Rabbi Dov Begon

<i>Mishpatim</i>: "Increase and Fully Occupy the Land"

A gradual fulfillment of destiny. , 2/16/2007, 12:31 AM

<I>Vayishlach</i>: Jacob and Israel

The "Israel" aspect of Jacob is revealed when the enemies of the Jewish People cannot beat them and Israel wins. G-d therefore calls Jacob "Israel"., 12/7/2006, 12:05 PM

<I>Toldot</I>: To Judge the Mount of Esau

Already during her pregnancy, Rebecca knew through her faith that at issue was not just two children, but two nations that would emerge from her, the Kingdom of Israel and the nations of the world. , 11/23/2006, 4:47 PM

"All That He Owned to Isaac"

Our sages relate that, one time, Ishmael's descendants and Ketura's descendants came as litigants with the Jewish people before Alexander the Great. They announced, "The Land of Canaan is ours and yours, as it says, 'These are the chronicles of Ishmael son of Abraham,' (Gen. 25:12) and, 'These are the chronicles of Isaac son of Abraham.' (25:19)" , 11/16/2006, 11:48 PM

<I>Vayera</I>: The Inheritance

Our ancestors' deeds presage our own. It is true that thousands of years have passed since Ishmael would shoot arrows at Isaac with the goal of driving him out of <I>Eretz Yisrael</I>, but unfortunately, the Arabs, Ishmael's descendants, have not ceased to fight us. , 11/8/2006, 3:17 PM

Abraham's Victory

The first World War in the history of mankind was the War of the Four Kings Against the Five, during the days of Amraphel, a.k.a. Nimrod. , 11/1/2006, 12:29 PM

Noah and Abraham, Anguish and Joy

When Noah was born, his father "named him Noah [comfort], saying, 'This one will bring us relief from our work and the anguish of our hands, from the soil that the L-rd has cursed.'", 10/24/2006, 6:50 PM

Simchat Torah: For Out of Zion Shall Go Forth the Law

Twice a year, we rejoice over the Torah. Once at Shavuot, the time of G-d's giving of the Torah, and a second time at <i>Shemini Atzeret-Simchat Torah</I>., 10/11/2006, 8:13 AM

Freedom, Torah and Rejoicing

By way of political and spiritual freedom, we will merit to complete the process when we sit in the <I>succah</I> during Succot, the time of our rejoicing., 10/4/2006, 7:15 PM

<I>Haazinu</I>: "He Will Reconcile His People to His Land"

Following G-d's revenge on Israel's foes will come great reconciliation and appeasement between us and our Father in Heaven., 9/28/2006, 12:45 PM

Rosh Hashanah: Our Good Day of Remembrance

Rosh Hashanah is the "Day of Remembrance". On this special day, we remember and are remembered. We remember here on earth, and we are remembered On High., 9/19/2006, 2:12 PM

<I>Nitzavim-Vayelech</I>: What is Revealed, What is Hidden

Today, a covenant of mutual responsibility has been renewed in our generation with the establishment of the State of Israel. The immoral behavior and corruption of the individual is not the private business of this person or that. It affects the entire nation and influences the plight of society, security and the economy. , 9/13/2006, 2:15 PM

<I>Ki-Tavo</I>: Gratitude - Then and Now

The first thing a Jew says when he gets up in the morning is, "I render thanks to You, everlasting King, who has mercifully restored my soul within me. Your faithfulness is great.", 9/6/2006, 2:04 PM

<I>Ki-Tetzei</I>: At War With Amalek for All Generations

Hizbullah wished to explode our image in the eyes of the world, which looks on with astonishment at the rebirth of the Jewish People in their land, fulfillment of the vision of the prophets of Israel - and sees clearly that Israel is the eternal people., 8/30/2006, 11:43 PM

<I>Shoftim</I>: "Restore Our Judges as at First"

We need a leadership that will be sensitive to the people's suffering, that of the public as a whole and of the individual. We need a leadership that will remain connected to the people, and will take responsibility for our people, Land and heritage. , 8/24/2006, 11:45 AM

<I>Ekev</I>: Look Back on Abraham Your Father

Our fortitude as a nation and our hold on <I>Eretz Yisrael</I> are closely bound to learning our holy Torah and to fulfilling its <I>mitzvot</I>. , 8/10/2006, 12:25 AM

Comfort, My People

We can see with our own eyes how the land is developing with great strides. Roads and train tracks are being laid out, and the Isaiah's words are being fulfilled. , 8/4/2006, 10:59 AM

We Are Waging a <I>Milchemet Mitzvah</I>

We are at the height of a <I>milchemet mitzvah</I>, a compulsory war, as Rambam taught: "What is a <I>milchemet mitzvah</I>? It is a war to assist Israel against an enemy that has attacked them." (<I>Hilchot Melachim</I> 5:1) , 7/27/2006, 2:01 AM

17th of Tammuz: Love Peace and Truth

The manifold causes of the suffering that beset us in the past still exist in our own generation, and we must repent for them. That is, we must rectify them both on the national level and on the personal level., 7/13/2006, 11:09 AM

