Rabbi

+ 456 770 Eastern Parkway is the street address of the central headquarters of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement, located on Eastern Parkway in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York, in the United States. The building is the center of the Chabad Lubavitch world movement. In 1940 it was purchased by Agudas Chasidei Chabad and adapted for the needs of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn.


+ 416 Symbolically, what the rabbis say is that at Passover, what we have to do is try to get rid of our hot air - our pride, our feeling that we are the most important people in the whole entire world and that everything should revolve round us. Jackie Tabick


+ 461 As a convinced atheist, I ought to agree with Voltaire that Judaism is not just one more religion, but in its way the root of religious evil. Without the stern, joyless rabbis and their 613 dour prohibitions, we might have avoided the whole nightmare of the Old Testament, and the brutal, crude wrenching of that into prophecy - derived Christianity, and the later plagiarism and mutation of Judaism and Christianity into the various rival forms of Islam. Much of the time, I do concur with Voltaire, but not without acknowledging that Judaism is dialectical. There is, after all, a specifically Jewish version of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, with a specifically Jewish name the Haskalah for itself. The term derives from the word for 'mind' or 'intellect,' and it is naturally associated with ethics rather than rituals, life rather than prohibitions, and assimilation over 'exile' or 'return.' It's everlastingly linked to the name of the great German teacher Moses Mendelssohn, one of those conspicuous Jewish hunchbacks who so upset and embarrassed Isaiah Berlin. The other way to upset or embarrass Berlin, I found, was to mention that he himself was a cousin of Menachem Schneerson, the 'messianic' Lubavitcher rebbe. However, even pre-enlightenment Judaism forces its adherents to study and think, it reluctantly teaches them what others think, and it may even teach them how to think also. Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir


+ 365 Passivity breeds anxiety. To be healthy, a person needs to be having an impact on his surroundings, uplifting those about him and bringing in more light. Rabbi M.M. Schneerson


+ 297 (Sanhedrin 98b): Rav said If he [Mashiach] is from the living, [then he is] like Rabbeinu Hakadosh [Rabbi Yehuda hanasi]; if he is from the dead, [then he is] like Daniel, the delightful one. (See also Rashi's commentary and commentary of Maharsha).


+ 430 In 28 June 1996, The Jewish Press published a paid advertisement signed by Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik. follows. "Before the passing of the Rebbe, I included myself among those who believe that the Rebbe was worthy of being Mashiach. And I strongly believe that had we, particularly the Orthodox community, been united, we would have merited to see the complete Redemption. Insofar as the belief held by many in Lubavitch - based in part on similar statements made by the Rebbe himself concerning his predecessor, the Previous Rebbe, including prominent rabbanim and roshei yeshiva - that the Rebbe can still be Mashiach in light of the Gemara in Sanhedrin, the Zohar, Abarbanel, Kisvei Arizal, Sdei Chemed, and other sources, it cannot be dismissed as a belief that is outside the pale of Orthodoxy. Any cynical attempt at utilizing a legitimate disagreement of interpretation concerning this matter in order to besmirch and to damage the Lubavitch movement that was, and continues to be, at the forefront of those who are battling the missionaries, assimilation, and indifference, can only contribute to the regrettable discord that already plagues the Jewish community, and particularly the Torah community."


+ 271 Long Live our Master, our Teacher, and our Rabbi, King Messiah, for ever and ever. Chabad Hasidism


+ 290 It is a great mitzvah to be happy. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov


+ 288 Rabbi Shimon the son of Gamliel would say: By three things is the world sustained: law, truth and peace. Pirkei Avot 1:18


+ 322 Rabbi Judah HaNassi would say: Which is the right path for man to choose for himself? Whatever is harmonious for the one who does it, and harmonious for mankind. Be as careful with a minor mitzvah as with a major one, for you do not know the rewards of the mitzvot. Consider the cost of a mitzvah against its rewards, and the rewards of a transgression against its cost. Contemplate three things, and you will not come to the hands of transgression: Know what is above from you: a seeing eye, a listening ear, and all your deeds being inscribed in a book. Pirkei Avot 2:1


