Why The Restlessness?

     The President in his last State of the Union message dealt with two salient points. In our pursuit of happiness the nation has achieved prosperity as has never been recorded in history - higher paychecks, humming factories, more and more new homes equipped with more than seventy million TV sets. Yet, the President said, there is restlessness in the land - a puzzling restlessness. It is as if material prosperity were the ultimate in human happiness and, therefore, the puzzling question: why the restlessness?

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Shemini Atzeres

     The Sages have compared Sukkos and Shemini Atzeres to one who invites his many friends to a joyous affair. As the party ends, and the guests drift away, the host invites his most beloved friend to a tete a tete, in which only he and his beloved intimately rejoice. [The seven days of Sukkos correspond to the general party, in which all the world’s denizens celebrate. Shemini Atzeres, however, is HaShem’s private party with the Jewish Nation.]

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The Mitzvah of the Sukkah

It is well known that the Israelites during their forty-year sojourn in the Desert were the beneficiaries of three ongoing miracles: the manna, the Well of Miriam, and the Clouds of Glory. The manna descended in the merit of Moses, the Clouds of Glory were on account of Aaron, and the Well of Miriam, as its name indicates, existed in the merit of Miriam. The Mabit (acronym for Moshe ben Yosef Trani), in his classic work Beis Elokim (Gate of Foundations Chap. 37, p. 202) asks: Why is it that the Torah established the Mitzvah of dwelling in the Sukkah to commemorate the miracle of the Divine Clouds of Glory, but did not establish a Mitzvah to commemorate the other miraculous accommodations which were Divinely arranged for the Generation of the Wilderness, i.e. the Well of Miriam or the falling of the manna? Let us present a slightly expanded version of his approach in dealing with this question.

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Elul Teaches Us To Value Time

What would you do if you saw a person puncturing his own life vein, drawing forth his own blood? You might say to him, “What is wrong with you? You are committing suicide!” What would you do if you saw a person approach someone else and puncture his life vein causing him to bleed out before you? We might cry out, “You are a murderer!”

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The Obligation Upon a Person to Cheer Himself [With Wine] on Purim

In explanation of the dictum (Megillah 7b): It is incumbent upon a person to cheer himself [with wine] on Purim until he cannot tell the difference between "Accursed be Haman" and "Blessed be Mordechai", some authorities say that these two phrases have the same numerical value (502). The intent of this equivalence Is that one may recognize the Divine not only from the blessedness of Mordechai, and the great miracle which that symbolizes, but also from the cursedness of Haman, i.e., his terrifyingly harsh decree, for that too is a manifestation of the Divine.

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The Struggles of the Jew in Golus

The Jew in Golus: We are all aware that at specific points in history our conduct was unworthy, and as a result, we--the Jewish People--underwent a churbansuffering the destruction of our Beis Hamikdash and exile from our homeland. The prophets had warned us of the consequences of our conduct and tragically their admonitions came true--not once but twice...In fact we are still in the midst of the second golus, yet to be redeemed. 

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The Yahrtzeit of the Telzer Rosh HaYeshiva HoRav Mordechai Gifter, זצוק״ל

The 15th yahrzeit of the Rosh HaYeshiva HoRav Mordechai Gifter, זצוק״ל has arrived (he was niftar on the 23rd of Teves.) I am a Telzer talmid, Baruch Hashem, and it was the only yeshiva where I have !earned for many many years. I want to thank Hashem that I had the merit to learn in this yeshiva and my children as well, B”H.

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The Torah Life

In the liturgical thanksgiving which we recite on Chanukah, it states: “When the wicked Greek kingdom rose up against Your people Israel to make them forget your Torah and compel them to stray from the statutes of your will.” Ordinarily, the word חק, “statute,” connotes a specific type of commandment whose reason is unknown. The usage of this term here indicates that in all the commandments of the Torah, even those which seem logical and readily understandable, there exists an element of statute. It is improper to approach any of the commandments, Divinely given as they are, from the perspective of the human intellect. All commandments should be observed because they constitute an expression of G-d's will.

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Advice for Parents on Chanukah

Chanukah has become a festival in Jewish life although it lacks, in its origin, all the elements of the Yamim Tovim. These eight days were originally dedicated to Hallel and Hoda'ah -- Praise and Thanksgiving for the miracle of salvation from the Greek hordes. It has but one ceremonial, the mitzvah of kindling the lights.

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Talmudic Jurisprudence* Maran HaGaon HaRav Mordechai Gifter, ZT"L

Rav Mordechai Gifter, ZT"L was asked by Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio to write an article about Torah law. He created a distinguished masterpiece bringing down sources from Rashi, the Rambam, Gemara, and various places in Chumash, all of which establish that the Torah is Divine law and indeed the only law that man needs to live by. And, when studied, draws the individual closer to the Creator's will. This action alone brings wholeness to society and is the foundation to liberty and freedom.

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התשוקה לחיים

״א״ר אדא, רמ״ח מצות עשה יש בתורה כמנין איברין שבאדם ובכל יום ויום צועקים על האדם עשה אותנו שתחיה בזכותינו ותאריך ימים ושס״ה מצות לא תעשה כמנין ימות החמה ובכל יום ויום שהחמה זורחת עד שהיא שוקעת צווחת ואומרת לאדם גוזרני עליך במי שהגיע ימיך ליום הזה אל תעבור בי את העבירה הזאת ואל תכריע אותך ואת העולם כלו לכף חובה״ (מדרש תנחומא, כי תצא פרק ב). ׳

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״למען שמך עשה״

התאספנו היום בתחילת שנת הלימודים בתקפת יםי אלול, בעונת יםי הדין, ראש השנה יום הכפורים ועשרת יםי תשובה. אלו הימים המיועדים בחיי עם ישראל כימי תפילה ותחנונים, יםי השתפכות הנפש של עם ישראל לפני בוראו, יםי הכנת הלב לקבלת סליחה ומחילה על כל עונותינו. יםי תפילה אלו נועדו למען נרגיש בעצמנו ״לב טהור ברא לי אלקים.״

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