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Guy Matalon
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Parashat Vayetze: Yaakov, the master of a silent art form

The pen is more powerful than the sword, yet there is something more powerful than the pen: We live in talkee-talk world. We have talk radio, tv talk shows, news-talk and various other channels of people talking or communicating in…

Taste of Torah: Noah and Gilgamesh

By Rabbi Zvi Dershowitz Editor’s note: The following piece makes continuous reference to the “Epic of Gilgamesh”, an ancient Mesopotamian tale that some historians credit with inspiring the biblical story of Noah. Was it the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, from 2100…

Taste of Torah: Letting the land lull

By Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, Co-Director of the Jewish Leaning Initiative on Campus at UCLA This week’s Torah portion, Behar, introduces us to a most fascinating commandment: Shemitah, the Sabbatical year. The mitzvah of Shemitah mandates that Jews in Israel cease and desist of all labor to fields for the entire seventh…

Taste of Torah: A lover’s eyes

This week’s Taste of Torah is written by Micah Hyman, a sophomore at Yeshiva University, studying computer science. Hyman spent two years at Yeshivat Sha’alvim in Nof Ayalon, Israel, studying Torah.  One morning, as Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berdetchiv was…

Taste of Torah: Making it count

Written by Sharona Kaplan; Co-Director of Jewish Learning Initiative at UCLA “Teach us to count our days, that we may acquire a heart of wisdom” (Psalms 90:12) is a beautiful prayer acknowledging the art of counting time and the tremendous…

Taste of Torah: Make Passover meaningful

Written by Rabbi David Eliezrie of Chabad of Yorba Linda It’s Passover night, and we are wondering to ourselves, “Haven’t we heard this story already?” We all know the basic narrative. The Jews were enslaved in Egypt. Moses confronts Pharaoh,…

Taste of Torah: Beware of words

By Rabbi Dr. Tal Sessler of Sephardic Temple In Judaism, words are holy and sacred. The opening chapter of the Torah teaches us that the world was created by Divine speech. Words are powerful in Jewish spirituality. So much so,…

The challenge of prosperity: Dustin Hoffman vs. Haman

Written by Rabbi Dovid Gurevich, Co-Director of Chabad House at UCLA Rabbi Yisrael ben Eliezer, the founder of the Chassidic movement and known as “the  Baal Shem Tov” (“possessor of a good name”), famously interpreted the Mishnah’s dictum regarding the…

Taste of Torah: Making happiness happen

Written by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, Co-Director of Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) at UCLA — This Jewish month of Adar is a time of extreme happiness! The miracle of the Purim story, taken place in Adar, and the enormous salvation that occurred is…

Taste of Torah: Singing appreciation

Written by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, Co-Director of Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) at UCLA   This week’s Shabbat has a second name, Shabbat Shirah (“The Sabbath of Song”). The reason for this name is that in this week’s Torah…