G-d wants me to be a thinking person, not a minion or a drone. Rabbi Becher explains why this is one of the most important concepts in the Creation of the World. View this video directly on Vimeo.
Now that we are in the month of Shevat, approaching the 15th of Shevat, TU Bishvat, I think it is appropriate to discuss some of the laws of the land of Israel. For the first three years after a tree is planted, the fruit is known as orlah, and it may not be eaten, it [...]
In this parsha we are introduced to the term "...and the stranger that dwells with you." Rabbi Becher examines to what extent must the convert to Judaism be given the same treatment as a person who was born Jewish. View this video directly on Vimeo.
Generally, we classify the commandments of the Torah into commandments that pertain to our relationship with G-d and commandments that pertain to our relationship with other people. There are some who had a third category, the commandments that govern the relationship between body and soul, in other relationship with the self. Generally, when we think [...]
Jacob the Patriarch dies in this week's Torah reading. Unfortunately, Rabbi Moshe Shapiro, a long-time teacher for Rabbi Mordechai Becher, also died this week. Rabbi Becher gives some insights into the greatness of Rabbi Shapiro so that we can fully understand our loss. View this video directly on Vimeo.
In this week’s Torah reading, Vayechi, Jacob blesses his sons in a very famous, poetic and beautiful section of the Torah. This got me thinking about what we mean by a "blessing". A friend of mine was in an Virginian airport, I think, and he was about to have his coffee and, as he normally [...]
Jews fast on the 10th of Tevet to commemorate the siege on Jerusalem immediately before the destruction of the first Temple. Rabbi Becher explains that this siege exists even today, whether it is the distortions by the media, condemnation by the United Nations, or the claims by Moslems that Jerusalem was never a Jewish city. [...]
The Jewish calendar includes six days of fasting. Four of these days are linked to the destruction of the Temples and the exile of the Jewish people. These will be the focus of the following chapter. The other two, the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, and the Fast of Esther, Ta’anit Esther, will be considered [...]
Chanukah is a celebration of the miracle of Jewish spiritual survival. After millennia of attempts to assimilate us, whether through force or persuasion, we are still here. But, it is not mere physical survival that we celebrate. After all, the genes of the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians and Greeks have also physically survived. The miracle [...]
The idea that any one people could be “chosen” or have a Divine revelation was completely contrary to Greek belief. Their campaign against Judaism and the Jews did not focus on physical extermination, but rather attempted to eradicate the Jews as a special people. One example of this effort was the Emperor Ptolemy’s translation of [...]