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Rabbi Shmuel Silber on Parsha Vayikra – A Time for Change

It has been a busy week.  it began with a Bar Mitzvah on Motzai Shabbos, a wedding on Tuesday and a funeral on Wednesday.  Truthfully, this is not all...

   
 

Despite the Odds

We are in the midst of a crisis. The world is in turmoil. The end of the tunnel is not yet in sight. People are succumbing, people are suffering. In our p...

   
 

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

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

   
 

Parshas Vayikra - OOPS! is No Excuse

“As Freud has shown, blunders are not the merest chance. They are the result of suppressed desires and conflicts. They are ripples on the surface of life, pro...

   
 

Watch - Rabbi Yoav Elan: How NOT to Make Ketores

Baltimore, MD - Mar. 25, 2020 - During these trying times people are taking it upon themselves to recite and study the parshah of the Ketores becasue at the Kor...

   
 

Hilchos Loshon Hora – Understanding the Basics

This article is adapted from my sefer “What Can I Say… Today?” on the laws of Loshon Hora in contemporary times. All halachos mentioned herein are complex...

   
 

Salting

[ED. Note]: There is a great new resource available for reviewing or learning the daf. Request to join by texting 7185772401 or clicking here or by emailing daf...

   
 

Rabbi Moshe Taragin: Corona Virus Diary - Weeks #1 & 2

The current corona virus crisis has toppled the world order, sent stock markets plummeting and reshaped human consciousness. For many, it is, and will remain th...

   
 

Listen to Rabbi Moshe Hauer - Rosh Chodesh Nissan Shuir - Women and Pesach (Audio)

Baltimore, MD - Mar. 22, 2020 - Preparing for Pesach is not just about getting rid of chametz. As women, it is important to prepare for Pesach by emulating...

   
 

Parshas Vayakheil/Pekudei - HaChodesh: It Will be Good

Over the past few weeks, the spread of the Coronavirus virus has literally turned our world as we know it upside down. It is a veritable pandemic, no different ...

   
 

Parshas Pekudei: Revelation Takes Work; Holiness Is A Step By Step Engagement

Imagine a Hollywood director envisioning the moment when Shemot closes.  Here was a people who, having been redeemed from slavery had come into the desert ...

   
 

Borrer and Tzoveah

[ED. Note]: There is a great new resource available for reviewing or learning the daf. Request to join by texting 7185772401 or clicking here or by emailing daf...

   
 

Parshas Ki Sisa - Here Comes the Bride

Before recording the tragic episode of the sin of the Golden Calf, the Torah goes back to the moments immediately prior to their sinning, in reporting how Hashe...

   
 

Parshas Ki Sisa - Be Serious

We have Purim, Pesach and the coronavirus. Purim is an incredible story. After reading the Megillah we recite a piyut which says Hashem upends the plots and s...

   
 

Parshas Ki Tisa: Don’t Look At The Calf

We were confused and overwhelmed. Moshe was gone for over forty days (according to our ancestors’ calculations) and the nation feared the worst. We built the ...

   
 

Listen To This Good Lesson For The Times from Rabbi Shmuel Silber On Parshas Ki Sisa - On Fire (Audio)

Baltimore, MD - Mar. 13, 2020 -  Listen to this good lesson for the times from Rabbi Shmuel Silber on Parshas Ki Sisa Click on the arrow below ...

   
 

Parshas Ki Sisa - The Elasticity of Time

We are reminded in many places that the Torah does not necessarily record events in precise chronological order.  Sometimes there are specific lessons to b...

   
 

Listen to Rabbi Moshe Hauer - Ki Sisa - Mishkan & Shabbos- First Aliyah (Audio)

Baltimore, MD - Mar. 12, 2020 - The first aliyah (section) in Parshas Ki Sisa is our first introduction to the relationship between the mishkan and Shabbos. Bet...

   
 

Breaking Tablets

[ED. Note]: There is a great new resource available for reviewing or learning the daf. Request to join by texting 7185772401 or clicking here or by emailing daf...

   
 

Parshat Ki Tisa - That Which is Broken is Whole

 There is nothing so whole as a broken heart - R’ Menachem Mendel of Kotzk Adam and Eve’s terrible punishment was that, by eating of the fruit of the...

   
 

P U R I M 5780

A Weekly Shtikle mazal tov to my nephew, Yeshaya Shonek, on his engagement to Tzippora Leah Munk of Kew Gardens. Mazal tov to the ganse mishpacha. There are ce...