+ 343 Rabbi Yochanan said to them: Go and see which is the best trait for a person to acquire. Said Rabbi Eliezer: A good eye. Said Rabbi Joshua: A good friend. Said Rabbi Yossei: A good neighbor. Said Rabbi Shimon: To see what is born out of one's actions. Said Rabbi Elazar: A good heart. Said He to them: I prefer the words of Elazar the son of Arach to yours, for his words include all of yours. He said to them: Go and see which is the worst trait, the one that a person should most distance himself from. Said Rabbi Eliezer: An evil eye. Said Rabbi Joshua: An evil friend. Said Rabbi Yossei: An evil neighbor. Said Rabbi Shimon: To borrow and not to repay; for one who borrows from man is as one who borrows from the Almighty, as is stated, "The wicked man borrows and does not repay; but the righteous one is benevolent and gives" (Psalms 37:21). Said Rabbi Elazar: An evil heart. Said He to them: I prefer the word of Elazar the son of Arach to yours, for his words include all of yours. Pirkei Avot 2:10


+ 363 Rabbi Eliezer would say: The honor of your fellow should be as precious to you as your own, and do not be easy to anger. Repent one day before your death. Asked his disciples: Does a man know on which day he will die? Said he to them: So being the case, he should repent today, for perhaps tomorrow he will die; hence, all his days are passed in a state of repentance. Indeed, so said Solomon in his wisdom (Ecclesiastes 9:8): 'At all times, your clothes should be white, and oil should not lack from your head'" (Talmud, Shabbat 153a). Pirkei Avot 2:10


+ 300 Rabbi Joshua would say: An evil eye, the evil inclination, and the hatred of one's fellows, drive a person from the world Pirkei Avot 2:11


+ 335 Rabbi Tarfon would say: The day is short, the work is much, the workers are lazy, the reward is great, and the Master is pressing. He would also say: It is not incumbent upon you to finish the task, but neither are you free to absolve yourself from it. If you have learned much Torah, you will be greatly rewarded, and your employer is trustworthy to pay you the reward of your labors. And know, that the reward of the righteous is in the World to Come. Pirkei Avot 2:15-16


+ 395 Rabbi Shimon the son of Gamliel would say: By three things is the world sustained: law, truth and peace. As is stated (Zachariah 8:16), "Truth, and a judgement of peace, you should administer at your [city] gates.'' Pirkei Avot 1:18


+ 338 Rabbi Judah HaNassi would say: Which is the right path for man to choose for himself? Whatever is harmonious for the one who does it, and harmonious for mankind. Be as careful with a minor mitzvah as with a major one, for you do not know the rewards of the mitzvot. Consider the cost of a mitzvah against its rewards, and the rewards of a transgression against its cost. Contemplate three things, and you will not come to the hands of transgression: Know what is above from you: a seeing eye, a listening ear, and all your deeds being inscribed in a book. Pirkei Avot 2:1


+ 352 Rabban Gamliel the son of Rabbi Judah HaNassi would say: Beautiful is the study of Torah with the way of the world, for the toil of them both causes sin to be forgotten. Ultimately, all Torah study that is not accompanied with work is destined to cease and to cause sin. Those who work for the community should do so for the sake of Heaven; for then merit of their ancestors shall aid them, and their righteousness shall endure forever. And you, [says G-d,] I shall credit you with great reward as if you have achieved it. Pirkei Avot 2:2


+ 350 Rabban Yochanan the son of Zakkai had five disciples: Rabbi Eliezer the son of Hurkenus, Rabbi Joshua the son of Chananya, Rabbi Yossei the Kohen, Rabbi Shimon the son of Nethanel, and Rabbi Elazar the son of Arach. He would recount their praises: Rabbi Eliezer the son of Hurkenus is a cemented cistern that loses not a drop; Rabbi Joshua the son of Chananya---fortunate is she who gave birth to him; Rabbi Yossei the Kohen---a chassid (pious one); Rabbi Shimon the son of Nethanel fears sin; Rabbi Elazar ben Arach is as an ever-increasing wellspring. Rabbi Yochanan used to say: If all the sages of Israel were to be in one cup of a balance-scale, and Eliezer the son of Hurkenus were in the other, he would outweigh them all. Abba Shaul said in his name: If all the sages of Israel were to be in one cup of a balance-scale, Eliezer the son of Hurkenus included, and Elazar the son of Arach were in the other, he would outweigh them all. Pirkei Avot 2:9


