On Sukkos, we shake the four species three times ahead at הוֹדוּ, back at טוֹב, up at לְעוֹלָם and down at חַסְדוֹ. Is there any lesson that these words teach us?
Mordechai Lewis is a yeshiva bochur who is Kovea Itim while working. He enjoys freelance writing on various Jewish hashkafic topics as well as Divrei Torah. You can find more of Mordechai's essays at: https://www.sefaria.org.il/profile/mordechai-lewis
Recent articles by Mordechai Lewis
Have you ever wondered why at the end of Shemonah Esrei we first ask Hashem, “Guard my tongue from evil… and then request from Him, ‘Open my heart to Your Torah…’”? Rav Yisrael Meir HaKohein Kagan, also known as the Chofeitz Chayim says, “These two requests flow naturally from one another. One’s Torah maintains its Read more
1) As an American, what does learning Torah do for me? If you toil very much in the Torah’s words, the Holy One, blessed be He will remove the yeitzer hara from you. If you learn Torah when it is difficult for you, your reward is one thousand; when things are going smoothly for you, Read more
Teshuvah is listed as one of seven things created before the universe because without it the universe could not endure.
As Sholom HaMelech said, “Whatever you are capable of doing with your own strength do it.” Or as Nike says, “Just do it.”
“If you will listen even to the lighter mitzvos that a person often neglectfully tramples with his heels – i.e. treats with less regard – G-d will safeguard His promise for you.”
Treat your words like gold. They have more value than you think!
Exile – What can we do about it? What’s does exile mean? Expulsion from one’s native land by authoritative decree. The Gemara says, “There was no more tragic a time than when Hashem told Moshe Rabbeinu, ‘I hide My face on that day’ [in response to Klal Yisrael’s wayward behavior].” Rabbi Moshe Silberstein says, “Human suffering Read more
The Gemara says, “A person’s given name expresses his essence.” The letters of Korach’s name are an acronym for his demise.
The Gemara relates that during the days of Sefirah between Pesach to Shevuos, twenty-four thousand talmidim of Rebbe Akiva died because they did not treat one another with respect.
Aharon’s silence “The sons of Aharon, Nadav and Avihu, each took his fire pan, they put fire in them and placed incense upon it; and they brought before Hashem a strange fire that He had not commanded them. A fire came forth from before Hashem and consumed them, and they died before Hashem.” What was Read more
How to conduct the Pesach Seder The Pesach Seder is often cited as the model of the quintessential educational experience as envisioned by our sages. It is interactive and stimulates all of our senses to create a profound impact on our core identities. A close look, however, reveals that the way it is currently practiced, Read more
Marriage, love and and its mechanics There’s an idiom, marriages are made in heaven. This idiom comes from the Gemara, which states, “Heaven decrees that this woman is to be the wife of this man.” The Medrash Rabbah, Medrash Tanchumah and Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai state the following: “A Roman matron once asked Rabbi Yosi Read more
Shabbos Day or Saturday? “Remember the day of the Shabbos to sanctify it. Six days you shall do labor and do all your work; and the Seventh day is the Shabbos to Hashem, Your G-d. You may not do any work…” When it says, “You may not do any work (on the seventh day),” it’s Read more
Adar, daily simcha and gratitude The Gemara says, “…When Adar begins we increase simcha, our joy.” Besides Adar, how do we experience simcha daily in a world that’s full of pain, grief and suffering etc., which keeps getting worse day by day? 1) How does one attain simcha? Seifer Ha’Akeidah says that true simcha can be Read more
Yearning for the Geulah “… and there was a darkness of gloom throughout the land of Egypt for a period of three days.” Rabbi Pinchas Winston cites Rabbi Yechezkel Levenstein, who states the following: “The exodus from Egypt liberated only one out of five Jews — and some say one out of every 50 – Read more
The Uniqueness of a Husband and Wife Before Hashem gave the Torah to Bnei Yisrael, He told Moshe: “So shall you say to the House of Yaakov – referring to the women – and speak to Bnei Yisrael – referring to the men – and you will be cherished unto Me more than of the Read more