18. April 2018
WORDS OF WISDOM. Chapter Thirty. From the Desk of Rabbi Yochanan Hammond, Ph.D. Rabbi Yochanan resides in Australia and is the President of JSI-Judaic Studies Institute. We Jews will often use the phrase, “evil inclination”, when discussing the various topics associated with everyday life. Unfortunately, the use of this phrase is increasing at an alarming rate in our daily conversations. Each day we witness the manifestation of the “evil inclination”. This rise of evil is not only...
05. March 2018
PRAYER POINTS Heartfelt Prayer Is Never in Vain Rachel Frankel said, “If tomorrow, God forbid, I’ll hear the worst news, I don’t want my children to feel that where did all my prayers go?” by Rabbi Dovid Rosman I am feeling intense pain. Pain for those beautiful teenage boys whose lives, full of potential, were cut short in a horrific way. Pain for their families. Pain for their friends and communities where they lived. And pain for the entire Jewish nation which unified during this...
16. January 2018
PRAYER POINTS WHY PRAY? Why do we pray? Doesn't God already know what's good for us? Doesn't He already know what we need? Are we somehow trying to "convince" God of the justness of our cause? What changes through prayer is not the "mind" of the Almighty. What changes through prayer is us. By recognizing the source of all of our blessings - our sustenance, our health, our success, our very existence - we bring ourselves to a higher spiritual level. We elevate ourselves by drawing closer to the...
27. December 2017
PRAYER POINTS Getting Your Prayers Answered Understanding why and how prayer works. A Jewish perspective. Have you ever had a prayer answered? Stop for a moment and consider the implications. You live in a small town in the Midwest. There is an extremely large and unsightly pothole in front of your house. For the last four months the local municipality has ignored your persistent requests to have it fixed. Finally, in an act of frustration, you call the White House and ask for the president....
19. December 2017
PRAYER POINTS How Prayer Works Just like you need to know more than how to turn on a computer to derive its maximum benefit, prayer also requires an understanding of what makes it work in order to benefit from its unlimited potential. Praying to God to alleviate a difficult situation presents a bit of a paradox. There are two fundamental concepts of Jewish thought that would make it seem that prayer should not be able to accomplish such a task. One concept is that God causes everything, whether...
13. December 2017
PRAYER POINTS GRASPING THE HANDICRAFT OF THE PATRIARCHS When the Hebrews left Egypt, the Torah relates their situation was desperate and they appeared to be doomed. Pharaoh was pursuing them, and the sea was before them. One sage explains that, in this terrified state, they “grasped the handicraft of the Patriarchs,” a phrase that refers to prayer. Why, another sage asks, are the desperate prayers of Israel, recited in a moment of terror, compared to the “Patriarchs’ handicraft” –...
01. December 2017
PRAYER POINTS EMUNAH: THE UNDERLYING PRINCIPLE OF TEFILLAH We are told that tefillah/prayer is “among those things that stand at the pinnacle of the world,” and then the observation is made that “people nonetheless treat it lightly.” We cannot help but wonder, if tefillah is indeed so exalted, why is there a tendency to treat every day prayer lightly? This paradox is all the more remarkable because almost every individual can testify that prayer produces astounding results. The very...
27. November 2017
PRAYER POINTS MAKING IT DIFFERENT “There is only one hope. Mashiach must come soon. It must happen sooner or later, but it is up to us to hasten his arrival. “This is no time for silence! Why don’t we cry out to the Almighty to help us? It is our duty to arouse the people to cry out and pray for the Final Redemption.” …The Chofetz Chaim To the Chofetz Chaim, the power of our prayer was as real as the power of an army. He knew that if only the “troops” would rally their strength...
24. November 2017
PRAYER POINTS NEEDLEPOINT The current galut (exile) and the road to the Final Redemption appear in our eyes as a swirling upheaval. As we live through our evolving history filled with global turmoil and personal travail, we cannot help but wonder – where is the beautiful picture of the Geulah the Almighty has promised us? Can yet another war, yet another terrorist attack, yet another ailing young mother or father or child be part of the picture? At this point in our history, we can view the...
22. November 2017
PRAYER POINTS THE ALARM After the devastation of World War II, with its inconceivable catastrophic impact on the Jewish people, one could hardly contemplate what a worse scenario might look like. Yet, the Chofetz Chaim’s terrifying prediction of a third world war that would make the other wars seem “like child’s play.” The lack of emunah that existed during World War I was child’s play compared to the lack of emunah that existed during World War II. Yet, the darkness in the world...

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