+ 324 Rabbi Yochanan said to them: Go and see which is the best trait for a person to acquire. Said Rabbi Eliezer: A good eye. Said Rabbi Joshua: A good friend. Said Rabbi Yossei: A good neighbor. Said Rabbi Shimon: To see what is born [out of ones actions]. Said Rabbi Elazar: A good heart. Said He to them: I prefer the words of Elazar the son of Arach to yours, for his words include all of yours. He said to them: Go and see which is the worst trait, the one that a person should most distance himself from. Said Rabbi Eliezer: An evil eye. Said Rabbi Joshua: An evil friend. Said Rabbi Yossei: An evil neighbor. Said Rabbi Shimon: To borrow and not to repay; for one who borrows from man is as one who borrows from the Almighty, as is stated, ``The wicked man borrows and does not repay; but the righteous one is benevolent and gives'' (Psalms 37:21). Said Rabbi Elazar: An evil heart. Said He to them: I prefer the word of Elazar the son of Arach to yours, for his words include all of yours. They would each say three things: Rabbi Eliezer would say: The honor of your fellow should be as precious to you as your own, and do not be easy to anger. Repent one day before your death.** Warm yourself by the fire of the sages, but be beware lest you be burned by its embers; for their bite is the bite of a fox, their sting is the sting of a scorpion, their hiss is the hiss a serpent, and all their words are like fiery coals. Pirkei Avot 2:10


+ 268 Rabbi Joshua would say: An evil eye, the evil inclination, and the hatred of one's fellows, drive a person from the world. Pirkei Avot 2:11


+ 342 Rabbi Yossei would say: The property of your fellow should be as precious to you as your own. Perfect yourself for the study of Torah, for it is not an inheritance to you. And all your deeds should be for the sake of Heaven. Pirkei Avot 2:12


+ 315 Rabbi Shimon would say: Be meticulous with the reading of the Shma and with prayer. When you pray, do not make your prayers routine, but [an entreaty of] mercy and a supplication before the Almighty, as is stated ``For He is benevolent and merciful, slow to anger and abundant in loving kindness, and relenting of the evil decree'' (Joel 2:13). And do not be wicked in your own eyes. Pirkei Avot 2:13


+ 359 Rabbi Elazar would say: Be diligent in the study of Torah. Know what to answer a heretic. And know before whom you toil, and who is your employer who will repay you the reward of your labors. Pirkei Avot 2:14


+ 286 Rabbi Tarfon would say: The day is short, the work is much, the workers are lazy, the reward is great, and the Master is pressing. Pirkei Avot 2:15


+ 337 Rabbi Chanina, deputy to the kohanim, would say: Pray for the integrity of the government; for were it not for the fear of its authority, a man would swallow his neighbor alive. Rabbi Chanina son of Tradyon would say: Two who sit and no words of Torah pass between them, this is a session of scorners, as is stated, "And in a session of scorners he did not sit" (Psalms 1:1). But two who sit and exchange words of Torah, the Divine Presence rests amongst them, as is stated, "Then the G-d-fearing conversed with one another, and G-d listened and heard; and it was inscribed before Him in a book of remembrance for those who fear G-d and give thought to His name" (Malachi 3:16). From this, I know only concerning two individuals; how do I know that even a single individual who sits and occupies himself with the Torah, G-d designates reward for him? From the verse, "He sits alone in meditative stillness; indeed, he receives [reward] for it" (Lamentations 3:28). Pirkei Avot 3:2


+ 319 Rabbi Shimon would say: Three who eat at one table and do not speak words of Torah, it is as if they have eaten of idolatrous sacrifices; as is stated, "Indeed, all tables are filled with vomit and filth, devoid of the Omnipresent" (Isaiah 28:8). But three who eat at one table and speak words of Torah, it is as if they have eaten at G-d's table, as is stated, "And he said to me: This is the table that is before G-d" (Ezekiel 41:22). Pirkei Avot 3:3


+ 308 Rabbi Chanina the son of Chachina'i would say: One who stays awake at night, or travels alone on the road, and turns his heart to idleness, has forfeited his life. Pirkei Avot 3:4


+ 295 Rabbi Nechunia the son of Hakanah would say: One who accepts upon himself the yoke of Torah is exempted from the yoke of government duties and the yoke of worldly cares; but one who casts off the yoke of Torah is saddled with the yoke of government duties and the yoke of worldly cares. Pirkei Avot 3:5


+ 339 Rabbi Chalafta the son of Dosa of the village of Chanania would say: Ten who sit together and occupy themselves with Torah, the Divine Presence rests amongst them, as is stated: "The Almighty stands in the congregation of G-d" (Psalms 82:1). And from where do we know that such is also the case with five? From the verse, "He established his band on earth" (Amos 9:6). And three? From the verse, "He renders judgement in the midst of the tribunal" (Psalms 82:1). And two? From the verse, "Then the G-d-fearing conversed with one another, and G-d listened and heard" (Malachi 3:16). And from where do we know that such is the case even with a single individual? From the verse, "Every place where I have My name mentioned, I shall come to you and bless you" (Exodus 20:21). Pirkei Avot 3:6


