbi Yonah ...

   
 

Watch: Inside ArtScroll Episode 7 - Interview with Rabbi Binyomin Pruzansky, Author of Chizuk for Your Heart (Video)

The newest episode of Inside ArtScroll features a full-length interview with Rabbi Binyomin Pruzansky, author of the new book, Chizuk for Your Heart. Rabbi Pruz...

   
 

Bring Your Shabbos Table Alive with Your Own Copy of ‘TableTalk’: Rosh Hashanah 5781

Baltimore, MD – Sept. 2020 - Every Shabbos table offers every Jewish family an incredible opportunity by which they can share their joy for Shabbos, for Yiddi...

   
 

Davening For Mitzvos

In Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 583 we learn that one should eat various simanim on the night of Rosh Hashana. Upon eating black-eye...

   
 

Loshon Hora in Regard to Shidduchim

This article is adapted from Rabbi Dovid Jaffee’s newly released sefer, “What Can I Say… Today?” on the laws of Loshon Hora in contemporary times. All h...

   
 

Halachos of Selichos - Reviewed by Rav Moshe Heinemann

Reviewed by Rav Moshe Heinemann שליט"א Written by Shalom Aryeh GreenfieldClick on the graphics below for a larger, printable copy*************************...

   
 

Parshas Nitzavim-Vayelech: It's Right Here!

This week's parsha speaks much about teshuvah and the study of Torah. The pasuk proclaims "For this mitzvah (the w...

   
 

Corona Diary #14: Coping With a Rosh Hashanah Without

The term “without“ best captures this year’s challenging Rosh Hashanah.  Due to health guidelines so many classic features of Rosh Hashanah will be m...

   
 

Parshas Nitzavim-Vayelech - You're Cutout For This

Nitzovim and Vayelech are usually a unit. They discuss the bris we made with Hashem. But Chazal ask: Klal Yisroel already made a bris with Hashem at Har Sinai. ...

   
 

Rabbi Shmuel Silber - Parsha Perspectives: Parshas Nitzavim/Vayelech - It Is Closer than You Think

“For this commandment which I command you this day, is not concealed from you, it is not far away. It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will ...

   
 

Parshas Netzavim - Pro-Choice?

Towards the end of Parshas Nitzavim, there are twenty Psukim within which the Torah refers to the Brachos and Klalos, which were just delivered on Har Grizim an...

   
 

Parshas Netzavim/Vayeilech - Fight to the Finish

To the one who says in the face of calamity, “I will have peace, even if I do as I see fit”, G-d responds that he will not forgive him. (דברים כט י...

   
 

A Last Message From My Rebbi

Baltimore, MD - Sept. 8, 2020 - Dear Friends, several years ago I wrote a D'var Torah a week before Rosh Hashana and as usual, I sent a copy to my long tim...

   
 

Parshas Nitzavim: Can We Change?

In the 1978 documentary, Scared Straight! a group of juvenile delinquents are confronted by real convicts who shout at, berate and generally seek to terrify the...

   
 

Bring Your Shabbos Table Alive with Your Own Copy of ‘TableTalk’: Nitzavim/Vayelech

Baltimore, MD – Sept. 2020 - Every Shabbos table offers every Jewish family an incredible opportunity by which they can share their joy for Shabbos, for Yiddi...

   
 

Parshas Nitzavim: G-D's Part in Teshuva

Teshuva is G-d's ultimate gift to all of humanity. The ability to invert our past, transmute our personality and rehabilitate our broken relationship with ...

   
 

Calming Effect

The Torah tells us in Devarim 29:9 “All Yidden are standing here before Hashem…” The Medrash says the re...

   
 

Bring Your Shabbos Table Alive with Your Own Copy of ‘TableTalk’: Ki Savo

Baltimore, MD – Sept. 2020 - Every Shabbos table offers every Jewish family an incredible opportunity by which they can share their joy for Shabbos, for Yiddi...

   
 

Parshas Ki Savo - The Pleasure Principle

...Man was created solely, להתענג על ד', to delight in G-d and to derive pleasure in the radiance of the Shechina (divine presence). For this is t...

   
 

Parshas Ki Savo - The Responsibilty of Being Great

In Sefer Dvarim, we are treated to one of several places where Hashem uses a particular term of endearment for B’nei Yisroel, referring to us as the “Am Seg...

   
 

Parshas Ki Savo - So Much Good

After entering the land and harvesting its produce, Bnei Yisroel are given the Mitzvah of Bikurim –bringing the first fruits to the Mishkan or Beis Hamikdash ...

   
 

Parshat Ki Tavo - What Does It Take? Humility Is Only For The Strong, Teshuva Only For The Humble

In speaking to potential ba’alei teshuvah we often say, just do the mitzvah, just light the candles; the action will begin to suffuse the goodness into your s...

   
 

Parshat Ki Tavo - Do We Uphold Torah?

Finally, the long-awaited moment has arrived. The book of Devarim forecasts the settlement of Israel, and the ensuing cultural challenges which this younger gen...

   
 

Bikurim During Shmittah

The Torah  tells us in Devarim 26:1,2 that when you enter Eretz Yisroel you should bring the first ripened fruit as a gift to...

