Hoshana Rabba Made Me A Yid
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Hoshana Rabba Made Me A Yid

Dearest Friends, Hoshana Rabba made me a yid. Let me try to explain. Approximately two years or so after Reb Shlomo ztz’l left this world, my family was visiting the states (we were living at the time in Ra’anana). I was a teenager on a mission – to visit the shul (and home) of the...

Changing my Internal Voice
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Changing my Internal Voice

There was once a town that faced a drought.  The Jews of the town were G-d fearing people, unlearned, but trying their best to serve their Maker.  In those days it was a common thing for preachers (maggidim) to wander around giving lectures designed to scare simple and faithful Jews into “repenting” their transgressions.  These...

Tzedakah Saves Lives
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Tzedakah Saves Lives

I recently learned a piece of Torah that opened up my conception of what tzedakah is and what tzedakah does.  The Lubavitcher Rebbe has pointed out that tzedakah does not mean charity, it means “justness,” from the word “tzedek,”  Rather than being an act that raises me up in my own estimation, tzedakah means doing...

Shoftim – A Crucial Shortcut for Judgment Day
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Shoftim – A Crucial Shortcut for Judgment Day

Uteshuva Utefillah Utzedaka Ma’avirin Et Ro’a Hagzeira In just a few weeks, we will be hearing these powerful words, words which send shivers down our spines. At that awesome moment, we pray that all the teshuvah we have done, all the prayers we have uttered and all the tzedaka we have given will remove any...

Breaking Our Mazal
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Breaking Our Mazal

But the question is, will I act on this pledge? Am I, are any of us, able to truly change our way of doing things? Our personalities?

Everything in Life is a Bracha
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Everything in Life is a Bracha

Everything in life is a bracha, everything is beautiful, everything is good. At least, that is what we are supposed to work on believing. If so, how could our parsha open up by saying “Behold I am placing before you a blessing and a curse”? Does G-d place curses before us? One of the other...

Shabbos Nachamu – I am listening
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Shabbos Nachamu – I am listening

Did you ever experience someone choosing to open their heart and soul to you, and your immediate response is one of feeling anxiety and stress? You begin to think to yourself ‘Am I going to say the right words? Am I going to sound smart? What am I supposed to tell them? What do they...

Anava - It's Bigger Than Me
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Anava - It's Bigger Than Me

I believe that Anava is really letting go of what we imagine ourselves to be whether gedolei hador, Talmidei chachamim or lowly nebach paupers, insignificant in every way.

Baby Steps Towards Being Me
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Baby Steps Towards Being Me

As I approached one particular hill this morning, I told myself “just keep going, you can do it. Do not give in to the hard, just keep going to the top.”