Thursday, November 15, 2018

Vayetze 5779

…Just because you are my relative, should you work for me for free? Tell me what your wages are.”
(Bereishit 29:15)

Honorary Chairman

One evening, Udi sat down to do his homework. He opened his backpack to take out his math book, when he realized, much to his chagrin, that he had left his book in school. He raced out the front door, and ran the few blocks to his school building. To his relief, the lights were still on.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Toldot 5779

"איש יודע ציד"- לצוד ולרמות
(רש"י) 

Letters of the Law

Shimon turned the page of the newspaper that he was holding, and let the paper rest against the counter, in front of him. The clang of the store bell drew his attention away from the sports section, and onto the two young men who had just entered the store. “We’d like to buy a mezuza,” they informed Shimon. “Can you show us something high quality, mehadrin?”
“Of course, of course.” Shimon responded. The customers’ impeccable Hebrew accent was not lost on Shimon. He hurried to find them what they were looking for. “Here, a mehadrin level mezuza. That will be four hundred shekel.”

Friday, November 2, 2018

Chayei Sara 5779

…and Lavan ran toward the man 
Rashi: Why did he run, and for what did he run? Because [as the verse below states] “and it was when he saw the nose ring,” [Lavan] said “This man [Eliezer] is wealthy, and he set his eyes upon his money.”
(Bereishit 24:29)

Taxi Collector

Dani gave a sigh of relief, when the taxi he hailed pulled up in front of him. It was late at night, and it was just time to go home already. Dani opened the car door, and sank into the faux leather upholstery. After exchanging some pleasantries with the driver, Dani closed his eyes, and allowed himself to relax.
When the taxi was a few minutes from Dani’s house, he put his hand into his pocket, in order to find money, to pay the driver. To Dani’s chagrin, his wallet slipped from his hand, and fell onto the taxi floor. He bent down, and began to feel around for his wallet, but couldn’t manage to locate it in the dark. Soon, the taxi came to a stop, in front of Dani’s house.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Vayera 5779

[Abraham tells the travelers] “and I will get a piece of bread” and then [the Torah] writes “and Abraham ran to the cattle” [in order to prepare a substantial meal for his guests]. Rabbi Eliezer said that we learn from here that righteous people say a little and do a lot, and the opposite is true for the wicked
(Bava Metzia, 87, 71)

Fishy Business

It was just a few days before Yom Kippur. Menachem, the gabbai of the Ohel Avraham synagogue, finished praying maariv, and closed his siddur. He was about to head for the door, when he felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned around to see Mr. Levi, the synagogue treasurer, with a serious look on his face.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Lech Lecha 5779

"אל נא תהי מריבה ביני ובינך"

Beverage Leverage

(From the book Derech Chevron, part 1, siman 72)

What a simcha! Shmuel, the Levi’s youngest son, was finally getting married! Friends and family of the young couple vied for the opportunity to host sheva brachot events in celebration of the marriage.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Noach 5779

"ואך את דמכם לנפשתיכם אדרש – אף ההורג את עצמו"
(ע"פ רש"י) 

Smoke Screen

It all started a few years back. Menachem was sitting with a group of friends, one evening. As the boys began to talk, one boy, Yaakov dug into his pocket, and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. He held out the box to the rest of the group, and each boy took one, except for Menachem.
“Menachem, why aren’t you taking one?” Yaakov asked.
“I… I don’t smoke” Menachem responded, hesitantly.
“Why don’t you just try it once?” urged Baruch. “What do you think will happen?”

Friday, October 5, 2018

B'reshit 5779

“and [He]… caused the man to sleep, and he slept…”
(Bereshit 2:21)

Child(don’t)care

Shani Levi opened the car door, and sank down into the seat. She smiled at her husband, David, and thanked him again for his great idea. He was the one who had suggested getting their twelve year old neighbor, Baruch, to watch the Levi’s two young children, so that Shani and David could go out together that evening, to celebrate their anniversary. It had been so nice for Shani and David to get out of the house for a little while, and enjoy each other’s company.
As the car came within a block of the Levi’s house, Shani’s phone rang. It was Naomi, the Levi’s neighbor. “Uh, Shani, are you home?” Naomi began.
“Actually, no. Why do you ask?” Shani inquired.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Shmini Atzeret - Simchat Torah 5779

Elevated Priorities

Rabbi Asher Weiss, shlita relates an incident that happened one year, during the Simchat Torah dancing. Rabbi Yisrael, a respected, learned older man, was greatly enjoying the exalted atmosphere. He sang along heartily with the rest of the congregation, savoring the opportunity to display his great love for the Torah. One of the other congregants approached Rabbi Yisrael, and handed him a Torah scroll. Rabbi Yisrael’s heart leapt, at the opportunity to dance with the Torah on this special day. He clutched the scroll tightly, as teared welled up in his eyes.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Sukkot - Megilat Kohelet 5779

“I provided myself with various musical instruments… it was clear that it was all futile” (Kohelet 2:8-11)

Radio Interference

The students had arrived earlier that day, bearing expressions of confidence, seriousness and excitement. They filed into their dorm rooms, and began unpacking freshly washed clothing, delicately scented with fabric softener and wistful prayers for a good school year.
That evening, the entire student body gathered together, for the first assembly of the year. The principal went through the usual welcome, review of policies, procedures, and other miscellany. Before the meeting ended, he added one final note.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Sukkot 5779

Undercover Mitzva

Yossi and Leah had been planning for weeks. The logistics, the cooking, the packing, the traveling. It would all be worth it once they arrived in Jerusalem for Sukkot, and had the opportunity to spend the holiday there. Yossi had spoken with the owner of the apartment which Yossi and Leah would rent, and the owner had assured Yossi that he had a fully kosher sukkah, which would be set up and ready for use.

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