Speaking about how Purim is a preparation for Passover,[1] Rebbe Nachman once said, “At first, all beginnings were from Passover[2] and now….” (and didn’t conclude his sentence). At the time, his followers didn’t know exactly what he meant and offered different explanations for this cryptic statement. In my estimation, it refers to a new way […]

On the Profound Significance of Tsfat to Our Generation On December 10, 2005, during Chanukah, hundreds of people gathered in lower Manhattan at the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. A dinner was held honoring the Holy City of Tsfat. The themes of the evening were renewal in a post-Holocaust era, the […]

In a tradition handed down from the students of the Arizal, when the first Jewish Temple was destroyed, the Shechina retreated slowly in stages until She came to rest in the Holy City of Tsfat. And there She remains until the final redemption. Rebbe Nachman of Breslev tells a story about a lost princess on […]

At the end of exile, close to the time of our redemption, Israel’s troubles will greatly strengthen and intensify. Because of the tremendous travail that will surround them from every side, they will say, “Let the mountains and hills fall on us to hide us.” Their straits will become so dire that fathers will abandon […]

BIRTH AND DEATH, one day flows into the next. Souls are brought into the world while others depart. The generation of the Arizal was no different in this regard. Yet, every few centuries or so, heaven sends down a great soul for the betterment and tikkun of the creation—a caliber of tzaddik who holds the […]

TSFAT, SPLENDOROUS CITY OF PASSIONATE YEARNING. A mere two obscure references to her exist in early Talmudic writings. Cryptic and hidden, she has nonetheless attracted those destined to plumb and reveal the mysteries of Torah for the world. Rarely called by name, she exerts her influence quietly on those who understand her preciousness, as she […]

The Power of Yom Kippur & Ascending the Spiritual Ladder Everyone has shortcomings and mistakes that require teshuva, the spiritual repair known as “repentance. The possibility of teshuva was granted to the world as a gift, and comes from profound Divine compassion. The way teshuva actually works is something that defies logic or human comprehension. […]

WHEN A PERSON FACES A LIFE OR DEATH JUDGMENT, they customarily dress in black, neglect their physical appearance and let their hair and nails grow. They are terrified because the final outcome of the judgment against them is unknown. This is in stark contrast to the behavior of the Jewish people on Rosh HaShanah, the “Great […]