+ 317 Rabbi Elazar of Bartosa would say: Give Him what is His, for you, and whatever is yours, are His. As David says: "For everything comes from You, and from Your own hand we give to You" (I Chronicles 29:14). Rabbi Yaakov would say: One who walks along a road and studies, and interrupts his studying to say, "How beautiful is this tree!", "How beautiful is this ploughed field!"---the Torah considers it as if he had forfeited his life. Pirkei Avot 3:7


+ 367 Rabbi Dusta'i the son of Rabbi Yannai would say in the name of Rabbi Meir: Anyone who forgets even a single word of this learning, the Torah considers it as if he had forfeited his life. As is stated, "Just be careful, and verily guard your soul, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen" (Deuteronomy 4:9). One might think that this applies also to one who has forgotten because his studies proved too difficult for him; but the verse goes on to tell us "and lest they be removed from your heart, throughout the days of your life." Hence, one does not forfeit his life unless he deliberately removes them from his heart. Pirkei Avot 3:8


+ 270 Rabbi Chanina the son of Dosa would say: One whose fear of sin takes precedence to his wisdom, his wisdom endures. But one whose wisdom takes precedence to his fear of sin, his wisdom does not endure. Pirkei Avot 3:9


+ 284 He would also say: One whose deeds exceed his wisdom, his wisdom endures. But one whose wisdom exceeds his deeds, his wisdom does not endure. He would also say: One who is pleasing to his fellow men, is pleasing to G-d. But one who is not pleasing to his fellow men, is not pleasing to G-d. Rabbi Dosa the son of Hurkinas would say: Morning sleep, noontime wine, children's talk and sitting at the meeting places of the ignoramus, drive a person from the world. Pirkei Avot 3:10


+ 319 Rabbi Elazar of Modi'in would say: One who profanes the kodoshim ("holy things" consecrated for the service of G-d in the Holy Temple), degrades the Festivals, humiliates his friend in public, abrogates the covenant of our father Abraham (i.e., circumcision), or who interprets the Torah contrary to its true intent---although he may possess Torah knowledge and good deeds, he has no share in the World to Come. Pirkei Avot 3:11


+ 292 Rabbi Ishmael would say: Be yielding to a leader, affable to the black-haired, and receive every man with joy. Pirkei Avot 3:12


+ 301 Rabbi Akiva would say: Jesting and frivolity accustom a person to promiscuity. Tradition is a safety fence to Torah, tithing a safety fence to wealth, vows a safety fence for abstinence; a safety fence for wisdom is silence. Pirkei Avot 3:13


+ 346 Rabbi Eliezer the son of Azariah would say: If there is no Torah, there is no common decency; if there is no common decency, there is no Torah. If there is no wisdom, there is no fear of God; if there is no fear of God, there is no wisdom. If there is no applied knowledge, there is no analytical knowledge; if there is no analytical knowledge, there is no applied knowledge. If there is no flour, there is no Torah; if there is no Torah, there is no flour. He would also say: One whose wisdom is greater than his deeds, what is he comparable to? To a tree with many branches and few roots; comes a storm and uproots it, and turns it on its face. As is stated, "He shall be as a lone tree in a wasteland, and shall not see when good comes; he shall dwell parched in the desert, a salt land, uninhabited" (Jeremiah 17:6). But one whose deeds are greater than his wisdom, to what is he compared? To a tree with many roots and few branches, whom all the storms in the world cannot budge from its place. As is stated: "He shall be as a tree planted upon water, who spreads his roots by the river; who fears not when comes heat, whose leaf is ever lush; who worries not in a year of drought, and ceases not to yield fruit" (ibid., v. 8). Pirkei Avot 3:18


+ 287 Rabbi Levitas of Yavneh would say: Be very, very humble, for the hope of mortal man is worms. Rabbi Yochanan the son of Berokah would say: Whoever desecrates the Divine Name covertly, is punished in public. Regarding the desecration of the Name, the malicious and the merely negligent are one and the same. Pirkei Avot 4:4


+ 315 Rabbi Ishmael the son of Rabbi Yossei would say: One who learns Torah in order to teach, is given the opportunity to learn and teach. One who learns in order to do, is given the opportunity to learn, teach, observe and do. Rabbi Tzaddok would say: Do not separate yourself from the community. Do not act as a counselor-at-law (when serving as a judge). Do not make the Torah a crown to magnify yourself with, or a spade with which to dig. So would Hillel say: one who make personal use of the crown of Torah shall perish. Hence, one who benefits himself from the words of Torah, removes his life from the world. Pirkei Avot 4:5


