Daniel Pinner

Jerusalem Liberation Day (Yom Herut Yerushalayim)

Like the dove which Noah had sent forth, had we found rest we would not have returned to all the places we regained in 1967., 5/7/2013, 2:24 PM

Mundane Miracles

With the double parashah of Behar-Bekhukkotay we complete the Book of Leviticus this Shabbat before going on to Numbers. , 5/3/2013, 11:08 AM

It Happened Seventy Years Ago - Today

Three events of great significance occurred on the 12th of Iyar - two in 1943 and one in 1948. What a difference between the three - and at the same time, what a connection!, 4/22/2013, 9:27 AM

Yom Ha'atzmaut: Steps Toward Redemption

The signs of Redemption are here. Only we must recognize them., 4/15/2013, 4:54 AM

A Line Stretches From Egypt to Warsaw

They tried in Egypt, Persia and Europe. And in Warsaw, the valiant Jewish fight against impossible odds began the same day that, 3,255 years earlier, the Jews of Egypt had shaken off their fear of their slave-masters., 4/7/2013, 11:11 PM

When Does Pesach End?

There are two holidays in Nisan connected by the Seder. Most people do not realize that., 3/28/2013, 9:50 PM

Telling of Freedom

What is our response to the wicked son? – We include him against his will! His very opposition to the Jewish tradition becomes part of the Jewish tradition. , 3/24/2013, 11:52 PM

The Meaning of Shabbat Parshat Hachodesh

The Sabbath preceding the first day of the month of Nisan is called Hachodesh. We read the first mitzvah given to the Jews as a people, which tells us to take control of our time., 3/8/2013, 12:56 PM

Shabbat Parshat Parah: Preparing for Redemption

Between Parshat Zachor before Purim and Parshat Hachodesh in Nisan is Shabbat Parshat Parah when we read about the red heifer, a statute elucidated below., 3/1/2013, 12:07 PM

Shushan Purim - Haman's Comeuppance

How could Haman expect to murder all the Jews in one day?, 2/25/2013, 10:50 PM

Purim: Why Pretend?

Confronted with extermination, the Jews threw aside their costume of idol-worship and returned to G-d in complete repentance. , 2/22/2013, 2:27 PM

Fast of Esther: Prelude to Purim and Redemption

The Fast of Esther is on Thursday, this year. It has significance beyond the request by Esther that the Jews fast for her safety., 2/20/2013, 12:59 PM

MIshpatim: Festivals Link the Torah and Land of Israel

The seventy commandments in Yitro and Mishpatim are not a random selection. There is a theme and a lesson., 2/7/2013, 5:29 PM

Yitro: Portrait of A Tzaddik and Tzaddeket

How our Sages could name the Torah portion that contains the 10 Commandments for a former idolator., 2/1/2013, 10:13 AM

B'shalach: For Whom Did You Vote?

There are competing and valid ideologies, but the timing for applying them is crucial., 1/24/2013, 7:14 AM

Islam, Jihad and Non-Muslims

A definitive summary of the recent articles on the subject. For a current object lesson, read the article below on Egypt., 1/16/2013, 9:30 PM

Satire: The Day the Iranian Missile was Launched

It is not whether you launch the missile or not that matters, but where it is headed., 1/8/2013, 7:20 AM

Shmot: Hastening Redemption, Rejecting Redemption

Today, we hear the same arguments that the Israelites used in Moses' time., 1/3/2013, 8:39 AM

Vayechi:An Unexpected Break

What does the way this Torah portion appears tell us?, 12/27/2012, 1:15 PM

Vayigash: Unity

Judah knew that from his descendants was destined to come forth the kingship over Israel; he knew of the royal treasure that was to be his. Yet he willingly threw it away for his father's sake. , 12/20/2012, 1:52 PM

MIketz and Hanukkah: Defeating Darkness

An interesting connection between the Torah reading that almost always is during Hanukkah and the Festival of Lights itself., 12/14/2012, 7:29 AM

Peace between Islam and Israel? Response to Ms.Tezyapar

Ms. Tezyapar's vision of Islam's peace with Israel is laudbable, but Islamic theological reality at the present time leaves many questions unanswered, says the writer, and details them below., 12/11/2012, 1:30 PM

Israel's First War

The story of the first war teaches lessons about whom to fear., 11/29/2012, 6:13 PM

Toldot: Generations Past, Generations to Come

To be called a descendant of a great man, you have to earn it., 11/15/2012, 3:37 PM

Abraham's Ten Tests

Why is buying a burial place for Sarah considered a test by Rabbeinu Yonah?, 11/8/2012, 9:16 AM

Lekh Lekah: Entering the Land

Abram entered the land and stopped at Shechem, the central city that controls the north., 10/25/2012, 10:44 PM

For the 7th of Cheshvan: Praying for Rain

Why praying for rain is the essence of the land of Israel., 10/20/2012, 10:18 PM

The Origins of Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah is the great equalizer. When did it start?, 10/6/2012, 10:23 PM

Sukkot: When All Jews are United

When we Jews, down here on earth, become unified, then G-d Himself becomes elevated., 9/29/2012, 11:23 AM

Guide to Yom Kippur Prayers

Yom Kippur is the Genesis of Repentance. Read how that develops as the day's prayers reflect it., 9/25/2012, 9:43 AM

