OTS Faculty

Eight Days – Eight Thoughts

Day One – Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin Day Two – Rabbanit Sally Mayer Day Three – Rabbi Chaim Kanterovitz Day Four – Pnina Omer Day Five – Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein Day Six – Rabbanit Atirat Granevich Day Seven – Rabbanit Billy Rabenstein Day Eight – Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander Download the booklet as PDF The …

Read moreEight Days – Eight Thoughts

Eight Days – Eight Thoughts: Day Eight

Chanukah Rabbi Brander

The Flame and the Light Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel offer differing views on the kindling of the Chanukah lights. Beit Shammai’s reason for requiring a continual decrease from eight (Chanukah) lights to one is so that the various kindlings correspond to the bull (sacrifices) of the Sukkot festival, and Beit …

Read moreEight Days – Eight Thoughts: Day Eight

Eight Days – Eight Thoughts: Day Seven

Chanukah Bili Rabenstein

A Light that Gradually Diminishes; a Light that Gradually Intensifies Rabbanit Bili Rabenstein The Sages taught in a beraita: The basic mitzvah of Chanukah is to have a light kindled each day by a person, the head of the household, for himself and his household. And the mehadrin, i.e., those who are meticulous in the …

Read moreEight Days – Eight Thoughts: Day Seven

Eight Days – Eight Thoughts: Day Six

Chanukah Atirat Grunevich

“If it was Extinguished, One is Not Bound to Relight it” Atirat Granevich The flickering lights in the Chanukiyah are truly heart-warming. These candles, melting away under the flames, draw our gazes and publicize the wondrous miracles that Hashem performed for us in those days. With this in mind, the halakha exempting us from relighting …

Read moreEight Days – Eight Thoughts: Day Six

Eight Days – Eight Thoughts: Day Five

Chanukah Yehoshua Grunstein

Chanukah: For All and For Us Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein The private and public symbiosis of the Chanukah candles is vital in halakha: why are they lit in the home, but facing the outside? Both the Talmud and Rambam’s code illustrate to us the story that lead up to the catalyst of this mitzvah; the lightning …

Read moreEight Days – Eight Thoughts: Day Five

Eight Days – Eight Thoughts: Day Four

Chanukah Pnina Omer

The Women of Chanukah Pnina Omer Lighting Chanukah candles is an obligation as well as a privilege for women. This is clearly illustrated and accepted within Jewish law “… for they, too, were present at that miracle”, according to the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law). This precept also appears in the Gemarah (Talmud), but …

Read moreEight Days – Eight Thoughts: Day Four

Eight Days – Eight Thoughts: Day Three

chanukah Rabbi Kanterovich

The Precedent for the Final Redemption Rabbi Chaim Kanterovitz In his assessment of the causes, and aftermath of the historical events that led to the establishment of the festival of Chanukah, Rambam (Maimonides 12th century Spain) writes towards the end of the first law: “…וגברו בני חשמונאי הכוהנים הגדולים והרגום והושיעו ישראל מידם והעמידו מלך …

Read moreEight Days – Eight Thoughts: Day Three

Eight Days – Eight Thoughts: Day Two

Chanukah Sally

The Message in the Candles Rabbanit Sally Mayer The festival of Chanukah commemorates an incredible miracle. When the Beit Hamikdash was rededicated by the Hasmoneans after their military victory, a small flask of oil sufficient enough to light the menorah for one night, lasted eight. However, there have been other miracles which seem far greater …

Read moreEight Days – Eight Thoughts: Day Two

Eight Days – Eight Thoughts: Day One

Chanukah Rabbi Riskin

The Miracle of Lights or of Victory? Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin The festival of Chanukah celebrates the victory of a small band of Hasmonean believers in God. We also celebrate the triumph of Jewish traditions over the massive forces of the Hellinistic ruling class of Judea together with the military might of Greek-Syria, whose misguided …

Read moreEight Days – Eight Thoughts: Day One

Ten Days – Ten Thoughts

Cover of 10 thoughts for 10 days booklet

The first ten days of the Jewish calendar are known as “Aseret Yemei Teshuva – The ten days of Teshuva.” Citing the verse, “Seek God when He may be found, call upon Him when He is near,” the Talmud asserts that “these are the ten days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur,” when God is …

Read moreTen Days – Ten Thoughts

Ten Days – Ten Thoughts: Day Ten

Yes, We Can Rabbanit Sally Mayer The haunting melody of Kol Nidrei resonates with every Jew who attends services on Yom Kippur night. But if you were writing the prayers for Yom Kippur, what would you choose as the opening lines? Perhaps you would open by apologizing for however we have sinned over the year; …

Read moreTen Days – Ten Thoughts: Day Ten

Ten Days – Ten Thoughts: Day Nine

Contemplations Rabbi Shuki Reich There are two themes which are central to Rosh Hashana. The first is that of listening – the main aspect of the shofar is, after all, to listen – and the second theme is prayer, expressing oneself to the Creator, and understanding what his or her purpose is. The main feature …

Read moreTen Days – Ten Thoughts: Day Nine

Font Resize
Contrast