5777

Chai Elul: The Joy of Birth – Elul 5777

Chai Elul, the eighteenth day of Elul, is the birthday of two great luminaries, the Baal Shem Tov (b. 1698 [5458]) and the Alter Rebbe (b. 1745 [5505]), the founders of the Chassidic movement in general and Chabad Chassidism respectively. The Torah mentions repeatedly that the birthday of a tzaddik is a joyous time. Still, we don’t find that Jews customarily celebrated their birthdays as a Yom Tov and in a conspicuous manner.

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The King in the Field – Elul 5777

Elul, the last month of the Jewish year, is a time of paradox -- a time of what might be termed, "spiritual workdays."

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The Month of Elul: Stock Taking and Introspection – Elul 5777

A guide to the month of Elul through stories, audios, videos and articles

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Off the Grid: From Witches’ Commune to Jerusalem – Elul 5777

For a Jewish kid growing up in 1980s America, Joshua Safran's childhood was unconventional to say the least. Much of it was spent hitchhiking with his free-spirited mother Claudia across the rural west – living intermittently in a witches' commune, a dilapidated ice cream truck, and on the forest floor without electricity, running water, toilet, or refrigeration...

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Hospitality Repercussions – Elul 5777

What do Piamenta, Hachnassat Orchim, hospitality, Buffalo NY have in common?

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A Dying Father’s Last Message about Love – Elul 5777

Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski's secret to a successful marriage.

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The Month of Av according to Sefer Yetzirah – Av 5777

Shabbat Chazon – Av 5777

Insights into Shabbat Chazon

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The Nine Days – Laws and Customs – Av 5777

Heightened mourning, uplifting visions and rejoicing with mitzvot

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The Beautiful Tattoo – Av 5777

For a number of years, I was privileged to teach 8th grade boys in the Crown Heights Yeshiva in Mill Basin, New York. With the student body primarily comprised of non-religious boys, emphasis was put on imbuing them with a genuine appreciation of Torah and Yiddishkeit. As it so happened, during one of my years teaching, one of the 7th grade students, Howey, was asked to leave the school due to his repeated disruptive behavior. The school ideally wished they could avoid doing so, though they felt it was necessary.

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