By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, February 25, 2015
I was recently sitting with some people and, as has happened so often in recent months, someone started singing the very popular niggun, Ve’afilu Behastarah. The moving words and tune never fail to soften the heart, providing a jolt of chizuk and emunah, a reminder that Hashem is always in control.
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, February 18, 2015
The Gemara in Maseches Megillah (4b) discusses the possibility of observing Purim and reading the megillah on Shabbos. Rabbah and Rav Yosef agree that Megillas Esther cannot be read on Shabbos, but they dispute why.
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, February 11, 2015
In the alma deshikra in which we live, truth is a rare commodity. Fiction, deviation, misinformation and half-truths are pervasive in our world. The only way to have a connection to the truth is by following the Torah. Mishpotim, the laws that govern finances, which we study this week, must have a basis in the Torah in order for them to be truthful and just.
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, February 04, 2015
I had been planning this trip for a while and was looking forward to going to Yerushalayim for Shabbos. Then the predictions of the great blizzard set in. The flight was cancelled. I would have to forgo the opportunity.
Thankfully, a seat on an El Al flight was found and I was able to go.
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, January 28, 2015
This week’s parsha is replete with references to mesorah, the value and import of remaining connected.
The posuk states that as the Jewish people left Mitzrayim, they were armed: “vachamushim alu Bnei Yisroel.” The following posuk states that prior to leaving, Moshe Rabbeinu took pains to bring along the remains of Yosef Hatzaddik.
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Rav Archik Bakst of Shavel was a dominant rabbinic figure in prewar Lita, as a rov, mechanech, posek and baal mussar. He took the mandate of kibbud av va’eim seriously and would frequently travel to visit his aged mother.
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Last Friday, our brothers and sisters were trapped in a Paris supermarket. Engaged in the lofty activity of preparing for Shabbos Kodesh, they found themselves under fire by a crazed Islamic terrorist. Hearts across the Jewish world skipped a beat in unison as Yishmoel sharpened his sword once again.
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, January 07, 2015
The Ramban in his introduction to Sefer Shemos writes that this week’s parsha opens by retelling the story of the Bnei Yisroel’s descent to Mitzrayim, for that was the beginning of the Egyptian golus and Shemos relates the tale of golus and geulah.
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, December 31, 2014
This week’s parsha of Vayechi tells of the passing of Yaakov Avinu. The posuk states, “Vayikrivu yemei Yisroel lomus vayikra levno leYosef” (Bereishis 47:29). As Yaakov’s final moments of life approached, he called for his son, Yosef. He urged Yosef not to bury him in Mitzrayim, but in Eretz Yisroel: “Al na sikbereini beMitzrayim. Veshochavti im avosai…” He asks Yosef to swear that he will bury him amongst the avos, repeating the request by stating, “Veshochavti im avosai.”
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Vayigash is one of the most dramatic parshiyos in the Torah. Finally, after suffering much abuse at the hands of the Egyptian viceroy, Yehudah confronts the ruler following his announced intention to jail Binyomin.
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, December 17, 2014
As we observe the Yom Tov of Chanukah, it is interesting to note that there is a mitzvah of zeh Keili ve’anveihu to perform a mitzvah in its most perfect form.
We find in hilchos Chanukah that the hiddurim in the mitzvah of lighting involve the type of oil and wicks used to light the menorah and providing a menorah for every member of the family. After the fire burns for a half hour, it may be extinguished. The Mishnah Berurah [672, 6] writes that there is no hiddur mitzvah in having it burn longer. I have long wondered why. We would think that the longer the candles remain lit, the more of a hiddur mitzvah it would be.
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, December 03, 2014
Every year, on Rosh Hashanah, just before the shofar is sounded, the Jewish heart pounds with anticipation and awe. During one of the most exalted moments of the year, as we are about to hear the shofar blown, we recite kappitel 47 of Tehillim seven times in succession. The perek is replete with references, hidden and revealed, to the avodas hayom.
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, November 26, 2014
The Jewish world is still in a state of shock over the last week’s Har Nof massacre of kedoshim utehorim. People wonder how such terrible events can transpire in our time. How has this happened in the modern day and age? How has a shul filled with people who woke up early to daven become a host of tragedy of historic proportions?
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, November 19, 2014
We read in this week’s parsha about Rivka’s difficult pregnancy. She is informed that “shnei goyim bevitneich,” she would be giving birth to two distinct personalities, Yitzchok and Eisov, who would lead two separate nations.
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Last Tuesday night, as results from polling stations across the nation began to come in, it became obvious to a non-partial observer that the Republicans were heading to a smashing victory. Yet, the media was refusing to say that the Republicans had taken over the Senate. Exit polls are conducted during the entire election day, and when the polls close, it is possible to project a winner. As soon as the Republicans racked up three of the six victories they needed to become the majority party in the Senate, the media stopped revealing the results of their exit polling, as they tried to digest the effect of what they had to know to be a fact.
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, November 05, 2014
In the opening posuk of this week’s parsha, Mamrei achieves enduring relevance through his inclusion in one of the most fundamental mitzvos. Hashem appeared in his area upon visiting Avrohom Avinu following his milah.
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Parshas Lech Lecha opens with one of the ten nisyonos Avrohom Avinu confronted. Nisyonos are commonly translated as tests or challenges. Avrohom was confronted by ten of them and earned the title of Avinu by passing each test and overcoming the challenges.
We first learn the parshiyos of Bereishes as children and too often retain a juvenile perspective on them into adulthood. In truth, every posuk and every tale is layered with deep meaning.
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Once again, as the hue and glow of the greatest month of the year begins to fade, we find ourselves reading the story of Noach. As we slip from the joyous days of Sukkos into the inevitable chill of winter, we find that the parshas hashovua offers warmth, compensating for the dips and turns of the calendar.
There is a lesson inherent in theparsha as we battle to adapt the inspiration and spiritual highs of the Yomim Tovim to the practicalities of everyday life. Schools are open once again. Yeshivos are beginning the longest zeman of the year and working people are back at the grind. We are all attempting to rise above the bleakness confronting us.
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, October 01, 2014
The theme of the beautiful pesukim that comprise Shir Hashirim focuses on the Ribbono Shel Olam’s boundless and enduring love for His people. The lyrical account written by Shlomo Hamelech portrays the depth of the relationship between Knesses Yisroel and their Shepherd.