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Episode 4: “In Search of Meaningful Prayer”

“The stones remember the prayers and the tears” explained the shul gabbai as he refused to allow the floor of his synagogue to be dismantled and used in a grand mosaic floor installation at Hadassah Hospital.

Today, this story’s protagonists are gone, but the stones remain – and they tell a story of authentic prayer. Watch the fourth episode in Rabbi Kenneth Brander’s powerful new series, “If These Stones Could Speak” about the hidden messages from our past that exist throughout the Land of Israel.

This week’s episode is dedicated in memory of the victims of this Shabbat’s terror attack who lost their lives outside of a different synagogue in Jerusalem. May all of the injured victims have a refua shlayma, a quick and full recovery.

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Episode 3: “Elevating the Mundane”

How did Napoleon’s royal coat get from the snowy plains of Russia to the “Beit Israel” synagogue in Yemin Moshe, Jerusalem – the first shul to be built outside the Old City walls?

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Episode 2: “A Community Built by Unity”

In Jerusalem, there’s a well-known Orthodox synagogue whose land was donated by the Conservative movement, while its first Torah scroll was dedicated by none other than Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, Israel’s first Chief Rabbi. Would such a cooperation be possible today? 

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Episode 1: “A Matter of Trust”

Why was there a large oven built behind the “Hagra” Synagogue in Jerusalem’s Shaarei Chesed neighborhood? Does the fact that each family has its own oven today distance us from one another? And how can we recreate a cohesive, trusting community atmosphere?

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“If These Stones Could Speak” is a powerful new video series following  OTS President and Rosh HaYeshiva Rabbi Kenneth Brander as he explores off the beaten track sites throughout Israel.  In each week’s short video, Rabbi Brander will bring to life long-forgotten stories and uncover hidden messages from the past that will help us build a better, more just and more unified future.

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Making the Journey Meaningful The 7-week period between Pesach and Shavuot known as S’firat HaOmer (Counting of the Omer) marks a type of spiritual journey of the Jewish people, beginning with liberation from slavery and culminating with the receiving of the Torah.  This journey is perhaps felt most poignantly in Israel, where the nation moves, …

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Yakov Nagen on Arutz 7

Rabbi: Islamic Movement is sincere about condemning terrorism ‘We must not miss this opportunity to change Arab-Jewish relations,’ says Rabbi Yakov Nagen, a promoter of interfaith dialogue. Yoni Kempinski , April 5 , 2021 Rabbi Dr. Yakov Nagen, Director of Ohr Torah Stone’s Blickle Institute for Interfaith Dialogue, pushed back against criticism of the inclusion of …

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Celebrating Freedom: Yachad Program for Jewish Identity Prepares Israelis for Pesach Pesach represents transition – from winter to spring; from slavery to freedom. And in Israel this year, it also represented our transition from total lockdown in he face of Covid to the ability to live a more “normal” life. The Yachad Program for Jewish …

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