Rabbi Sessler D’Var Torah

  בס”ד Where is Moses? Our Torah portion this week (Tetzave), does not mention Moses by name even once. This is certainly a striking oddity, since Moses is mentioned by name throughout the entire Torah, from the story of his birth in the portion of Shemot, until the final portion of “Vezot Habracha.” Why is […]

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Rabbi Sessler D’Var Torah

בס”ד Humility and Grandeur: The Legacy of Menachem Begin   The 25th anniversary of the passing of Menachem Begin was commemorated in Israel this week. Begin, Israel’s sixth Prime Minister was the most religious leader Israel had known. In 1977, shortly after having been elected, Begin traveled to the United States, in order to meet […]

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Rabbi Sessler D’Var Torah

  בס”ד 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 this week’s parashah, as the text states: “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot […]

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Rabbi Sessler D’Var Torah

בס”ד The Universality of Judaism   Parashat Yitro includes the most spiritually sublime event in Jewish history — the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. And — imagine this — it’s named after a non-Jew, Jethro the Midianite. Jethro experimented with all forms of idolatrous practices, until he finally embraced monotheism. It is striking that our sages chose to name […]

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Rabbi Sessler D’Var Torah

Our Children Are Not Our Children  Have you ever been to a Jewish celebration known as “The redeeming of the first born” (“Pidyon Haben”)? It’s a very peculiar ritual, in which a father brings his 31 day-old son to a Cohen, and declares that this child is his wife’s first naturally born child. Following that, […]

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

Denial A new movie is out this week at cinemas all over the country. It is called “Denial”, and it is about a law suit which Holocaust denier David Irving brought against the eminent Jewish-American historian Deborah Lipstadt. Irving lost the trial, and history and truth were vindicated. Today, Holocaust denial is rampant throughout the […]

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef: A Sephardic Hero in Our Time Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef is the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel. Yesterday, he met with the leading Islamic leader in the West Bank. The purpose of their meeting, which was held in the residence of Israel’s president Reuven Rivlin, was to issue a joint statement in condemnation […]

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

Prince Charles’s Grandmother: A Righteous Woman A week ago, Prince Charles graced with his presence the funeral of Shimon Peres. After the funeral, the Prince was immediately driven from Mount Herzl, where Shimon Peres was interred, to the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem, where his paternal grandmother (Prince Philip’s mother) is buried. The Prince’s […]

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

Wisdom and Knowledge Shimon Peres, from whom we parted earlier this week, never graduated college. Peres did spend about a year in the United States, taking courses at Harvard University and NYU during the early 1950’s, but he never earned enough course credits in order to complete and earn his B.A. Peres was simply too […]

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

  The Kabbalah of Freddie Mercury When I was in high school I used to play in a rock band. I played bass guitar, and we mostly played popular songs of leading rock bands such as Guns and Roses, Metallica and Queen. I was reminded of all this last Monday, when I read about the […]

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