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Parshas Bechukosai - Growth Mindset

One of the few players to go straight from college baseball to the MLB was left-handed pitcher, Jim Abbot. Through the 1990s, Abbot played for the Angels, Yanke...

   
 

Rabbi Yisrael Motzen: It's Time to Whisper

Baltimore, MD - May 27, 2022 - I was once walking through the streets of Yerushalayim with a chassid on a Friday night. A car passed by, and he whispered, “Sh...

   
 

Parshas Bechukosai - Lighten Up!

We are promised that if we follow G-d’s decrees and observe all His commandments G-d will grant us prosperity, peace, children, and the Temple. Yet, in contra...

   
 

Parshas Bechukosai: Miracle On Ice - When the USA Olympic Hockey Team Stunned the World

This week we conclude sefer Vayikra with parshas Bechukosai, which is commonly referred to as the parsha of “tochacha” – rebuke. Why? Because it is full o...

   
 

Sivan Rahav-Meir / The Daily Portion / Return Us In Peace

Many communities in Ukraine are struggling to survive, revive, and resurrect themselves, as illustrated in the following letter I received last night. "Shalom S...

   
 

Watch/Read: Rabbi Yisroel Besser - The Real World - Being Humiliated is a Gift (Video)

Good evening and welcome to The Real World. Chazal tell us that before Shavuos and Rosh Hashana, we read parshios about curses and tochacha because תכלה ש...

   
 

Parshat Bechukosai - Assorted Cashews

A very special Weekly Shtikle mazal tov to our dear daughter, Michal, who will be celebrating her Bas Mitzvah this Sunday. This past Tuesday was the ...

   
 

Listen to the Torah Sparks Podcast: Don't Yell at the Screen (Bechukosai) [Audio]

Baltimore, MD - May 26, 2022 - Did you ever yell at the screen during a climactic part of a movie? Did you expect that the actors on the screen would listen to ...

   
 

Parshat Bechukotei - The Strength of the Butterfly

Zacharia Wallerstein gazed out the window of his seventh-grade classroom window and watched, fascinated, as a handful of butterflies flitted in the warm, summer...

   
 

Bring Your Shabbos Table Alive with Your Own Copy of ‘TableTalk’:Bechukosai 5782/2022

Baltimore, MD – May 2022 - Every Shabbos table offers every Jewish family an incredible opportunity by which they can share their joy for Shabbos, for Yiddish...

   
 

Sivan Rahav-Meir / The Daily Portion / To Be A Tortoise!

Chani Lifshitz, a Chabad emissary in Nepal, sent me the following thought from Katmandu:"This week we begin reading the Book  of Numbers,which talks about ...

   
 

The Rabbi Yonah Sklare Podcast - Shavuos: Fidelity in Our “Marriage” to the Torah (Audio)

Baltimore, MD - May 23, 2022 - This shiur will develop the metaphor of marriage between the Jewish peopleand Torah. Just like in human relationship, this marria...

   
 

Sivan Rahav-Meir / The Weekly Portion / What Did I Learn In London On Shabbat?

"What is the main message that I am supposed to convey here? To tell people to return to the synagogue?" I asked the Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, Rabbi Ephraim...

   
 

Parshas Behar: Transform Your Life!

A famous poem we sing on Lag B’Omer, composed one hundred and forty years ago by the Ben Ish Chai, begins with the phrase, ואמרתם כה לחי רבי ש...

   
 

Rabbi Shmuel Silber - Parsha Perspectives: Behar - Do No Harm

“And you shall not wrong, one man his fellow Jew, and you shall fear God, for I am the Lord, your God (Vayikra 25:17).” The Torah is replete with laws that...

   
 

Bring Your Shabbos Table Alive with Your Own Copy of ‘TableTalk’:Behar 5782/2022

Baltimore, MD – May 2022 - Every Shabbos table offers every Jewish family an incredible opportunity by which they can share their joy for Shabbos, for Yiddish...

   
 

Parshas Behar - The Numbers Don't Lie: Balance & Symmetry

There is perhaps no greater cultural image of Jewish life than the “fiddler on the roof”.  In him, we see ourselves seeking to find the balance between...

   
 

Parshas Behar - Sinai, Sympathy and Social Morality

It is always a joy living in Israel and observing Judaism worming its way into mainstream culture. Listening to secular Jews, or even Arabs, conclude their sent...

   
 

The Rabbi Yonah Sklare Podcast - Behar: We Too, Have A Relative In High Places (Audio)

Baltimore, MD - May 18, 2022 - The conventional wisdom is that to be successful in life one needs connections to the brokers of power. How reassuring than, that...

   
 

Sivan Rahav-Meir / The Daily Portion / Neta's Shabbat triumph

"Shalom Sivan, My name Is Nechama Spielman from Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi. I think it's important to publish the following story:Neta Eiger, an 11th grader from t...

   
 

Rabbi Reuven Taragin on Pirkei Avot: Life in the Corridor

רַבִּי יַעֲקֹב אוֹמֵר, הָעוֹלָם הַזֶּה דּוֹמֶה לִפְרוֹזְדוֹר בִּפְנֵי הָעוֹלָם הַבָּא...

