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Rabbi Shlomo Sobol

News and updates about Rabbi Shlomo Sobol

Datan and Aviram - then and now

Datan and Aviram had a history of opposition to Moshe long before they joined Korach, but were punished only then. There is a lesson here.

Datan and Aviram - then and now

Lashon Hara doesn’t speak to me!

The sin of lashon hara (slander) hindered the entire nation's journey to the Land of Israel. This teaches us to watch what we hear and say.

Lashon Hara doesn’t speak to me!

Two ways to look at a situation

We can deal with the Sota in this week’s parsha as does the kohen or as does the nazir. This is also true of various evils we encounter.

Two ways to look at a situation

Long Live the tribes!

Tribalism has a price, but it also has great advantages not only for the tribe itself but also for the other tribes and the entire nation.

Long Live the tribes!

A matter of Arithmetic

Within the blessings that G-d blesses the people of Israel in this week's Torah portion, there seems to be a mistake in the calculation.

A matter of Arithmetic

We are all Kohanim

In this week's Torah portion the Kohanim are told not to become ritually unclean and the Sages interpret it as a commandment to all Israel.

We are all Kohanim

What should be our national interest?

The Torah reading this Shabbat teaches us that the Land of Israel is intrinsically a holy land which cannot stand to be defiled.

What should be our national interest?

Modern Tzara’at

Tzara’at is a result of a spiritual deficiency, so the punishment is educational, encouraging the metzora consider and regret his behavior.

Modern Tzara’at

Pure speech? That depends

The Torah, which usually condenses wording, sometimes uses extra words to teaches us the importance of clean language.

Pure speech? That depends

Sweeter than honey

The Torah forbids honey in ketoret (incense). Why would a sweet, natural food for which the Land of Israel is praised, be forbidden? .

Sweeter than honey

“Return us to You, G-d, and we will return" to the Synagogues

After a year of living under the shadow of COVID, G-d is calling us to return to our shuls with joy and thanksgiving.

“Return us to You, G-d, and we will return" to the Synagogues

An educational sin

Surprisingly the Gemara praises one of the greatest sins perpetrated by the People of Israel, the sin of the golden calf.

An educational sin

Do clothes make the man? What is Purim's most important act?

Today, Purim, many wear costumes and tomorrow, Shabbat. we read of the High Priest's garments. But what is the mmost important Purim deed?

Do clothes make the man? What is Purim's  most important act?

True beauty comes from within

People invest time and effort in improving their external and not their internal self. The Mishkan teaches us to change our priorities

True beauty comes from within

The "pit" in our generation - Parashat Mishpatim

Mishpatim lists 4 types of damages to another person. A new variety unique to our time, the internet, is today's "pit" in the public arena.

The "pit" in our generation - Parashat Mishpatim

​​​​​​​"All beginnings are difficult" except for what isn’t

The Sages teach that “all beginnings are difficult”. But in spirituality the goal is the spiritual progress made on the way to a goal.

​​​​​​​"All beginnings are difficult" except for what isn’t

There are no shortcuts to faith

G-d performed miracles for Bnai Yisrael during the Exodus but he did not purify them miraculously. That had to be a personal effort.

There are no shortcuts to faith

A great nation looks for great answers

​​​​​​​The Jews were not freed from Egypt merely to become a nation, and not just to establish a Jewish state in the Land of Israel.

A great nation looks for great answers

“Every man has a name"

in Parshat Shemot we find quite a few people whom the Torah chooses not to call by name. What is this intended to teach us?

“Every man has a name"

A switch rooted in nature

There are many commandments in Judaism that are easy for us to fulfill, but there are also ones hard for us to understand and perform.

A switch rooted in nature

The Egyptian Exile and the Exile of our Generation

​​​​​​​Yaakov finds it hard to leave the Land even to see Joseph and does so only after G-d's encouragement - and Judah's prepartation.

The Egyptian Exile and the Exile of our Generation

The power of song

Rabbi Nachman:Jacob, when he sent his ten tribes to Egypt, sent with them a melody of Eretz Yisrael to be sung before the ruler..

The power of song

Jelly or Chocolate: What are we filled with?

There is a very interesting connection between the holiday of Hanukkah and the Torah portion of the week. Joseph's pit is a parable.

Jelly or Chocolate: What are we filled with?

A winning combination

Jacob's fear at meeitng Esau shows the merit of living in Israel. Even today, we must show the world that the land belongs to the Jews.

A winning combination

The power of thought

​​​​​​​A few words in the Zohar that seem to describe a geographical location provide insight into our entire.essence.

The power of thought

For whom are we praying?

The way that Rivka and Yitzchak's prayers were answered teaches us that G-d has His own accounting when it comes to prayer.

For whom are we praying?

Did Avraham Avinu “love” G-d or “fear” Him?

At Avraham's tenth and most difficult test, Akeidat Yitzchak, the Torah praises him as "G-d-fearing," and not as one who loves G-d.

Did Avraham Avinu “love” G-d or “fear” Him?

Where is Avraham’s resume?

In our first encounter with Avraham, the Torah teaches us the basic knowledge that underlies the existence of the people of Israel.

Where is Avraham’s resume?

The 'after the holidays' rain test

​​​​​​​The Land of Israel desperately needs rain during the winter, so why postpone praying for rain for 15 days from the end of Sukkot?

The  'after the holidays' rain test

Correcting a sin from the days of creation

Was the real sin of Adam and Eve impatience?

Correcting a sin from the days of creation

Why rejoice at the end and not at the beginning?

Why is the holiday "Simchat Torah" celebrated when we complete the reading of the Torah, and not when we begin the new cycle?

Why rejoice at the end and not at the beginning?

The Scent of the Willow

There is an intrinsic reason why we need to hold the 4 species as we do. How does this connect to the true smell of the Arava?

The Scent of the Willow

The end of the end

Moshe Rabbeinu teaches us that it is always worthwhile to save the most important message for the end. Let's see how he does this himself.

The end of the end

Saving the most important for last

Just before his death, Moshe Rabbeinu remembered two mitzvot One is about correcting the group and the other about correcting the individual

 Saving the most important for last

Confession of good?

​​​​​​​Many think that in order to repent one must look evil, the affair teaches us that the secret of success is actually in looking good.

Confession of good?

Is it all or nothing?

Do we say we are still in exile if everything is not perfect in Israel, or as religious Zionism does, show gratitude for what we do have.

Is it all or nothing?

Can we really choose between pizza and borekas?

Judaism teaches that we have free will, but there are scientists and philosophers who disagree. Is it possible to bridge the gap?

Can we really choose between pizza and borekas?

Just tell me what you want from me! - on Parshat Dvarim

Everything that happens to us can can have a different interpretation. But how do we know which is right & how does this relate to COVID-19?

Just tell me what you want from me! - on Parshat Dvarim

Summarizing is the key to moving forward

We see the full picture when we make a summary and the Torah, in listing the journeys, teaches us to look at things in a broad perspective.

Summarizing is the key to moving forward

Zealot in deed and zealot in the heart

Despite Torah's praise for Pinchas' zealousness, educators throughout Jewish history don't do the same. So what is the Torah teaching us?

Zealot in deed and zealot in the heart