Category: Moadim (Times) & Chagim (Holidays)

Insights on Jewish Holidays and other special times of the year

Balance and Harmony

Updated Guide to Counting the Omer – Week 3

WEEK 3 ― TIFERET ― HARMONY, COMPASSION. The PDF version of the complete guide, all 49 days, can be found here. During the third week of Counting the Omer, we examine the emotional attribute of Tiferet or compassion. Tiferet blends and harmonizes the free outpouring love of Chesed with the discipline of Gevurah. Tiferet possesses this power by introducing a…

Rosh HaShanah Korban

Rosh HaShanah – Sefer Bikorat Behem’techa

סֵפֶר בִּקוֹרַת בְּהֶמְתֶּךָ Sefer Bikorat Behem’techa by Rav Rahmiel Hayyim Drizin download PDF version of the book. We Sefardi Jews begin saying Selichot prayers on the 2nd of Elul, when Moshe was on Har Sinai receiving the second Luchot . The prevalent custom amongst Ashkenazic Jews, on the other hand, is to begin reciting Selichot /forgiveness prayers from the Sunday morning…

Kiddush Levana

Kiddush Levana or Blessing of the Moon (Birkat HaLevana) is seemingly small rabbinical mitzvah based on Talmud Sanhedrin: Rabbi Yohanan is quoted in the Gemara Sanhedrin 42a saying:  “One who makes the blessing for the new moon in its proper time is considered as if he welcomed the Shechinah [the Divine Presence]” The parallel is drawn between the physical moon on…

Updated Guide to Counting the Omer – Week 2

WEEK 2 ― GEVURAH: JUSTICE, DISCIPLINE, RESTRAINT, AWE. The PDF version of the complete guide, all 49 days, can be found here. After the miraculous Exodus from Egypt, the Jewish people spent 49 days preparing for the most awesome experience in human history ― the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Just as the Jewish peoples’ redemption from Egypt…

Updated Guide to Counting the Omer

The most well-known and helpful companion for counting the Omer is Rabbi Simon Jacobson’s guide. Guide to Personal Freedom has been published for many years and has been very helpful for me personally in making my Omer days count. This year (2015/5775) and the next (2016/5776), we have an amazing opportunity for super-charged days of Omer: When Pesach co-insides with…

Chanukkah 5774

Shalom! In this past week’s Torah portion, we learn how the name Yehudah, the origin of the word Yehudi or Jew, emanated: וַתַּהַר עוֹד וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן, וַתֹּאמֶר הַפַּעַם אוֹדֶהאֶת-יְהוָה–עַל-כֵּן קָרְאָה שְׁמוֹ, יְהוּדָה; וַתַּעֲמֹד, מִלֶּדֶת. 35 And [Leah] conceived again, and bore a son; and she said: ‘This time will I give thanks to Hashem.’ Therefore she called his name Yehudah; and she left off bearing To be a Jew means…

New Moon - Rosh Chodesh

Rosh Chodesh – time of renewal

Rosh Chodesh (Head of the Month) – New Moon Festival is described in the Torah as the day of rejoicing (Bamidbar (Numbers) 10:10) , the time of renewal. Even the word “Chodesh” – month – comes from the root “חדש” – “Chadash” – “NEW”. Like all moadim [ appointed times ] – Rosh Hodesh is the time of opportunity. The deeper meaning…

The Other Side of TiSha B’Av

TiSha B’Av is often simplistically portrayed as the day when bad things happened to Jewish people throughout the history.  If we examine the events more carefully, we can notice that we aren’t talking simply about negative things that happen out of blue. Tisha B’Av calamities happen on the aftermath of the tremendous opportunities we blew. The day that gave birth…

I got a Gift !

I got a wonderful gift from Above – my blog was hacked 🙂 I have to admit I neglected it for more than a year, so it was really delightful to find out that people cared if it is online or not. “Thank you” to Hashem and “thank you” to my readers 🙂 Naturally I should consider it as an…

Pesach Seder kosher-style

Will you have Kosher-style Seder this year?

Do we indeed leave Egypt this year or we just adorn our personal Mitzraim with a pretty Pesach theme? The picture here is the unfortunate symbol of many Seders that might be conducted this year… Kosher-style, mehadrim min mehadrim, comfortably staying in personal bondage… Untouched pyramids of slavery coated with matza… or we can really make a difference in our lives……