Fall and Winter 

As a young boy growing up in Melbourne, Australia, fall was almost non-existent and winter only meant that I had to wear shoes when playing outside and, occasionally, a parka. It never snows in Melbourne, and a brutal winter day can sometimes go down to the mid-40s. Immediately after I finished high school (in December, the beginning of the summer in Australia) I left to learn in Yeshivas ITRI in ...

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Giving a Donation to Yourself

We are now in the month of Shevat and approaching the onset of spring, heralded by TuBishvat.   I would like to discuss some of the unique mitzvot that apply in the land of Israel. Many of the various tithes and agricultural taxes follow the seven cycle of the the Sabbbatical year, Shemitta.  In the seventh year of the agricultural cycle, Shmittah, no new crops are planted and only maintenance work is ...

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Shevat and the Land of Israel 5779

Now that we are in the month of Shevat I would like to continue my theme of the laws of the land of Israel.  The seventh year of the agricultural cycle, is known as Shmittah, the Sabbatical year. In Israel, no new crops are planted and only maintenance work is done on crops and trees that already exist. Farmers may not sell their produce or prevent people (or animals) from ...

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The Shechinah Is Here

I just returned to the USA from a wonderful visit to Israel.  Of course, one of the first places I visited was the Western Wall, the Kotel.  The Sages inform us the Divine Presence never left the Western Wall.  The Hebrew word for  “Divine Presence”  is Shechinah  Although in reality, God permeates all of time and space equally, we are not able to perceive His presence equally in all times ...

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