Yom Kippur: Introducing You to Yourself

 On Yom Kippur we talk about making amends for our past misdeeds. For many people, thinking about the past is a catalyst for guilt. “I am okay now but I feel guilty about my past,” is something I have heard often.  But this is a mistaken thought because guilt causes despair; it destroys, prevents rehabilitation, […]

A High Holidays Business Model

  A High Holidays Business Model             I once read a story that I suspect is apocryphal but nevertheless contains a pertinent message for the High Holidays.  It took place in Russia one hundred years ago. Two men who had been classmates and close friends in their small town’s Jewish school saw each other in […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Nasso (Numbers 4:21-7:89) 5777-2017 When Life Sends a Brawl, be Sure to Get Up After the Fall

The Mishkan (Tabernacle) was the portable place of worship for the Jews in the wilderness and the precursor to the Temple (Beit Hamikdash) that King Solomon would build hundreds of years later in Jerusalem. Due to the unusual structure and language employed in the Torah to describe the day of the Tabernacle’s completion, Rashi explains […]

Message for final days of Pesach

In 1922, in the small Russian town called Luban, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein asked the following question in a sermon: How can we celebrate freedom when we have been constantly persecuted, exiled, and harassed? Are we really free if we are denied equal rights and protection in the countries in which we live; how can Jews, […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Vayikra (Leviticus 1-5)

Margin When looking at a Torah scroll, there are many components that make it distinct from other ancient texts. One of the most obvious of which are the spaces found before and after paragraphs. Being as a Torah scroll is written without vowels or Cantillation marks (the special indicators of the accent and tune), it […]