Unity
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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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“What Unites Us is Greater Than What Divides Us” OTS’s Monique & Mordecai Katz Yachad Program for Jewish Identity strengthens Jewish-Israeli identity through welcoming programs where Jews of all backgrounds feel comfortable celebrating their shared heritage. In the aftermath of a divisive election campaign that immediately preceded the Memorial Day marking the assassination of Prime …

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Welcoming Shabbat B’Yachad – Together The Yachad Jewish Identity Program harnesses the long, sunny Fridays of Israeli summer to run communal Kabbalat Shabbat programs across the country, bringing thousands of Israelis closer to their heritage and their communities “Not all of us bring the Shabbat into our homes through the traditional songs or with Kiddush,” …

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Passover 2022: Finding redemption in the face of terror – opinion The Talmud teaches that Nisan is the month of redemption for everyone just as it was for the Jews in Egypt in Exodus by Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander   | April 8, 2022  The Talmud (Rosh Hashanah 10b) teaches that the month of Nisan is not …

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Hanukkah initiative brings holiday joy to thousands of families in Israel ‘Our Building Lights’ initiative brings holiday traditions to communities around Israel. Arutz Sheva Staff , December 01 , 2021 While coronavirus remains a constant issue on the mind of all, the organizers of Ohr Torah Stone’s Yachad Program for Jewish Identity are creating a “sense …

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  Tonight, We Don’t Learn Torah “On Tisha B’Av we are compelled to rise above any division and debate and to remember that we have a common purpose” In recent years, the “Tonight, We Don’t Learn Torah” Tisha B’Av programs have become a fixture on the Israeli landscape, as hundreds of thousands of Israelis flock …

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Tisha Be’av: Finding ourselves to find redemption – opinion The service on Tisha Be’av focuses on golah, exile, and its movement towards geulah, redemption. The difference between these two Hebrew words is one letter, aleph, for ani – me. By Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander, July 15, 2021  In his introduction to Book of Genesis, the …

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