A "Nation That Rises Like the King of Beasts"

In the past, Israel's victory melted the hearts of our enemies, the Moabites and Canaanites, and they lacked the spirit to make a stand against us., 7/6/2006, 3:54 PM

All-Out War Against Our Enemies

Just as the Israelites waged an all-out war, even though the cause of the war was the capture of a single female slave, so too in our own day., 6/28/2006, 1:04 AM

<I>Korach</I>: "The Wise Shall Inherit Honor"

Today, we greatly need to restore the value of honor to our society and culture, to honor our Torah scholars, teachers and educators, to honor our parents and to honor our leaders (despite our differences of opinion on political matters, etc.). , 6/23/2006, 6:32 AM

<I>Beha'alotcha</I>: "Return, O L-rd, the Myriads of Israel's families"

The Jewish People live in a state of flux. Sometimes their situation is dynamic, as when they face wars or other complications. At other times, they experience rest, unity and repentance., 6/8/2006, 12:07 AM

Festival of the Giving of the Torah

The Torah was given to the Jewish People, and not to this individual or that, neither to any particular party or stream within the Jewish People., 5/31/2006, 10:14 AM

Raise the Flag of Jerusalem on Jerusalem Day

On this Jerusalem Day, let us remember that Jerusalem is the holy city, the city in which holiness is revealed on earth. And in order that holiness should be so revealed, we must return to Rabbi Kook's plan to "raise up the flag of Jerusalem"., 5/24/2006, 11:42 PM

Bar-Yochai, Happy is the Nation that Learns From You

Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai was privileged to have the day of his passing, which fell on Lag BaOmer, become a major celebration in which myriads of Jewish people go forth and light bonfires in his honor., 5/12/2006, 12:42 AM

<I>Acharei Mot-Kedoshim</I>: "Turn From Evil and Do Good"

Well-known is the rabbinic rule that whoever scoffs will be visited by suffering (<I>Avodah Zara</I> 18b)., 5/4/2006, 11:09 PM

May Our Eyes See Your Return in Mercy to Zion

Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook said: "We have to be very joyous on Independence Day. We must be joyous over the revelation of the Divine Presence, the return to Zion and the rebirth of the Jewish people. All the rebuilding, rebirth and survival of the State of Israel is interwoven with great miracles that G-d has shown us.", 5/2/2006, 11:26 AM

The Exodus Narrative: A Love Story

In the past, however, we have faced unimaginably harsh conditions, such as when we were pursued to death by the Spanish Inquisition, or when Jews were being burned to death in the furnaces of Auschwitz and elsewhere in Europe. Throughout those times, as well, Jews never ceased to recite in secret that great love story. , 4/5/2006, 11:32 AM

<I>Vayak'hel-Pekudei</I>: Withhold No Good Thing

We are commanded to make a sincere effort - and G-d helps us. We have limited strength, but Omnipotent G-d assists us; as our sages said, "If a person sanctifies himself a little bit, G-d will sanctify him much.", 3/23/2006, 12:37 AM

Light and Gladness, Joy and Honor

On the Sabbath before Purim, it is a <I>mitzvah</I> to read <I>parashat Zachor</I> (Deuteronomy 25:17-19), about "what Amalek did to you on your way out of Egypt." And what did they do?, 3/10/2006, 1:13 PM

The World is Full of <I>Hamas</I> [Violence]

Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda strongly insisted that there is no room for negotiations with the Arabs and there is nothing to talk about with them as long as they do not recognize our right to our land in its Biblical borders., 2/5/2006, 10:52 PM

Patience is the Key

As Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi said: "The Patriarchs had such a high degree of faith and such pure hearts that although they encountered only evil all their lives, their faith in G-d never weakened." (<I>Kuzari</I> 2:2), 1/26/2006, 1:04 PM

<I>Sh'mot</I>: Israel as a Nation

The Nation of Israel was born in Egypt. They went down to Egypt numbering seventy, and they left Egypt a nation. The first to discern their peoplehood was Pharaoh, of all people, who announced to Egypt: "The people of Israel are becoming too numerous and strong for us." (Exodus 1:9), 1/18/2006, 10:12 AM

The Siege on Jerusalem: Then and Now

There is a deep connection between these two painful events in Jewish history - the destruction of the Temple and the awful Holocaust., 1/10/2006, 12:29 AM

<i>Mashiach-ben-Yosef</i> and <i>Mashiach-ben-David</i>

Just as Joseph was wise and insightful, and successful in everything he did, and just as he engaged in saving Egypt economically, so, too, our generation is one whose chief preoccupation is ensuring our survival and our economic welfare. Yet, this is just the first stage in Israel's rebirth. , 12/30/2005, 1:40 AM

Increase Light

After two thousand years, we have emerged from the "pit" of the dark exile, which was full of snakes and scorpions., 12/23/2005, 2:08 PM

