Is it Plugged in, Sir?

A tale told by technical support engineers goes as follows: Larry was happily browsing online when his new computer suddenly went blank. He pressed the power button on and off multiple times, but that didn't help. Knocking the monitor, banging on the keyboard, and...
Real Joy and Plastic Frogs

Real Joy and Plastic Frogs

The Siddur describes the holiday of Sukkos as "Our time of happiness." After the intense and cleansing High Holy Days, we can now rejoice with our Creator, celebrating our renewed relationship. Also, if we consider the agricultural cycle in Israel (or most anywhere in...

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A Closer Look

A Closer Look

We are now in the middle of the Ten Days of Repentance, culminating with the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. Rosh Hashanah, which just passed, was the Day of Judgment for the new year. Many have asked a simple, yet compelling question: why shouldn't we first have our...

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The Counsel of My Heart

The Counsel of My Heart

Our reading this week contains an extraordinary passage, one which is very relevant for the upcoming High Holy Days. Moshe gathers the Nation of Israel together, and describes to them a truly unforgivable sin. It is so terrible that "Hashem will not be willing to...

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That First Time

That First Time

The first Mitzvah found in this week's Torah portion is the obligation to bring the first fruits to the Temple in Jerusalem. At the end of this passage, Moshe (Moses) says "Today, G-d, your Master, has commanded you to carry out these statutes and the laws. You should...

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Looking Down the Road

Looking Down the Road

In this week's reading, Rashi, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, tells us to what extent the Torah demands an elevated standard of conduct. He warns us that even if we follow the letter of the law, but try to push the envelope — doing what we can get away with rather than what...

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Bias in Belarus

Bias in Belarus

The laws of Kosher slaughter are complex and demanding, and typically only someone with the necessary training and piety can become a Shochet, trusted to provide Kosher meat for a community. During the days of the saintly Rabbi Yozel Horowitz zt"l (also known as the...

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