Insight

Courage of Chanukah

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Based on a Naaleh.com shiur by Rabbi Hanoch Teller Rabbi Yisrael Miller told me that he once attended a Torah U’Mesorah course on public speaking. The audience was a group of erudite Rabbis. Everyone in the course had to deliver a speech and the job of the audience was to try and distract the speaker. […]

Insight

Chanukah: Revealing The Essence

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Based on a Naaleh.com shiur by Mrs. Shira Smiles  It appears that the greatest darkness is failing to recognize the inherent greatness and tremendous power contained within each of us. This mindset cripples us and doesn’t allow us to develop to our true potential.  In Al Hanissim we say, “Rabim be’yad me’atim – The many […]

Insight

Chanukah-Greek Fragmentation and Jewish Unity

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Based on a Naaleh.com shiur by Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller  The Grecian exile was not a physical exile but rather galut hadaat-an estrangement from our own ability to draw conclusions. Getting out of our spiritual exile means changing the way we think. During the Second Temple period, the Jews were separated from each other and from […]

Insight

The Artist’s Task

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On Nov. 18, 1995, Itzhak Perlman, the famous violinist, appeared on stage in New York to give a concert. Pearlman wears braces and walks with crutches, remnants of his bout with polio as a child.  The audience waited quietly as he laboriously trekked across the stage, settled his crutches on the floor, and undid the […]

Insight

Spinning the Cosmic Dreidel

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In October 1940, Rabbi Chaim Stein z’tzl led a group of students from Telshe on a daring escape from war ravaged Europe on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. The train moved excruciating slow, stopping at every town and village along the way. But the students absorbed in Torah and prayer hardly noticed the days slipping away. One […]

Insight

The Hidden Light

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A group of chassidim once set out on a journey to the Chozeh of Lublin. Yankele, the wagon driver listened closely as the chassidim sitting in his wagon, told wondrous stories of the Chozeh and the miracles he had wrought.  When they reached Lublin, Yankele asked the chassidim to take a kvitl (request for prayer) […]

Insight

The Eternal Spark Within Us

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About a century ago, a poor wandering Rabbi traveled to Milan, Italy on a fundraising mission.  As he walked along the city streets he met a wealthy Jew who invited him to his home for Shabbos. That evening as the Rabbi sat enjoying the meal his interest was piqued by a small broken glass flask […]

Insight

Travel Candles

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Travel Candles It was Zot Chanukah, the zenith of the holiday when all eight flames are kindled to affirm the wonder of Jewish endurance. Judah and Regina Geier, along with their two children Arnold and Ruth, sat silently on a train traveling from Berlin to Holland. They were one of the lucky few who had […]