Between “Eicha” and “Ayeka”

by Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander The first and central kinah said on Tisha b’Av is Megillat Eicha. The Gemara (Baba Batra 14a) refers to Megillat Eicha as the book of Lamentations, a Biblical book of which allows us to do something normally frowned upon –to question God, as it were. “Eicha, God; how? How did we get to the point that there is such …

OTS Summer 2018-5778 Newsletter

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“Parsha to the Point” – Devarim 5778

Parshat Devarim (Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22) Rabbi David Stav Paragraph This Shabbat, we begin the fifth and final volume of the Five Books of Moses. This Shabbat is also commonly referred to as “Shabbat Chazon”, so named for the opening word of the Haftarah reading: “The vision (‘chazon’) of Yishayahu (Isaiah) the son of Amotz”. This Haftarah …

“OTS Amiel BaKehila” Program launches in West Hartford

West Hartford takes the lead in coordinating new Israeli bridge-building initiative By Stacey Dresner – Published July 10, 2018 WEST HARTFORD – One Wednesday evening in May, members of a Torah study group gathered at the Crown Market after hours and were joined by American-Israeli musician Yitzchok Meir Malek, who gave an impromptu concert. …

“Parsha to the Point” – Matot-Masei 5778

Parshat Matot-Masei (Numbers 30:2-36:13) Rabbi David Stav Paragraph As we conclude the Book of Numbers, we read for the first time of any part of our people expressing a desire to take leave of the other tribes. We have already read about how the nation sinned, complained, and disagreed with each other – but this is a whole new level. The tribes …

“Parsha to the Point” – Pinchas 5778

Parshat Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1) Rabbi David Stav Paragraph The division of the Torah into weekly portions was not determined on Mount Sinai, and, in fact, is not an ancient practice (relatively speaking). There were times in our history when the Torah reading cycle took three years to complete, and the division into weekly portions was adjusted …

“Parsha to the Point” – Balak 5778

Parshat Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9) Rabbi David Stav Paragraph Fearing an Israelite takeover of Moabite territory should the People of Israel pass through his realm, King Balak of Moab summons the prophet (and idolatrous wizard) Balaam and asks him to curse the Jewish people. Try as he might, Balaam proves unable to do the king’s bidding, and the parsha …

OTS on Future of Modern Orthodoxy

Ohr Torah Stone Weighs in on the Future of Modern Orthodoxy By Harry Glazer | June 21, 2018 Jews who identify as Modern Orthodox can be excused for wondering about the long-term viability of their approach, since reports of its perilous prospects are common in Jewish publications. Recurring news of squabbles in Israel between the haredi political parties …

“Parsha to the Point” – Chukat 5778

Parshat Chukat (Numbers 19:1 – 22:1) Rabbi David Stav Paragraph “The entire congregation of the children of Israel arrived at the desert of Zin in the first month, and the people settled in Kadesh”. The Torah never specifies when the main events of this incident transpire. Indeed, there is no mention of which year of their desert sojourn …

“Parsha to the Point” – Korach 5778

Parshat Korach (Numbers 16:1 – 18:32) Rabbi David Stav   This Shabbat, we will have a dispute in the synagogue. Korach and his followers rebel against Moses, and the story of the most infamous dispute in the history of the Jewish People plays itself out. Never before have we experienced such a terrible dispute with such dire repercussions, which …