Tazria-Metzorah-Yom Ha’atzmaut 5775-2015

“Finding the Silver Lining”

The ancient biblical affliction--Tzaraat, seems to convey the message that affliction and disease can at times be redemptive.

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Behar-Yom Ha’atzmaut 5771-2011

"A State is not Delivered on a Silver Platter"

One of the most moving stories to be told regarding the contemporary State of Israel, concerns a great European rabbi, Rabbi Yisroel Zeev Gustman and a famed professor of economics, Robert J. Aumann.

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Behar-Yom Ha’atzmaut 5768-2008

"The Incredible Yovel--The Jubilee Year"

In parashat Behar, the Torah introduces the revolutionary concept of Yovel, the Jewish Jubilee year, that was celebrated every fiftieth year of the Sabbatical cycle. According to the commentators, the Jubilee was intended to train the Jews in compassion, charity, and justice. However, it was much more than just that.

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Emor-Yom Ha’atzmaut 5763-2003

"The Counting of the Omer and the Celebration of Israel's Independence"

The counting of the Omer underscores the ultimate purpose of the Exodus from Egypt--the giving of the Torah! Therefore the period from the second day of Passover until the sixth day of Sivan when the festival of Shavuot is celebrated, is counted with great enthusiasm. Counting the Omer is always done in ascending numerical order rather than descending order, underscoring its positive, joyous and optimistic nature--celebrating the victory of light over darkness, morality over immorality and love over hate.

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Yom Ha’atzmaut 5760-2000

"Being Judged by a Different Yardstick"

While it's difficult for the Jewish people to endure the indignities that have been visited upon us by the nations of the world, we may still hold our heads up high. We may be proud of the fact that the nations of the world judge us by a different yardstick, expecting more of the Jewish people. Woe to the day when the world thinks that Jews should follow the moral principles of the rest of the world. We must be held to a higher standard, otherwise, we lose our uniqueness.

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