Just the Facts

What Rosh Chodesh is and how to celebrate

Rabbi Meir Ba’al HaNess: Children of G-d – No Matter What – Iyar 5781

The 14th of Iyar is Pesach Sheni, “the Second Pesach,” the second chance for those Jews who were unable to bring the Pesach Offering on the original date. We learn from Pesach Sheni that nothing is ever lost – we can always rectify the situation. No matter what condition a person is in, he can always rise up and rehabilitate himself. On Pesach Sheni, those who were ritually impure on the first Pesach, or were far away – even if they went afar on purpose in order to distance themselves from G-d –have a second chance.

Pesach Sheni is also the day of passing of the illustrious Tanna, Rabbi Meir Ba’al Hanes. It is accepted practice that if a person is in trouble, he can give some charity and say, “the G-d of Meir, answer me.” We do not say, “The G-d of Moshe Rabbeinu, or the G-d of Abraham, or of Rabbi Akiva – but for some reason – “the G-d of Meir, answer me.” Rabbi Meir Ba’al Hanes has a special merit to save people from trouble – both personal troubles and general troubles. Regarding personal, emotional troubles, the tzaddik who is most able to help is Rabbi Meir. And his day is Pesach Sheni.

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The History of Lag BaOmer – Iyar 5781

A rich overview of the many customs that surround this special day

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The Radiance of Iyar – Iyar 5781

The power of turning the bitter into sweet, sickness into healing.

Iyar is the month after Nissan and the Exodus. Talk about a hard act to follow!

Iyar is referred to as the month of radiance or budding, "ziv" in Hebrew. There are several reasons for this, and the more we look at the events that took place in this month, the more we will understand its unique power.

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Everything You Need to Know to Celebrate Passover During Covid – Nissan 5781

As Jewish people around the world prepare for yet another Passover with many of us still isolated due to the pandemic, we are faced with unique challenges and questions. While strictly following the guidelines of the CDC, how are we to prepare with limited access to communal resources? How to celebrate the Seder alone? How can those of us quarantining celebrate the Festival of Freedom with our movement restricted? Find answers to all this and more ...

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Pesach: The Joy of Liberty – Nissan 5781

The Torah does not explicitly command us to be happy on Pesach (beyond the general commandment to rejoice on our holidays). Nonetheless, Pesach is the source of joy for the entire year. What is the special joy of Pesach?

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Is Passover Headed Towards Obsolescence – Nissan 5781

Gifts from Above can't last forever By Tzvi Freeman

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How to Stay Cool and Beat Amalek – Adar 5781

On Purim, we have an obligation to imbibe until we can no longer distinguish between “cursed is Haman” and “blessed is Mordechai.” Without going into the reason why we should want to reach a stage at which we cannot distinguish between the two, we can ask, what is the best alcoholic drink that can help us accomplish this feat? The answer is, gematria

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The Choice of Adar – Adar 5781

Purim teaches us to appreciate the world's awesome beauty, amidst so much chaos and horror.

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Purim During Covid – Adar 5781

Ideas for celebrating Purim during Covid

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Celebrating Pleasure – Tu B’Shvat: a Mystical Interpretation – Shevat 5781

About 500 years ago, the Kabbalists revealed the deeper meaning of Tu B'Shvat. They taught that Tu B'Shvat is an opportune time for rectifying the transgression of Adam and Eve. Amazingly, just through the simple act of eating fruit during the Tu B'Shvat festive dinner, we are able to contribute to this cosmic repair ("tikkun").

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