   
 

Purim, 5780: Purim, Introspection and Corona

[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...

   
 

The Incredibly Relatable Message Of Purim

A couple of fundamental questions regarding Purim: 1) The era of Purim was one of our lowest spiritual points in history (see Sanhedrin 105a). We had sinned so...

   
 

Halachic and Practical Guidance for Megillah Readings

Please note the following guidance that is generally applicable.  We encourage each person to consult their local rabbi.  Individual communi...

   
 

Parshas Titzaveh/Zachor: No Straggler Left Behind

“Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future.” (Elie Wiesel) This Shabbos we remember. We...

   
 

Parshas Tetzaveh: A Practical Lesson From The Mishkan

The Mishkan was the single holiest place on earth. This week’s Parshah discusses many intricate details of precisely how it had to be constructed, in order fo...

   
 

Parshas Tetzaveh: A Leader or a Representative?

In introducing us to the majesty of the Kohen Gadol and his special garments, our parsha makes a distinct point of telling us that this position was unique...

   
 

Parshas Tetzaveh/Zachor: Were You Invited?

A Weekly Shtikle mazal tov to my nephew Yaakov Levy of Monsey on his Bar Mitzvah this Shabbos. Mazal tov to the extended Bulka and Levy mishpachos including Oma...

   
 

Purim: What Simcha is Really All About

One aspect of the Purim story gives a perspective on how people relate to other people—how you view another human being. We have various personalities in the ...

   
 

As Coronavirus Spreads in New York Jewish Community, Fears Rise of Antisemitic Backlash

As the coronavirus spreads through the Jewish community in Westchester County, New York, concerns are being raised about a possible rise in antisemitism as a re...

   
 

Nothing but The Truth!

The reading this week of the second of the four parshiyos, Zachor, follows that of Shekalim, which was read two weeks ago. On Zachor we read a passage at the e...

   
 

Daily Dvar Halacha - Mar. 5 - 9 Adar - Where Does The Word Hamantashen Come From - Parts I&II

                          &nbs...

   
 

A Symphony Of Learning: The Daf Yomi

The ancient understanding of the “music of the spheres” holds that when the universe is in harmony, it creates an inaudible, cosmic symphony.  We have ...

   
 

Parshas Tetzaveh; In Memory of My Friend, Darrell Zaslow

Parshas Tetzaveh deals with the completion of the Mishkan, the portable Tabernacle which would be built and taken down multiple times until the erection of the ...

   
 

Parshas Tetzaveh - All in a Name

As we know from our many Torah explorations, nothing is written in Torah, but that God intends it.  Each paragraph.  Each pasuk.  Each letter.&nb...

   
 

Missing Name

[ED. Note]: There is a great new resource available for reviewing or learning the daf. Request to join by texting 7185772401 or clicking here or by emailing daf...

   
 

When May I Ask a Non-Jew for Help on Shabbos? Parts I & II

Part I: Each of the following questions is an actual situation about which I was asked: Question #1: My car needs repair work, and the most convenient time to...

   
 

Purim : The Restoration

The Purim miracle was a “milestone moment” in Jewish History as a nation, faced with almost certain annihilation, was rescued by Divine intervention. Unlike...

   
 

Parshas Terumah - Hues and Jews

The expansive universe is simply a physical expression of all that is embodied in the spiritual Mishkan. The Mishkan and all its elevated meaning and significan...

   
 

Parshas Terumah - Sometimes, Ignorance Is NOT Bliss

It’s important to keep things fresh.  After all, repetition and familiarity can lead to taking things for granted.  That’s why I thought it might ...

   
 

Parshas Terumah - The Effort Counts, TOO

[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’: Terumah

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

   
 

Parshas Terumah - Who is Terumah For?

Parshas Terumah begins with Hashem commanding Moshe Rabbeinu to collect “Terumah” from Bnei Yisroel in order to build the Mishkan and all of its adornments....

   
 

Parshas Terumah - To Plant. To Believe. To Carry On.

There is a story in the Talmud of an old man planting a carob tree as a younger man strolled by.  “Old man,” said the younger man, “what are you doin...

   
 

Broken Talmid Chacham

[ED. Note]: There is a great new resource available for reviewing or learning the daf. Request to join by texting 7185772401 or clicking here or by emailing daf...

   
 

Parshas Terumah - Whose Torah is it Anyway?

Every element of the Mishkan was iconic- symbolizing an important aspect of religious experience. The holiest and, arguably most iconic, article was the Ark or ...

