Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

The AIPAC Conference: Unity and Solidarity Eighteen thousand people congregated in Washington DC earlier this week, in order to send a clear and unequivocal message: “We stand with Israel”. The crowd was a veritable collage of American ethnicities and diverse backgrounds. In addition to numerous Jewish-Americans, the crowd also included...

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

From Death to Exceeding Life Israel Krystal lives in the city of Haifa in Israel. Israel is a Holocaust survivor. During the Holocaust, Israel lost his wife and two children. He survived Auschwitz, and weighed only 82 pounds upon liberation. At that point, he was a walking skeleton. After the...

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

Everybody Counts When I was in kindergarten, the teacher spoke to us on Yom Hashoah about the holocaust. How do you explain the systematic dehumanization that took place in Nazi occupied Europe to a group of young children? My kindergarten teacher told us during circle time, ”The Nazis ordered people:...

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

Israeli Politicians: The Shame and the Pride Last Sunday, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert went to jail to serve a 19 month sentence, for charges of corruption and obstruction of justice. Olmert is the first ever former Israeli Prime Minister to serve time in prison. Olmert serves his sentence...

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

Death of A Giant I lost one of my Rabbis last week, Rabbi Joshua Gordon. His was an untimely death, at the age of 66, due to a terminal illness. Naturally, I was saddened and emotional about it. Rabbi Gordon was a unique, charismatic, charming, encyclopedic, funny, warm, loving, caring...

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

   Who Do You Carry With You? As our ancestors journeyed through the Sinai Desert, they carried with them the coffin of Joseph, who is known in our tradition as a “tzadik yesod Olam” (A tzadik who is akin to a cornerstone upon which the spiritual and moral wellbeing of the...

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

The Way Jews Do Torah In order to understand Judaism, you must read the Torah portion with the rabbinic commentaries. A famous and clear case in point appears in next week’s parashah, as the text states: “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a...

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

A Jewish Hero in California Shlomo Rechnitz is one of those pious Orthodox Jews who always walk around with a white shirt, black pants, and a velvet kippah. He is also blessed with affluence, and is the proud owner of dozens of nursing homes throughout California. During the lottery-mania of...

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

Solidarity with Europe’s Jews It’s been 12 years since the Chief Rabbi of France called upon French Jewry to stop wearing a kippah in public, because it is too dangerous. In numerous other cities and countries in Europe the situation is very much the same. Last week, a Torah teacher...

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

One People, One Love, One Destiny A grandson of two beloved members of our community, of David and Raquel Ben Simon, traveled to Israel as part of a Birthright delegation. And he found himself last Friday at the wrong place, and at the wrong time. At the pub in Tel...

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