Israel’s Vision Expressed in Hakafot

Israel’s Vision   In last week’s article, I dealt with the crucial need of establishing a vision for the State of Israel. With God’s help I will continue exploring this issue, but for now I will just mention briefly that the vision of the Jewish people is to reveal in compliance with the Torah’s instruction, … Read more

Israel Needs a Vision

The Wonder of Jewish Existence in Exile is Connected to the Vision of Redemption The existence of the Jewish people for nearly two thousand years in galut (exile) is a huge miracle – unprecedented in the annals of the world. No nation survived more than a few generations outside of its land. On the other hand, the … Read more

Treatment of Animals in Judaism

Treatment of Animals in Judaism One issue that is important to determine morally is: What is the appropriate treatment, according to the Torah, towards animals? The main rule is that animals should be treated humanely and fairly, and the Torah prohibits causing harm to animals. In addition, it is not only forbidden to harm animals, … Read more

The Enveloping Light of the Sukkah

The Enveloping Light of the Sukkah The mitzvah of sitting in the Sukkah is unique in sanctifying man’s daily routines. The eating and drinking, the chatting, and the sleeping which we do in the Sukkah are elevated and sanctified to the point where they are deemed mitzvoth. It is specifically on Sukkot that we merit … Read more

Fasting on Yom Kippur

The Mitzvah to Fast   It is a positive mitzvah to fast on Yom Kippur, as it is written: “[Each year] on the 10th day of the 7th month you must fast…this is because on this day you shall have all your sins atoned, so that you will be cleansed. Before God you will be cleansed of all your sins” (Leviticus 16:29-30). One … Read more

Selichot for Clal Yisrael

Custom of Reciting Selichot for the Salvation of the Clal           Since the times of the Geonim (589-1038), many Jews have had the custom of rising in ashmoret ha’boker (early hours of the morning) during Aserit Yamei Teshuva (the Ten Days of Repentance) to recite Selichot (penitential poems and prayers). Contrary to the belief of many who think the objective of Selichot is to pray about one’s individual … Read more