   
 

Sivan Rahav-Meir/ The Daily Portion / It’s Possible

For thousands of years, Jews read passages from this week's Haftarah and waited. On Shabbat morning, after reading from the Torah, they will read these sti...

   
 

Parshas Emor - Is He My Father?

The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my father, Reuven Pinchas ben Chaim Yaakov, a"h. At the beginning of this week's ...

   
 

Parshas Emor - My Trip to the Amazon

I was recently visiting the Amazon.   No, I am not talking about the epic Amazon River that runs through South America; rather, I am talking about the Ama...

   
 

Zera Shimshon - Lecture # 67 - Emor by Daniel Balsam

Baltimore, MD - May 13, 2022 - Zera Shimshon - Lecture # 67  - Kedoshim by Daniel Balsam  Click on the arrow to listen: ...

   
 

Parshas Emor - One Size Fits All

At the end of Parshas Emor, the Torah conveys the tragic story of the “Ben Ish Mitzri”, the son of a Jewish woman, Shulamis Bas Divri from Shevet Dan and an...

   
 

Rabbi Shmuel Silber - Parsha Perspectives - Emor: Make it Count

And you shall count for yourselves, from the morrow of the rest day from the day you bring the Omer as a wave offering seven weeks; they shall be complete. (Vay...

   
 

Parshas Emor - Exalted Above His Brethren!

In memory of my exalted older brother ר' שמחה דוד בן ר' משה ע"ה We are introduced this week to the special requirements and obligat...

   
 

Mazel Tov to Rabbi and Mrs. Moshe Aryeh Schachter on the birth of a daughter

Baltimore, MD – May 12, 2022 - BJL wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to Rabbi and Mrs. Moshe Aryeh Schachter on the birth of a daughter. יה"ר שיזכו לגדל ...

   
 

Sivan Rahav-Meir / The Daily Portion / Regarding Parent-Teacher Conferences and The World At Large

We are the height of parent-teacher school conferences. These days are consequential for teachers, parents, and students. Here is a pertinent point from this we...

   
 

Bring Your Shabbos Table Alive with Your Own Copy of ‘TableTalk’: Emor 5782/2022

Baltimore, MD – May 2022 - Every Shabbos table offers every Jewish family an incredible opportunity by which they can share their joy for Shabbos, for Yiddish...

   
 

Sivan Rahav-Meir / The Daily Portion / Firsthand Memories Of Rav Kook

When I was in Memphis on a lecture tour, I asked to meet him. They told me that in this city lives one of the last people who met Rav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen K...

   
 

Shabbat And The Moadim; In The Parts We Find A Way To The Whole

Speak unto the children of Israel and say unto them: The appointed seasons of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My appo...

   
 

Sivan Rahav-Meir / The Daily Portion / A Mother's Prayer

“Hi Sivan, I know you don’t usually publish stories like this, but I feel the need to share.My name is Avraham Maimon, I’m the brother of Yair Maimon, the...

   
 

BDE: Mrs. Georgi Holder, a'h

Baltimore, MD – May 9, 2022 - It is with regret that Baltimore Jewish Life (BJL) informs the community of the petira of  Mrs. Georgi Holder, a'h, mo...

   
 

Rabbi Reuven Taragin on Pirkei Avot: In Our Hands

 הַכֹּל צָפוּי, וְהָרְשׁוּת נְתוּנָה ובְטוֹב הָעוֹלָם נִדּוֹן (אבות ג:טו) After emphasizing ...

   
 

The Rabbi Yonah Sklare Podcast - Emor: A Beautiful Face with a Beautiful Mind (Audio)

Baltimore, MD - May 7, 2022 - Man consists of mind and body, spirituality and physicality. Rather than tussling in conflict, these variant dimensions of who we ...

   
 

Parshas Kedoshim - Kedushah: A Journey, not a Destination

A triple Weekly Shtikle mazal tov, in chronological order: to my niece Rikki and her husband Daniel Ash on the birth of their son, Reuven Pinchas Alexander, my ...

   
 

Parshas Kedoshim - Who's in Control?

Unfortunately due to being an avel I am unable to produce my weekly labor of love. I have selected one of my previous offerings that I feel is suitable as a ...

   
 

Rabbi Shmuel Silber - Parsha Perspectives - Kedoshim: Morality, Moderation And Maturation

“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to the entire congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them, you shall be holy, for I, the Lord, your Go...

   
 

Parshas Kedoshim Rebuke; Actions Speak Louder Than Words

This week’s parshah discusses the mitzvah of rebuking another who is doing something wrong (19:17). Besides for the obvious reasons, one of the many reasons b...

   
 

Rabbi Dovid Fink: Sefiras Ha'Omer "Rungs of a Ladder"

One can look in the Torah and find the exact dates on which Rosh Hashana (Vayikra 23:24), Yom Kippur (23:27), Succos (23:34), Shmini Atzeres (23:36) and Pesach ...

