Rabbi Mordechai Becher explains why does night precede day in the Jewish Calendar. View this video directly on Vimeo.
Daylight saving time has recently begun here in the USA. So it has got me thinking about day and night and their significance in Jewish thought. We know that in secular law, the calendar day starts and ends at midnight, however, in Jewish tradition the day starts the evening beforehand. So for example, Shabbat, starts [...]
Rabbi Becher enjoys the blizzard and shares some Jewish thoughts about snow. View this video directly on Vimeo.
We are just on the brink of experiencing a massive winter snow storm here in New Jersey. As I write this we are expecting between one and two feet of snow to fall tomorrow. Personally, I don’t like winter, and I don’t enjoy the snow, however, from a Jewish perspective, winter isn't really so bad. [...]
Purim is a strange festival with a major theme of concealment and lack of clarity. How does this represent the non-miraculous nature of the Purim miracle? And, what does Purim tell us about Jewish survival? View this video directly on Vimeo.
We will be celebrating the festival of Purim very soon, so I would like to give you an overview of the history, background and significance of this festival. The Purim story begins about 900 years after the Exodus from Egypt. The Jews had been living in Israel continually, since they first entered with Joshua. For [...]
I have recently been teaching some ideas from two great Rabbis of Prague, the Maharal and Rabbi Yechezkel Landau (Noda BiYehudah). Prague was an extraordinary center of the Jewish community and Jewish learning. In Prague, the Altneu Shul, has been the main Synagogue of Prague and has hosted services almost continuously since about the 14th [...]
When the month of Adar begins, one should increase one's happiness. Rabbi Mordechai Becher asks where is the happiness instruction manual? View this video directly on Vimeo.
Rabbi Mordechai Becher explains that the basic interpersonal laws of society which are mentioned in this week's parsha are the ultimate basis of Judaism. It isn't the putting on tefillin, keeping Shabbos or keeping Kosher, but instead having honest, fair and just interactions with others. View this video directly on Vimeo.
This week’s parsha, Mishpatim, follows the description of the revelation at Mt. Sinai, the giving of the Torah, and the listing of the famous, Ten Statements (or, colloquially, Commandments). In our Torah reading there is an extensive focus on civil law, interpersonal relationships, finances, torts and damages. The Ten Commandments were inscribed on two tablets. [...]