+ 282 Rabbi Yossei would say: Whoever honors the Torah, is himself honored by the people; whoever degrades the Torah, is himself degraded by the people. Pirkei Avot 4:6


+ 296 His son, Rabbi Ishmael would say: One who refrains from serving as a judge avoids hatred, thievery and false oaths. One who frivolously hands down rulings is a fool, wicked and arrogant. Pirkei Avot 4:7


+ 277 Rabbi Jonathan would say: Whoever fulfills the Torah in poverty, will ultimately fulfill it in wealth; and whoever neglects the Torah in wealth, will ultimately neglect it in poverty. Pirkei Avot 4:9


+ 302 Rabbi Meir would say: Engage minimally in business, and occupy yourself with Torah. Be humble before every man. If you neglect the Torah, there will be many more causes for neglect before you; if you toil much in Torah, there is much reward to give to you. Pirkei Avot 4:10


+ 319 Rabbi Eliezer the son of Yaakov would say: He who fulfills one mitzvah, acquires for himself one angel-advocate; he who commits one transgression, acquires against himself one angel-accuser. Repentance and good deeds are as a shield against retribution. Rabbi Yochanan the Sandal-Maker would say: Every gathering that is for the sake of Heaven, will endure; that is not for the sake of Heaven, will not endure. Pirkei Avot 4:11


+ 318 Rabbi Eliezer the son of Shamua would say: The dignity of your student should be as precious to you as your own; the dignity of your colleague, as your awe of your master; and your awe of your master as your awe of Heaven. Pirkei Avot 4:12


+ 306 Rabbi Judah would say: Be careful with your studies, for an error of learning is tantamount to a willful transgression. Rabbi Shimon would say: There are three crowns--the crown of Torah, the crown of priesthood and the crown of sovereignty--but the crown of good name surmounts them all. Pirkei Avot 4:13


+ 303 Rabbi Nehora'i would say: Exile yourself to a place of Torah; do not say that it will come after you, that your colleagues will help you retain it. Rely not on your own understanding. Pirkei Avot 4:14


+ 265 Rabbi Yannai would say: We have no comprehension of the tranquility of the wicked, nor of the suffering of the righteous. Rabbi Matya the son of Charash would say: Be first to greet every man. Be a tail to lions, rather than a head to foxes. Pirkei Avot 4:15


+ 333 Rabbi Yaakov would say: This world is comparable to the antechamber before the World to Come. Prepare yourself in the antechamber, so that you may enter the banquet hall. Pirkei Avot 4:16


+ 339 Rabbi Shimon the son of Elazar would say: Do not appease your friend at the height of his anger; do not comfort him while his dead still lies before him; do not ask him about his vow the moment he makes it; and do not endeavor to see him at the time of his degradation. Pirkei Avot 4:18


+ 307 Elisha the son of Avuyah would say: One who learns Torah in his childhood, what is this comparable to? To ink inscribed on fresh paper. One who learns Torah in his old age, what is this comparable to? To ink inscribed on erased paper. Rabbi Yossei the son of Judah of Kfar HaBavli would say: One who learns Torah from youngsters, whom is he comparable to? To one who eats unripe grapes and drinks [unfermented] wine from the press. One who learns Torah from the old, whom is he comparable to? To one who eats ripened grapes and drinks aged wine. Said Rabbi Meir: Look not at the vessel, but at what it contains. There are new vessels that are filled with old wine, and old vessels that do not even contain new wine. Pirkei Avot 4:20


+ 296 Rabbi Elazar HaKapor would say: Envy, lust and honor drive a man from the world. Pirkei Avot 4:21


+ 387 The sages expounded in the language of the Mishnah (blessed is He who chose them and their learning): Rabbi Meir would say: Whoever studies Torah for Torah's sake alone, merits many things; not only that, but [the creation of] the entire world is worthwhile for him alone. He is called friend, beloved, lover of God, lover of humanity, rejoicer of God, rejoicer of humanity. The Torah enclothes him with humility and awe; makes him fit to be righteous, pious, correct and faithful; distances him from sin and brings him close to merit. From him, people enjoy counsel and wisdom, understanding and power, as is stated (Proverbs 8:14): "Mine are counsel and wisdom, I am understanding, mine is power." The Torah grants him sovereignty, dominion, and jurisprudence. The Torah's secrets are revealed to him, and he becomes as an ever-increasing wellspring and as an unceasing river. He becomes modest, patient and forgiving of insults. The Torah uplifts him and makes him greater than all creations. Pirkei Avot 6:1