<I>Vayishlach</I>: No Longer Jacob

When Jacob arrives in Bet El, G-d appears to him and blesses him: "G-d said to him. 'Your name is Ya'akov. No longer will your name be Ya'akov, but Yisrael will be your name;' and He named him Yisrael.", 12/14/2005, 10:53 PM

The Clash Between Esau and Jacob - Then and Now

Isaac, before his death, ostensibly wished to bless Esau. He saw in him a man of action, busy with material affairs, the matters of this world; hence, Esau seemingly deserved both the birthright and the blessing. Only through Rebecca's guile and wisdom did the blessing pass to Jacob, the scholarly man who remained within the tents., 12/2/2005, 12:20 AM

Abraham's Generous, Loving Nature

It is true that the people of Sodom sinned heavily, and ostensibly, Abraham could have ignored them and cut himself off from them. Yet, Abraham had a generous nature. He had love for the Creator and His creations - even those who had distanced themselves far from Him. , 11/17/2005, 12:10 AM

Gladden Us

Today, mankind's goal is to emerge from the anguish that has hung over it since the days of Adam to the enormous joy that will characterize the human race in general, and Israel, the eternal People, in particular, at the End of Days., 11/2/2005, 12:11 AM

Seasons of Freedom, Torah and Joy

The three pilgrimage festivals, Pesach, Shavuot and Succot, are one chain linking the Jewish People to their past and their future., 10/21/2005, 2:19 AM

G-d "Hears Israel's Shofar Blowing with Mercy."

The shofar hints and teaches us how we must relate properly and constructively to the Day of Judgment and to strict judgment., 9/28/2005, 1:59 PM

Elul: Month of Mercy

We are now in Elul, the month of repentance and mercy. What is this mercy that we are in such great need of in general, and especially at this time? , 9/15/2005, 11:49 PM

We Must Pass On Love and Faith

Everything happening today in Israel is a tangible, concrete expression of the moral, spiritual and ethical doldrums in which the State of Israel finds itself., 8/19/2005, 12:20 PM

Let Our Suffering Not Drive Us Mad

Rambam's father, the rabbi and judge Maimon, wrote a letter to the Jews of Morocco, against whom the Muslims had issued harsh decrees. In his letter, he offers them consolation and encouragement, strengthening their faith and trust in G-d., 8/11/2005, 4:20 PM

The Three Weeks: A Time for National Soul-Searching

At this time of year, "we have to arouse hearts and look for ways to repent. Doing so should make us think about our own deeds and those of our ancestors." (<I>Kitzur Shulchan Aruch</I> 121:1), 8/1/2005, 4:42 PM

Those Who Love the Land Will Win

"The episode of Tzelafchad's daughters was juxtaposed to the section regarding the census. Those daughters loved the Land and they were as righteous as Joseph, who likewise loved the Land and asked to be buried there. Whoever loves the Land is righteous and worthy of praise." (Rashi on <I>Bamidbar</I> 27:1), 7/21/2005, 9:51 PM

<I>Chukat</I>: The People Grew Discouraged

Imagine someone running a forty-kilometer marathon. On the thirty-eighth kilometer, his spirit weakens and he has no more strength or will to complete the last two kilometers, so he stops running. That is how it was with the Israelites towards the end of their trek through the desert., 7/7/2005, 4:29 PM

<I>Korach</I>: Between Israel and the Nations

Korach is ostensibly right in his claim against Moses and Aaron that "all the people are holy and G-d is with them." , 6/30/2005, 11:13 AM

Go Forth and Occupy the Land

Ostensibly, the spies carried out their mission. They were sent by Moses, who instructed them with questions regarding the quality of the Land and its inhabitants., 6/22/2005, 4:31 PM

Education that Bears Fruit

Today, the State of Israel is investing 25 billion shekels [5.8 billion US dollars] each year in education. Yet sometimes one gets the feeling that its education system is barren, both in moral and spiritual terms, and in terms of its general intellectual achievements. , 5/25/2005, 10:47 AM

On Being Independent and True to Ourselves

Today, during these days of counting, we emerge from slavery to freedom. In the first stage, we emerge from political slavery to freedom; and in the second stage, we emerge from the forty-nine levels of impurity ? from spiritual servitude and enslavement to our passions ? to eternal freedom with the giving of the Torah. , 5/11/2005, 3:07 PM

You Shall Be Holy

It is true that the terrible Holocaust taught us in the hardest and cruelest fashion that our people, Israel, is a special people. Yet, at the same time, the Holocaust also confused and distanced us from studying and knowing what is special about us., 5/5/2005, 6:00 PM

From Disengagement to Reengagement - Part II

During the seven days between the exodus and the splitting of the sea, the Jewish People underwent a 180-degree emotional reversal. , 4/28/2005, 8:02 PM

From Disengagement to Reengagement

In 1912, Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook, in a letter to the rabbis of the Jewish People, addresses the possibility of civil war, G-d forbid, and discusses how to avoid it., 3/28/2005, 2:24 PM

Quite the Contrary - From Perplexity to Joy

We have to learn and to remember the miracles that were performed for the Jews on Purim in those times, and in our own times as well. , 3/21/2005, 11:24 AM