The Final Parsha of the Year

Nitzavim, read this Shabbat, suits the High Holy Day ambience. It has a message that may be meant for you., 9/13/2012, 10:05 AM

Appointing a King

Is this a commandment that must be kept or simply the instructions that tell us what to do if we decide we want a king., 8/24/2012, 11:07 AM

Approaching the Month of Elul

The portion of Re'eh, in Dvarim, always comes out towards the start of Elul. This has a message for us., 8/16/2012, 5:26 PM

Vaetchanan and Tu B'Av

Ultimate love: The model of love between man and woman as a paradigm for the love that the Jew should feel towards G-d is a persistent theme in Judaism., 8/2/2012, 10:45 PM

Eicha! (Lamentations)

Mourning Destruction - the Book of Lamentations by Jeremiah decribes his emotions at the destruction of the Temple and is read on the eve of the 9th of Av while sitting on the floor in the synagogue with the lights dimmed., 7/27/2012, 3:01 PM

Reading Mattot-Masei "Between the Straits"

The reading of this week's parsha invariably falls during the Three Week mourning period for the destruction of the Land of Israel and theTemples. Its commandments deal with preserving the land., 7/19/2012, 4:20 PM

Balak: A Tale of Two Prophets

Why does Ethics of the Fathers contrast Bil'am and Abraham?, 7/5/2012, 5:17 PM

Shlach: Spies and Ties

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Becoming Jewish on Shavuot

The significance of Shavuot is as the holiday of conversion as well as the end of the grain harvest., 5/25/2012, 9:49 AM

Yom Herut Yerushalayim - Bechukotay

Koach (28): The power of Iyyar, 5/18/2012, 5:00 AM

Behar (Israel): The 19 Year Gap and the Redemption

The number 19 has special historical significance - in our time and in days of yore - and in our prayers. , 5/11/2012, 5:20 PM

Emor: The Kohanim's Portion (Israel Reading)

Perhaps it is not entirely coincidence that Parashat Emor almost always falls in the 23-day period between Israel Independence Day and Jerusalem Liberation Day - and that the menorah lighting is written after the list of holidays., 5/3/2012, 12:25 PM

Acharei Mot-Kedoshim, Atonement and Israel

This year we read these portions right after Independence Day. There is a message., 4/27/2012, 7:39 AM

The Temple Mount on Passover!

Actually, without the Korban Pesach, we have not fulfilled the mitzvah at all. The Pesach is the Pesach Offeriing; without that, we have no Pesach at all! , 4/4/2012, 1:00 PM

A Tale of Two Assads: Lion and Cub

Bashar is still far short of what his father Hafez achieved thirty years ago this month in Hama; but he is making valiant efforts to catch up. It is sobering to think that Rabin almost gave up the Golan Heights to Syria., 3/6/2012, 11:22 AM

Shabbat Zachor is Here - Learn All About It

This week we read Parshat Zachor at the end of the Torah portion. The Torah commands us to hear the short reading, we stand and absorb every single word. There are 3 major episodes with Amalek in the Tanach - each with a strong message for today., 3/1/2012, 10:50 PM

End of Egypt, End of Pharaoh

The tenth plague is a puzzling anomaly. In ancient Egypt, as in most monarchies, the king was the first-born son. Why was Pharaoh spared?, 2/2/2012, 9:19 AM

Shemot: And Thus Begin All Exiles

Exiles start the same and end the same., 1/12/2012, 11:48 PM

The Tenth of Tevet

If the 10th of Tevet falls on Friday (as it did last year), then we fast on Friday: we enter Shabbat fasting, and do not eat until after Kiddush, in contrast to other fasts. Why?, 1/4/2012, 1:00 AM

Hanukkah and Mikkeitz: Enlightenment

Even societies which have been wonderfully welcoming to Jews have usually turned against them sooner or later. Egypt was the paradigm; Greece followed the same pattern, and so on., 12/20/2011, 10:40 AM

The Dreamer Leads - Follow in his Footsteps

Man is captain of his own soul; and wherever there is a will to Judaism, there is a way to lead the Jewish life. Joseph was viceroy of Egypt, yet he remained a loyal son of Israel. The stars bowed to him, not he to them. , 12/15/2011, 10:04 AM

Vayetze: Unified Around the Tzaddik

Israel as a nation is to be united around its Tzaddikim. This unity around and with Tzaddikim – and the implicit rejection of evil – is what brings G-d’s blessings pouring down on us like the precious anointing oil. , 11/30/2011, 10:56 AM

Toldot: Free Will

The two twin brothers actually had the same chances, the same opportunities, to achieve holiness and their connection with G-d., 11/24/2011, 6:05 PM

Abraham Passes the Tests

There are several versions of the 10 tests of Abraham, but no matter which you read, he passes them all - including the hardest one, Akeidat Yitschak. Why isn't stopping Sodom's destruction on any list?, 11/10/2011, 11:16 AM

Entering the Era of Torah

The story of Noach leads into the story of Abraham. The inverted letter "nun" in the word "Haran" is a key to the connection., 11/1/2011, 3:37 PM

Sukkot:Building the Eternal Sukkah of Peace

The Jew should see the stars – he must constantly aspire to Heaven. And rain – the water which symbolises Torah – must always be able to penetrate into the Jew’s dwelling., 10/11/2011, 1:40 PM