+ 325 Said Rabbi Joshua the son of Levi: Every day, an echo resounds from Mount Horeb (Sinai) proclaiming and saying: "Woe is to the creatures who insult the Torah." For one who does not occupy himself in Torah is considered an outcast, as is stated (Proverbs 11:22), "A golden nose-ring in the snout of a swine, a beautiful woman bereft of reason." And it says (Exodus 32:16): "And the tablets are the work of God, and the writing is God's writing, engraved on the tablets"; read not "engraved" (charut) but "liberty" (chairut) - for there is no free individual, except for he who occupies himself with the study of Torah. And whoever occupies himself with the study of Torah is elevated, as is stated (Number 21:19), "And from the gift to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to The Heights." Pirkei Avot 6:2


+ 330 Rabbi Shimon the son of Judah would say in the name of Rabbi Shimon the son of Yochai: Beauty, strength, wealth, honor, wisdom, sageness, old age and children are becoming to the righteous and becoming to the world. As is stated (Proverbs 16:31): "Old age is a crown of beauty, to be found in the ways of righteousness." And it says (ibid. 20:29): "The beauty of youths is their strength, and the glory of sages is their age." And it says (ibid., 17:6): "The crown of sages are their grandchildren, and the beauty of children their fathers." And it says (Isaiah 24:23): "And the moon shall be abashed and the sun shamed, for the Lord of hosts has reigned in Zion, and before his elders is glory." Rabbi Shimon the son of Menasia would say: these seven qualities enumerated by the sages for the righteous were all realized in Rabbi [Judah HaNassi] and his sons. Pirkei Avot 6:8


+ 348 Said Rabbi Yossei the son of Kisma: Once, I was traveling and I encountered a man. He greeted me and I returned his greetings. Said he to me: "Rabbi, where are you from?" Said I to him: "From a great city of sages and scholars, am I." Said he to me: "Rabbi, would you like to dwell with us in our place? I will give you a million dinars of gold, precious stones and pearls." Said I to him: "If you were to give me all the silver, gold, precious stones and pearls in the world, I would not dwell anywhere but in a place of Torah. Indeed, so is written in the book of psalms by David the king of Israel: `I prefer the Torah of Your mouth over thousands in gold and silver' (Psalms 118:72). Furthermore, when a person passes from this world neither silver, nor gold, nor precious stones, nor pearls accompany him, only Torah and good deeds, as is stated (Proverbs 6:22): `When you go it will direct you, when you lie down it will watch over you, and when you awaken it shall be your speech.' `When you go it will direct you' - in this world; `when you lie down it will watch over you' - in the grave; `and when you awaken it shall be our speech' - in the World To Come. Also it says (Chaggai 2:8): `Mine is the silver and Mine is the gold, so says the L-rd of Hosts.' " Pirkei Avot 6:9


+ 368 Grand Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch of the Eda Charedit, a great grandson of the Gaon of Vilna osb"m, said this past week that the times of the Mashiach are here. His source is the Vilna Gaon himself. Rav Shternbuch received a closely guarded secret that came to him from Rabbi Yitzchak Chever zatza"l, who received it from Rabbi Chaim of Volozhyn zatza"l, who received it from the Gaon of Vilna himself, who revealed it shortly before his death: When you hear that the Russians have captured the city of Crimea, you should know that the times of the Messiah have started, that his steps are being heard. And when you hear that the Russians have reached the city of Constantinople (todays Istanbul), you should put on your Shabbat clothes and dont take them off, because it means that the Messiah is about to come any minute. According to the above, we owe a note of thanks to Russian president Vladimir Putin for helping to bring Mashiach a step closer.


+ 326 Rabbi Eliezer says that we shouldn't delay doing teshuva (see tractate Shabbat 153a), for one never knows if he or she will get another chance. The three commodities that we all need to stock up on today are teshuva (penitence), emuna (faith), and kedusha (holiness) - once Mashiach comes, everything else will be worthless.


+ 288 If you don't know what you're living for, you haven't yet lived. Rabbi Noah Weinberg, of blessed memory


+ 304 I do not want followers who are righteous, rather I want followers who are too busy doing good that they wont have time to do bad. Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk


+ 255 If I am I because you are you, and you are you because I am I, then I am not I and you are not you. But if I am I because I am I, and you are you because you are you, then I am I and you are you. Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk


+ 253 I don't speak because I have the power to speak; I speak because I don't have the power to remain silent. Rabbi A.Y. Kook


+ 288 People often avoid making decisions out of fear of making a mistake. Actually the failure to make decisions is one of life's biggest mistakes. Rabbi Noah Weinberg.