   
 

Parshas Mishpatim - You Can't Eat Your Basar B'chalav And Plant It, Too.

This coming Sunday, 28 Shevat, marks the 7th  yahrtzeit of my wife's grandfather, R' Yitzchak Yeres. The shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishma...

   
 

Parshas Mishpatim - The Antidote

The world is amidst a frightening health crisis. In China, the normal functioning of society and its personal interactions have come nearly to a halt, with peop...

   
 

Parshas Mishpatim - An Illuminating Light

[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...

   
 

Parshas Mishpatim - Love Comes In Many Forms

Parshas Mishpatim teaches us a great deal of the Mitzvos needed for a functioning society.  Included among them are many of the dinei mamanos (laws of mone...

   
 

Parshas Mishpatim - The Value of Family In the Torah

One of the Torah’s fundamental principles, cited in Parshas Mishpatim, is the concept of eyen tachas eyen, shayn tachas sheyn – that the Torah ascribes puni...

   
 

Parshas Mishpatim - When You Only Hear What You Want to Hear

If you know everything, there is nothing for you to hear. -Nathan Safran Parashat Yitro opens by telling us that Yitro “…heard about all God has done for ...

   
 

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

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

   
 

Slave Being A Mazik

[ED. Note]: There is a great new resource available for reviewing or learning the daf. Request to join by texting 7185772401 or clicking here or by emailing daf...

   
 

Parshas Mishpatim - The "Other" Book of Sinai

Delineating the various religious manuals delivered at Har Sinai, the Torah mentions the luchot or tablets containing the Ten Commandments, and a Sefer Torah co...

   
 

Responsa of HaRav Yitzchak Berkovits shlit”a: Common Shmiras Haloshon Questions (#4)

This article is adapted from my newly-released sefer, “What Can I Say... Today?” All halachos mentioned herein are complex and part of a larger framework. T...

   
 

Parshas Yisro - The Whole Truth

In Moshe’s quest to appoint individuals to assist him in adjudicating disputes and legislating the law, the Torah lists several criteria that have to be met f...

   
 

Parshas Yisro - Balancing Ears

[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...

   
 

Parshas Yisro - He Heard

Chazal tell us that the naming of Parshas Yisro, the Sedra which contains the Aseres Hadibros, is a great honor.  The Torah goes out of its way to tell us ...

   
 

Parshas Yisro - What Makes Our Laws "Jewish"? How Laws Help Us See Who We Are

Rules are everywhere.  In every society, culture, family and group.  What is the difference between baseball and football?  Rules.  From the...

   
 

Requiring New Kiddushin After Death?

[ED. Note]: There is a great new resource available for reviewing or learning the daf. Request to join by texting 7185772401 or clicking here or by emailing daf...

   
 

Parshat Yitro - Keep the Faith

Har Sinai is everything!! For the first time in history G-d descended into the human realm and revealed Himself to an entire population of three million strong....

   
 

Listen to Rabbi Moshe Hauer - Rosh Chodesh Shevat: Tu B'shevat- The Beginning Matters (Audio)

Baltimore, MD - Feb. 9, 2020 -Tu B'Shevat (the 15th day of Shevat) is the new year for the trees- the day when the sap starts to rise in the trees in order...

   
 

How Does Someone Convert to Judaism?

When our ancestors accepted responsibility to observe the Torah, they did so by performing bris milah, immersing in a mikveh, and offering a korban. In the same...

   
 

Parshas Beshalach - A Split Decision

Last night, at a parsha shiur I regularly attend, an interesting observation was discussed. The main event in this week’s parsha is commonly referred to as ke...

   
 

Parshas Beshalach - Can't Live Without Water

This week, Klal Yisroel finally leave Egypt. The easiest way to go from Egypt to Eretz Yisroel is up the coast—but Hashem did not choose that path. I...

   
 

Parshas Beshalach - A Splash and a Sludge

As young students in day school, we are often exposed to a basic appreciation for some of the importance of how carefully every word in the Torah is used. ...

   
 

Parshas Beshalach - Beach Bums

A superficial reading of the events leading up to the splitting of the sea reveal a massive deception taking place. The Jews ostensibly left for only a three-d...

   
 

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

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

   
 

Parshas Bshalach - Life As a Symphony

We are each but a quarter note in a grand symphony.                   ...

   
 

Seeing Kriyas Yam Suf

[ED Note]: There is a great new resource available for reviewing or learning the daf. Request to join by texting 7185772401 or clicking here or by emailing dafb...