Summer of Ethics

We are now in the period of time known as Sefiras Ha’omer – counting of the Omer, the time between Pesach and the following festival which is Shavuot. Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Torah at Sinai, when the Jewish people received the Torah at Mount Sinai, which occurred the 50th day after the exodus of Egypt. And so, in between Passover, when we became a nation, we were born ...

Read More

The Mitzvah to Give

The Biblical sources related to the commandment of tzedakah (charity) are found in this week’s Parsha, BeHar, in the section discussing the laws of the Sabbatical Year. The Torah states that any personal loans still outstanding at the end of this year are automatically cancelled. Nevertheless, God orders the people not to withhold loans close to the Sabbatical Year, but to lend the poor what they need.  The fundamental principles ...

Read More

The Grand Finale

The Omer is counted for the final time on the 49th night. The following evening, the festival of Shavuot begins at sundown. Shavuot is the anniversary of the Revelation on Mount Sinai, when God communicated the Torah to the entire Jewish people and in so doing, revealed to them their national mission and purpose. In our prayers Shavuot is referred to as Zman Matan Torateinu, the Time of Giving of ...

Read More

The Best of Times; The Worst of Times – Bechukotai 5774

For the Jewish people who came out of Egypt, the period between the Exodus and the Revelation at Mt. Sinai was one of continuous spiritual awakening. Their relationship with God grew stronger and closer. Miraculous events occurred daily. For the Jewish people in subsequent generations, this period continues to be one of the greatest of times of the year, in which we prepare ourselves for a renewal of our commitment ...

Read More