+ 293 If you want to meet a princess, make yourself into a prince. Rabbi Dov Heller, Aish LA


+ 335 If you were there and the Romans or the Babylonians were about to destroy Jerusalem and you had the power to do something about it, would you sit and mourn and cry? Or would you turn the world upside down to change history? So what is stopping you? Overturn the world today! Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, Chabad Rabbi


+ 247 Interfering in someone elses quarrel as you pass by is like grabbing a dog by the ears. Mishlei 26:17


+ 319 One of the questions asked by al-Balkhi, and often repeated to this day, is this: Why do the children of Israel continue to suffer? My grandmother Dodo thought it was because the goyim were jealous. The seder for Passover (which is a shame-faced simulacrum of a Hellenic question-and-answer session, even including the wine) tells the children that it's one of those things that happens to every Jewish generation. After the Shoah or Endl?sung or Holocaust, many rabbis tried to tell the survivors that the immolation had been a punishment for 'exile,' or for insufficient attention to the Covenant. This explanation was something of a flop with those whose parents or children had been the raw material for the 'proof,' so for a time the professional interpreters of god's will went decently quiet. This interval of ambivalence lasted until the war of 1967, when it was announced that the divine purpose could be discerned after all. How wrong, how foolish, to have announced its discovery prematurely! The exile and the Shoah could now both be understood, as part of a heavenly if somewhat roundabout scheme to recover the Western Wall in Jerusalem and other pieces of biblically mandated real estate.

I regard it as a matter of self-respect to spit in public on rationalizations of this kind. (They are almost as repellent, in their combination of arrogance, masochism, and affected false modesty, as Edith Stein's 'offer' of her life to expiate the regrettable unbelief in Jesus of her former fellow Jews.) The sage Jews are those who have put religion behind them and become in so many societies the leaven of the secular and the atheist. Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir


+ 362 One of the questions asked by al-Balkhi, and often repeated to this day, is this: Why do the children of Israel continue to suffer? My grandmother Dodo thought it was because the goyim were jealous. The seder for Passover (which is a shame-faced simulacrum of a Hellenic question-and-answer session, even including the wine) tells the children that it's one of those things that happens to every Jewish generation. After the Shoah or Endl?sung or Holocaust, many rabbis tried to tell the survivors that the immolation had been a punishment for 'exile,' or for insufficient attention to the Covenant. This explanation was something of a flop with those whose parents or children had been the raw material for the 'proof,' so for a time the professional interpreters of god's will went decently quiet. This interval of ambivalence lasted until the war of 1967, when it was announced that the divine purpose could be discerned after all. How wrong, how foolish, to have announced its discovery prematurely! The exile and the Shoah could now both be understood, as part of a heavenly if somewhat roundabout scheme to recover the Western Wall in Jerusalem and other pieces of biblically mandated real estate.

I regard it as a matter of self-respect to spit in public on rationalizations of this kind. (They are almost as repellent, in their combination of arrogance, masochism, and affected false modesty, as Edith Stein's 'offer' of her life to expiate the regrettable unbelief in Jesus of her former fellow Jews.) The sage Jews are those who have put religion behind them and become in so many societies the leaven of the secular and the atheist. Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir


+ 268 If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when? Rabbi Hillel


+ 248 Do not do to others what you would not have them do to you. Rabbi Hillel


+ 200 He who refuses to learn deserves extinction. Rabbi Hillel


+ 281 First of all, the Jewish religion has a great deal in common with the Christian religion because, as Rabbi Gillman points out in the show, Christianity is based on Judaism. Christ was Jewish. Barbara Walters


+ 307 Perhaps we would do well to listen to the likes of Rabbi Harold Kushner, who contends that God is not really as powerful as we have claimed. Tony Campolo


+ 316 I refuse to stand up in front of a rabbi and my friends and the woman I love - who I will tell you I can love with all my heart - and promise she will be the only one I will ever have until the day I die. That's a lie. Gene Simmons


+ 248 An aged rabbi, crazed with liberalism, once said to me, We Jews are just ordinary human beings. Only a bit more so! Lionel Blue


+ 220 I learned early on that 'rabbi' means teacher, not priest. George Steiner


+ 260 A traditional rabbi is the man to whom the community and its members turn to rule on what Jewish law requires of them, particularly in cases of doubt. David Novak


+ 291 My father was a rabbi and had a little synagogue in Canada, so I'm from Canada. I left there at 16. David Steinberg


