Just the Facts

What Rosh Chodesh is and how to celebrate

Tammuz: Forces of Nature – Tammuz 5781

What can happen when we see everything as being fully within our grasp and under our control.

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17th of Tammuz: History, Laws and Customs – Tammuz 5781

The fast of the 17th of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, known as Shivah Asar B’Tammuz, is the start of a three-week mourning period for the destruction of Jerusalem and the two Holy Temples.

The fast actually commemorates five tragic events that occurred on this date.

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The Festival of Shavu’ot – Sivan 5781

The verse immediately following the account of the giving of the Ten Commandments to Israel by G-d at Mt. Sinai, which summarizes the experience of that greatest of all days, reads: “And the whole people saw the voices and the torches and the shofar blast and the smoking mountain…” (Exodus 20:15).

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Sivan: The Mystical Power of Three – Sivan 5781

Before we explore the mystical connotation of the number three, we have to understand what "truth" really is. Truth means a lot more than mere verbal accuracy. The mystical name for truth is Tiferet, which literally means "harmony" – not exactly the association most of us have with truth. What's the connection?

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Shavuot Insights – Sivan 5781

A Dvar Torah for every aspect of Shavuot

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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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