Prayer shouldn’t be a shopping list

The right and wrong way to pray.

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“Kollel: A Dirty Word” or “Saving the World, part III”

I recall a number of years ago, while learning in the kollel at Yeshivas Toras Moshe (for a time underneath the guidance of Rabbi Moshe Twersky, Hy”d), a conversation I had with another great sage who taught at the yeshiva, Rabbi Michel Shurkin. Rabbi Shurkin is famed as a close disciple of both Rabbi Yosef […]

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Eliyahu according to Midrash Rabah

Part 2 in a series exploring the widely held belief that Eliyahu ha-Navi (Elijah the Prophet) is synonymous with the character of Pinchas, grandson of Aharon (Aaron). Sh’moth Rabah 40: [Betzalel] was one of seven people who were called [several] names. Eliyahu (Elijah) was called four names… Rabbi Elazar ben Pedath said: [Eliyahu] was a […]

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Of Prophets, Anger, and Humor

The actions by Eliyahu noted in the previous post precipitated an interesting response from a sage of the Mishnaic period, many centuries later. It is well known that Eliyahu was granted immortality, rising to heaven alive, and according to Jewish tradition, continues to visit the Jewish people secretly throughout the generations, and will ultimately reveal […]

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More on the Soul

Nephesh ha-Chaim 1:15 (here the author explains why the parts of the soul are called nephesh, ruach and neshamah respectively): One might wonder that indeed the meaning of the term ‘neshamah’ (soul) is ‘breath’ (neshimah), and it appears that man’s breath is the air that rises from the chest, from below to above… and is not a higher order […]

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