“Mesiras Moda’ah”: Understanding the Purpose of Aggadah (Part Two)

By Yaakov Klein | January 13, 2021

Translated by: R’ Yaakov Klein The article that follows is part two (of three) of a remarkable essay entitled, “Mesiras Moda’ah.” This work, which is printed in the back of sefer Derech HaMelech, was penned by Rav Kaloynimus Kalmish Shapira zy”a, the Piacezner Rebbe, as an introduction to his commentary on the Zohar HaKadosh, “Reshimos…

“Mesiras Moda’ah”: Understanding the Purpose of Aggadah (Part One)

By Yaakov Klein | January 12, 2021

Translated by: R’ Yaakov Klein The article that follows is part one (of three) of a remarkable essay entitled, “Mesiras Moda’ah.” This work, which is printed in the back of sefer Derech HaMelech, was penned by Rav Kaloynimus Kalmish Shapira zy”a, the Piacezner Rebbe, as an introduction to his commentary on the Zohar HaKadosh, “Reshimos…

Choosing God on the Stage of “The Voice”

By Yaakov Klein | December 31, 2020

At this point in our courtship with the technological revolution and the depth to which we are sunken in a seemingly endless ocean of information, it is difficult for a single piece of content to truly make an impression. When it does, the very fact of its endurance itself demands that we revisit it and…

The Inner Light of Chanukah #3: To Illuminate Our World

By Yaakov Klein | December 16, 2020

A DISCUSSION IN the Gemara (Shabbos 22a) regarding the proper placement of the menorah concludes that the menorah should be placed on the left side of the doorway so that it will be surrounded with mitzvos; mezuzah on the right side and menorah on the left. The Shulchan Aruch (OC 671:7) rules this way l’halacha,…

The Inner Light of Chanukah #2: EVERYTHING is a Miracle!

By Yaakov Klein | December 15, 2020

THE GEMARA IN Shabbos states that the proper time to light Chanukah candles is, “Mishetishka hachamah ad shetichleh regel min hashuk”, “From the time the sun sets until the marketplace is emptied of people.” There is much discussion in the Rishonim and Achronim regarding the definition of these parameters. With regard to the starting time,…

“V’acharei chein” – The Menorah’s Reflection of a Brighter Future

By Yaakov Klein | December 13, 2020

Chanukah is upon us once again, and, like every year, it couldn’t come at a more perfect time. Sure, Chanukah 2020 will likely look a bit different than in years past, but even Corona surely can’t touch the essence of a chag that is already so bound with a yearly “stay-at-home order” we are most…

Likutei Moharan – Where to Begin?

By Yaakov Klein | November 28, 2020

Although it is known as one of the most difficult and formidable of the Chassidic works, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov’s Likutei Moharan also contains lessons that are more easily understood which prove very useful for beginners who seek a doorway into this wondrous world of Torah thought. In this list, I have, b’siyata d’Shmaya, compiled…

Moseif V’Holeich: Illuminating the Depths

By Yaakov Klein | November 26, 2020

While each of our chagim brings a singular atmosphere which emerges from its own unique energy, I have always felt that there was something particularly special about the yom tov of Chanukah. The physical setting of the Jew’s here and now perfectly mirrors the Chanukah story and messages it holds – light banishing darkness, miracles…

close up photo of flowers during daytime

Why I Support (A Different Kind Of) “HaShomrim Cards”

By Yaakov Klein | November 23, 2020

“Nafshi laShem mishomrim la’boker, shomrim la’boker” Tehillim 130:6 By now, I am sure many of my readers have heard about an innovative strategy some of our communities have adopted in attempt to battle the scourge of the technological advancements that have so radically transformed our world in recent years: “Hashomrim cards.” These colorful cards, some…

anonymous religious hasidim jews during pray near western wall

Our Journey to Jerusalem

By Yaakov Klein | November 23, 2020

The sweltering heat that greeted us upon leaving the air-conditioned terminal at Ben Gurion last week was typical of a middle Eastern summer’s night. We had just arrived in the Holy Land (where we will, with Hashem’s help, be living for the foreseeable future) after a few long days of travel that took us through…