Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

We Are The Children Jewish spirituality has always been captivated by the mystery and majesty of the development of self. As we prepare to leave Egypt in the Torah, Moses’s speech to the people does not address the wars ahead, nor the great rendezvous with destiny on Mount Sinai, but rather – Moses  speaks to […]

Continue reading

Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

An Open Letter to Our Children Before every High Holiday and Passover season, Mrs. Neda Mehdizadeh spearheads the wonderful mitzvah of sending a care package to all of our college students. In addition, she also honors me with the opportunity to write a few words to our students. I am sharing with you here my […]

Continue reading

Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

                                     Words that Heal, Words that Kill In Judaism, words are holy and sacred. The world was created by Divine speech, teaches us the opening chapter of the Torah.  Words are big in Jewish spirituality. So much so, that the concluding book of the Torah is actually called “Words” (“Devarim”). Moreover, in the opening paragraph […]

Continue reading

Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

 The Jews of Spain: From Tragedy and Adversity to Triumph and Greatness 48 Hours ago, on Thursday 3/31, historically conscious Jews commemorated the 524th anniversary of the royal edict/decree issued by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, which announced the expulsion of all Spanish Jews who refused to convert to Christianity. The expulsion from Spain constitutes […]

Continue reading

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 Hispanic, African-American, and overall Christian […]

Continue reading

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 war, Israel moved to the […]

Continue reading

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: Forget your name!” I found […]

Continue reading

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 in the same prison in […]

Continue reading

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 Torah genius, who also made […]

Continue reading

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 world rests). Why did we […]

Continue reading