   
 

Parshas Ki Savo - More Than Mere Gratitude

The very first Rashi in the Torah, quoting a Midrash, indicates the importance of Bikkurim, the first fruits offering that opens parshas Ki Savo.  Bikkurim...

   
 

Elul: A Simple Phone Call Will Do

I’m not ashamed of the fact that I love talking to my parents every night There is an image of the Jewish mother, calling from her Florida apartment and leav...

   
 

KI Seitzei - Keep Plowing

In this week's parsha we are taught of the prohibition against plowing with an ox and a donkey together (22:10). Rashi writes that this prohibiti...

   
 

Rabbi Shmuel Silber - Parsha Perspectives: Parshas Ki Seitzei - The Sublime Subconscious

“When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to take it; it shall be [left] for the stranger, the orphan, ...

   
 

KI Seitzei - Finding Integrity

There is a perplexing statement recorded in the middle of this week’s Parsha. “ לאֹ־תִרְאֶה אֶת־שׁוֹראָחִיךָ אוֹ אֶת־שׂ...

   
 

Parshas Ki Seitzei - The Uncut Version of Life

Be cautious regarding the lesion of tzara’as...  that you do not remove any of the signs of uncleanness, and that you do not cut off a baheres. (דברי...

   
 

Parshas Ki Seitzei - Mark the Spot

 Bnei Yisroel were given specific instructions on who is eligible and who may serve as a soldier in the conquest of Eretz Yisroel.  Exemptions were gi...

   
 

Parshas Ki Seitzei - Still Waiting?

[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, z’l, we will maintain a living memor...

   
 

Bring Your Shabbos Table Alive with Your Own Copy of ‘TableTalk’: Ki Seitzei

Baltimore, MD – Aug. 2020 - Every Shabbos table offers every Jewish family an incredible opportunity by which they can share their joy for Shabbos, for Yiddis...

   
 

Parshas Ki Seitzei - What We Remember, What We Forget

There is a movie in which the main character suffers from severe short-term memory loss.  To cope, he develops a system that allows him to negotiate the wo...

   
 

Rabbi Avi Shafran: Hard to Hear

When recounting in this week’s parsha, Ki Seitzei (23:6) how Balak hired Bilaam to curse Klal Yisrael, the Torah states how Hashem “refused to hear” what ...

   
 

What Must A Community Know?

Every now and then, I am bowled over by some piece of Torah that I read. Even if I wrote the words myself. Such was the case after I finished writing my weekl...

   
 

Maakeh In The Bais Hamikdosh

The Torah  tells us in Devarim 22:8 that when you build a new home you should make a “maakeh,” a special gate, for your roof so that you shou...

   
 

Semicha and Sanhedrin Controversies of the 16th and 21st Centuries

Last week, we learned what are the roles and responsibilities of the Sanhedrin, what exactly is semicha, and why is it such a central factor in the creation of ...

   
 

Parshas Shoftim - Battle Ready

R' Sadia Gaon lists 10 symbolic approaches to why we blow the shofar on Rosh HaShanah. However, he makes only a remote, if any, reference to the connection...

   
 

Rabbi Shmuel Silber - Parsha Perspectives: Parshas Shoftim - Joyful Judgement

“You shall set up judges and law enforcement officials for yourself in all your cities that the Lord, your God, is giving you, for your tribes, and they shall...

   
 

Parshas Shoftim - Extra Innings

We are entering the final month of a most unusual year. Little did we know a year ago how much we would have to endure — the challenges of illness, deaths, di...

   
 

Parshas Shoftim - Without Eretz Yisroel, We are Incomplete

There are numerous places in the Torah where Chazal derive significant lessons from the placement of one Mitvzah or historical event directly opposite or next t...

   
 

Parshas Shoftim - To Speak for the Trees

I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees … - Dr. Seuss The Lorax The noted children’s author, Dr. Seuss, understood well the importance of trees.  With...

   
 

Bring Your Shabbos Table Alive with Your Own Copy of ‘TableTalk’: Shoftim

Baltimore, MD – Aug. 2020 - Every Shabbos table offers every Jewish family an incredible opportunity by which they can share their joy for Shabbos, for Yiddis...

   
 

Parshas Shoftim - Should Religious People "Believe" in Humanity

The opening verse of Parshat Shoftim depicts the formation of a national and local judicial system. Judges are commanded to maintain impartiality and render tru...

   
 

Too Many Wives

The Torah in Devarim 17:17 tells us that a king may not marry too many women as they might turn his heart away from Yiddishkeit. Similarly, he ma...

   
 

The Riddle of the Egla

This is the first of a series of short thoughts I hope, with Hashem’s help, to offer pretty much weekly about the parshas hashavua or yamim tovim, in the hope...

   
 

Semicha and Sanhedrin Controversies of the 16th and 21st Centuries

This article will be devoted to an explanation of the various halachic underpinnings of the Sanhedrin, including: What are the roles and responsibilities of th...

   
 

Parshas Re'eh - Masis U'michayeh

In this week's parsha, we are taught about the meisis, the sinner who tries to seduce another to commit idolatry. We are instructed to deal with ...

   
 

Rabbi Shmuel Silber - Parsha Perspectives: Parshas Re'eh: The Choice

Life is filled with choices. From what we wear to what we eat to how we act, we must condition ourselves to think and choose wisely. This was the simple, yet pr...