By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz  |  Wednesday, August 26, 2015
The theme of war is everywhere at this time of year.

Twice each day, we recite the chapter of Tehillim referred to as “L’Dovid,” in which we proclaim that we feel no fear from enemies and traps that abound. Im tokum olay milchomah, even if there is a war threatening to engulf me, bezos ani votei’ach, our faith in Hashem remains rock solid.
By Chaim Bashevkin  |  Wednesday, August 26, 2015
The president
And sec of state
Are thrust into
A great debate

They think their deal
Is really great
And thus his will
He must dictate
By Sara Weissman  |  Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Ask any kindergartener what apples have to do with yomim noraim and she’ll most likely sing you a little ditty about dipping the apple in the honey, and you’ll have your answer. But several years ago, I discovered an unexpected, yet transformative connection between apples and the time period of yemei ratzon- and every Elul since then, I am reminded of the story.
By Gedalia & Suri Meyer  |  Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Our son, Mordechai, is an 18-year-old religious young man who has been associated for a few years with the Hilltop Youth. This is a group of young men who love Eretz Yisroel and love living out in nature in a tent, shepherding sheep and learning Torah, trying to emulate the way our forefathers lived in our land many years ago. Occasionally, security forces come by and tell them that an Arab has claimed the land they are on, so the boys pack up and move to a new uncontested location. They number about 50, though only a fraction of this number can actually be found on hilltops at any given time.

Mordechai is one of those youths and is the subject of this article. He is also the unexpected object of a precious mitzvah that only rarely finds application in modern times. Our son is a Jewish prisoner being held without charges, while being publically blamed for a crime that he couldn’t have had anything to do with.
By Rabbi Yitzchok Tzvi Schwarz  |  Wednesday, August 26, 2015
“When we came to visit our rebbi during Elul, we were able recognize by gazing at his holy face exactly how many days there were left to the Yom Hadin.”

So said the great giant of mussar, Rav Itzele Peterburger, about his rebbi, Rav Yisroel Salanter. Just like during the period of Sefiras Ha’omer every day was another step forward, a new level of ascension to Kabbolas HaTorah, so does every day of Elul represent a new madreigah acquired in the procession towards the Day of Judgment. In fact, every day during Elul, Rav Itzele would publicly count how many days there were left until Rosh Hashanah. This was also the custom in Kelm, for the express purpose of reminding everyone to realize with awe the great value of each and every one of these days.
By Rav Yaakov Feitman  |  Wednesday, August 26, 2015
As my baalei batim said, “On Shabbos, the rabbi went to camp.”

Indeed, my rebbetzin, two of my sons and I packed our bags to spend our occasional Shabbos at Camp Agudah on Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Elul. Although the camp has the zechus of having Rav Yisroel Belsky as its rov and posek, various roshei yeshiva and rabbonim are invited to be the “rov of the week” throughout the summer. During my stint, I spoke five times officially, with drashos and shiurim for masmidim (“mitzvos tzrichos kavanah”), hashkafah during seudah shlishis, a baseball moshol to the entire camp, chizuk to the women, etc.
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