Birkat Kohanim–Hannah Kaplun

Birkat Kohanim— that thing that happens in Chutzla Aretz a couple times a year, and every day in Israel. In Chutzla Aretz, it’s seen as very special, and the niggun the kohanim sing add to the drama. In Israel, it’s that part where you have no idea what’s happening shabbos morning in shul. But, what... Continue Reading →

Parshat Pekudei: Claire Segal

Claire Segal, Bucks County, Pennsylvania   Let me tell you a quick fairytale: Once upon a time in a land not so far away, there was a king. The king threw a party, got drunk, executed his wife, woke up sober, and regretted his decision. He then demanded that every maiden of the land be... Continue Reading →

Parshat Pekudei: Yakira Ossip

Parshat Pekudei begins with a survey of the money and materials donated to the Mishkan. It is the Torah’s way of teaching us the need for financial transparency. We learn something about Jewish nature from both last week and this week’s parsha. Hashem told Moshe to ask Bnei Yisrael to make contributions. Some brought gold,... Continue Reading →

Parshat Yitro: Yakira Ossip

Yakira Ossip, Melbourne, Australia   ויחן-שם ישראל נגד ההר -- And Israel encamped there, opposite the mountain. (Exodus 19:2) In the Pesach Haggadah, it is stated that "Had Hashem brought us before Har Sinai, but not given us the Torah, it would have been sufficient." These words are confusing because why would Bnei Yisrael simply... Continue Reading →

Parshat Vayeishev: Chana Coughlan

Chana Coughlan, Denver, Colorado   In this week's parsha we learn about Yosef’s dreams and the deterioration of his relationship with his brothers. Yosef’s two dreams played a significant role in the resentment of the brothers towards him. The Beit HaLevi teaches that the Torah tells us that after the first dream the brothers hated... Continue Reading →

Parshat Yitro: Alexis Gross

Alexis Gross, Cleveland, Ohio   Shabbat Shalom! This week's parsha is huuuge. This is the parsha where Hashem gave us the Ten Commandments. It's the parsha where the Jews camped by Har Sinai and where we were told that we were the chosen nation, and where we were told that we are the chosen nation.... Continue Reading →

Parshat Yitro: Yvette Teitelbaum

Yvette Teitelbaum, Highland Park, New Jersey   Last night, I had the privilege of sitting in for a few classes at Midreshet Moriah, a seminary in Yerushalayim. I felt that it was important that I share some of their lovely Torah ideas with the seminary that I truly call my “home away from home,” Machon... Continue Reading →

Parshat Yitro: Claire Segal

Claire Segal, Bucks County, Pennsylvania   It's Matan Torah (the giving of the Torah)--it's a new beginning, folks! Are you ready to take the entire Torah upon yourselves? It's a new start! Okay, no. That was thousands of years ago. However, it is the beginning of a new semester. And, in this new semester, many... Continue Reading →

Rosh Chodesh Shvat: Tamar Dallal

Tamar Dallal, Chicago, Illinois   Continuing in the theme of what all my Divrei Torah seem to be about—growth—I want to tell you about my youngest brother. He was born on Tu B'Shvat, the 15th of Shvat, and my parents finally decided after some back-and-forth to name him Erez (a cedar tree). He's adorable, I... Continue Reading →

Tzniut: Chana Coughlan

Chana Coughlan, Denver, Colorado   I was asked to give a Dvar Torah on tzniut. I know that tzniut is a hard thing, so I wanted to give you my perspective on it. As a young woman who is trying to take on tzniut herself, I find that the general understanding of the word “tzniut”... Continue Reading →

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