In this week’s Torah portion, we see the start of HaShem’s Ten Plagues over Egypt. In describing the second plague, that of frogs, the Torah uses the singular, that only one frog jumped out. Our understanding is that frogs don’t become a problem until there are millions of them, so why is there just the
Although Joseph is known for his self-control, he has to somehow confront the newfound humility of his brother Yehudah, the same brother who sold him into slavery. Yoni Colman, managing director of NCSY Canada & Torah High, explains how Joseph represents the epitome of self-control, as well an interpretation from Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks that foreshadows the two component parts of the Jewish concept of the messiah.
After six decades, the NCSY Shabbaton continues to prompt thousands of teens to turn their lives around. But what keeps that passion burning when the twenty-five hours of fun and Torah-inspiration come to an end? Havdalah! Night has fallen. Shabbaton participants amble into a dimly lit room. A band sits on a stage. The individual
David was beloved. He was a true Central East NCSY’er through and through. I am told that David also asked himself ‘how can I spread more happiness to others’, while still asking himself the same question. All of these characteristics of David Menachem Gordon teach us all a great lesson: “Make every day count for yourself.” This motto is words to live by, for no one knows what the future holds.
For many hundreds of alumni from the Atlantic Seaboard NCSY Region, when Mrs. Miriam (Twerski) Lowenbraun passed away in June in Baltimore, we lost our second mother, our confidante, our advisor and our best friend. Rabbi Yitzchok and Mrs. Lowenbraun were the regional directors for 18 years. Mrs. Lowenbraun was usually behind the scenes at Shabbatons but when she spoke she did so with authority and power. Those who were lucky enough to go to her sessions always walked away with much more than an education in Torah; we experienced first-hand what a great Jewish woman truly could be.
In 1943, the SS rounded up certain Jewish men for deportation. These were men who were married to non-Jewish women and who had non-Jewish children. About 2,000 were rounded up, 20 of whom were actually forwarded to Auschwitz.
By no means did they paint a rosy picture of modern Germany, but they proved that – contrary to the belief of some Jews I have spoken with – not all German are Nazis. The Torah teaches that children cannot be blamed for the sins of their ancestors, that people are capable of doing teshuva, repentance. The Torah’s truths apply here too.
It’s a common enough refrain that we’ve all heard before: should a Holocaust memorial commemorate the six million Jews lost in the Holocaust or the eleven million total people? One could certainly argue merits on both sides. On the one hand, Jews were Hitler’s foremost target: no other group was vilified or persecuted nearly as