   
 

Sivan Rahav-Meir / The Daily Portion / To the glory of the State of Israel

Kalman Samuels wept when he spoke about his disabled son, Yossi, because of whom he established "Shalva", the Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of P...

   
 

Listen to the Torah Sparks Podcast: Skeleton in the Back Seat and Holiness (Kedoshim) [Audio]

Baltimore, MD - May 5, 2022 - In this week's Torah Sparks podcast, the host discusses the notion of projection, namely, that -as humans - we tend to see ot...

   
 

Sivan Rahav-Meir / The Daily Portion, Kedoshim / glorify the presence of the elderly

When speaking about the condition of hungry Holocaust survivors, we say that we must help them. When speaking about the elderly who need medicine, we say that w...

   
 

Bring Your Shabbos Table Alive with Your Own Copy of ‘TableTalk’: Kedoshim 5782/2022

Baltimore, MD – May 2022 - Every Shabbos table offers every Jewish family an incredible opportunity by which they can share their joy for Shabbos, for Yiddish...

   
 

Parshas Kedoshim - How Do We Get to Love?

But which is the stone that supports the bridge?   - Kublai Khan A famous Talmudic episode tells of a prospective convert coming to both Shammai and Hill...

   
 

Rabbi Reuven Taragin on Pirkei Avot: If Only I

If Only I הוּא (הלל) הָיָה אוֹמֵר, אִם אֵין אֲנִי לִי, מִי לִי. וּכְשֶׁאֲנִי לְעַצְמִי, מָה אֲ...

   
 

The Rabbi Yonah Sklare Podcast - Kedoshim: The Danger of a Smothering Relationship (Audio)

Baltimore, MD - May 1, 2022 - Relationships must be balanced with boundaries-- the granting personal spaceand privacy to the other party. This imperative, ...

   
 

Parshas Acharei Mos - No Two Are Alike

The portion that details the special service of the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur begins with the introduction that it was taught directly after the ‘death of Aha...

   
 

Parshas Acharei Mos: Take A Deep Breath

At the end of this weeks Parsha, we find one of the first explicit references to the fact that Eretz Yisroel is fundamentally different than any other place on ...

   
 

Parshas Acharei Mos - An Aha! Moment

Similar to the eureka effect, an “Aha! Moment” refers to the common human experience of suddenly understanding a previously incomprehensible problem or conc...

   
 

Parshas Acharei Mos - Brothers in More Ways Than One

The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my father, Reuven Pinchas ben Chaim Yaakov, a"h. At the beginning of this week's ...

   
 

Parshas Acharei Mos - Mankind’s Incredible Ability To Change

Although Hashem forgave us for the Cheit Ha’Egel (Golden Calf), its very memory can still be a cause of misfortune until this very today (see Sanhedrin 102a. ...

   
 

Rabbi Shmuel Silber - Parsha Perspectives - Acharei Mos/Yom HaShoah: Always There

Today, Yom HaShoah is a day in which we remember the 6,000,000 kedoshim; men, women, children who died al kiddush Hashem and whose loss continues to send tremor...

   
 

Sivan Rahav-Meir / The Daily Portion / A Little Spoon And Ten Messages For Yom HaShoah

On the day prior to Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), I received a precious gift, courtesy of the daughter of a recently deceased Holocaust survivor:"Sha...

   
 

Who Eats and Drinks First

In Shmos 17:12 it says do not eat blood. Yerushalmi Yuma 8:3 says from here we see that drinking is part of eating as it says do not eat blood. Gemara in Bracho...

   
 

Listen to the Torah Sparks Podcast: Milk's Favorite Cookie (Acharei) [Audio]

Baltimore, MD - Apr. 27, 2022 - When Nabisco changed it's slogan for the famous Oreo cookie from America's Favorite Cookie to Milk's Favorite Coo...

   
 

Parshas Acharei Mos - When in Rome...? Israel and Morality

We are taught by tradition to observe “minhag hamakom”, the custom of the “house”.  When in someone’s territory, we are to respect and abide by h...

   
 

Rabbi Reuven Taragin on Pirkei Avot: Parent Principles*

 משֶׁה קִבֵּל תּוֹרָה מִסִּינַי, וּמְסָרָהּ לִיהוֹשֻׁעַ, וִיהוֹשֻׁעַ לִזְקֵנִים, וּ...

   
 

Sivan Rahav-Meir / The Daily Portion / What Did We Take From Pesach?

More than a week has passed since Seder night. You remember it, don't you? Most of us have already eaten rolls, unpacked our suitcases, done our laundry, a...

   
 

Zera Shimshon - Lecture # 65 - Acharei Mos by Daniel Balsam

Baltimore, MD - Apr. 25, 2022 - Zera Shimshon - Lecture # 65  - Acharei Mos  by Daniel Balsam  Click on the arrow to listen All m...

   
 

The Rabbi Yonah Sklare Podcast - Post Pesach Message: Barking Dogs and The Audacity to Hope (Audio)

Baltimore, MD - Apr. 25, 2022 - In this shiur we will trace the key to self-liberation-- a holy ‘’chutzpah’’ and unwillingness to accept the dreary stat...