+ 270 A rabbi should not despair if people do not do as much as they should. Every parent has that with children. God is merciful. Louis Finkelstein


+ 264 There's this great fear, and I find, lack of knowledge of Catholicism, just like I'm ignorant of other things. I think we should all visit each other's places of worship and get to know a priest, get to know a rabbi. It's not that scary. I think Scientology is scary, and I don't understand Jehovah's Witnesses, but I haven't spent time with them. Catherine Hicks


+ 235 Calling a taxi in Texas is like calling a rabbi in Iraq. Fran Lebowitz


+ 226 I have ended as a Reform Rabbi, grateful to Christianity for so many good things. Lionel Blue


+ 324 In my neighborhood, everyone had an opinion on the local cantor. You didn't go to a synagogue to listen to the rabbi's sermon. You went to listen to the cantor. It was like a concert. Alan Dershowitz


+ 311 The rabbi is often the regular preacher in the synagogue, the man whose sermons offer his community more general theological and moral guidance. David Novak


+ 302 My wife and I are affiliated with a temple here in Los Angeles. We feel very close to the congregation and to the rabbi, who happens to be my wife's cousin and who I admire greatly. I talk to him regularly but I consider myself more spiritual than religious. Leonard Nimoy


+ 295 There was reference made to a book written in Greek by a former Rabbi who had been converted to Christianity. There was reference to a publication of a high clergyman of Milan. Not even did Jews raise objections to that book. Julius Streicher


+ 249 I wanted to be a soccer player. And then I wanted to be a rabbi. Jake Epstein


+ 241 How can a rabbi not live with doubt? The Bible itself is a book of doubt. Arthur Hertzberg


+ 287 God is my best friend. I talk to God every day. And no one can tell me how to talk to God - not no imam, not no priest, not no rabbi, no pastor. Eve


+ 245 I feel very privileged indeed to be appointed to be the next Chief Rabbi. Ephraim Mirvis


+ 285 The first profile piece on myself came about after my Rabbi sent information to the Jewish Chronicle on what I was up to. The story was then picked up by one of the nationals and things grew from there. Benjamin Cohen


+ 270 The beth din is the court of the chief rabbi. I see myself taking an active role within the beth din. Ephraim Mirvis


+ 364 Just for the record, I personally do agree with some of the sentiments of Rabbi Meir Kahane. I think he was right about certain things, wrong about other things, but I have absolutely nothing, no association whatsoever with Kahane Chai leaders. Aaron Klein


+ 278 Your neck is like an ivory tower.
Your eyes are like the pools in Heshbon near the gate of Bath Rabbim.
Your nose is like the mountain of Lebanon that looks down on Damascus.
Song of Solomon 7:4


+ 222 Follow the white rabbit.


+ 192 It is a mistake to consider man and woman two separate beings. They are no more than two halves of a single form, two converse hemispheres that fit tightly together to make a perfect whole. They are heaven and earth encapsulated in flesh and blood. It is only that on its way to enter this world, this sphere was shattered apart. What was once the infinity of a perfect globe became two finite surfaces. What was once a duet of sublime harmony became two bizarre solos of unfinished motions, of unresolved discord. So much so, that each one hears in itself only half a melody, and so too it hears in the other. Each sees the other and says, That is broken. Feigning wholeness, the two halves wander aimlessly in space alone. Until each fragment allows itself to surrender, to admit that it too is broken. Only then can it search for the warmth it is missing. For the depth of its own self that was ripped away. For the harmony that will make sense of its song. And in perfect union, two finite beings find in one another infinite beauty. Rabbi Tzvi Freeman


+ 154 The language of The Zohar remedies the soul, even when one does not understand what it says at all. It is similar to one who enters a perfumery; even when he does not take a thing, he still absorbs the fragrance. Rabbi Moshe Chaim Ephraim of Sudilkov


+ 152 Fighting evil is a very noble activity when it must be done. But it is not our mission in life. Our job is to bring in more light. Rabbi Tzvi Freeman


+ 153 "Appreciate the qualitative distance between the body and the soul. The body is one small speck of humanity. You couldn't find your own body among the mass of 7 billion human beings. Beyond that, humanity is just a speck in the mass of creatures on this planet. And earth is just a speck in the solar system. And the solar system is just a speck of the universe. So what's your body? Next to nothing. By contrast, your soul is part of the Almighty G-d, Who encompasses and transcends the entire universe. Therefore, if you're part of G-d, you're part of everything. If the choice is body or soul, which makes more sense to identify with?" Rabbi Noah Weinberg


+ 203 Kabbalah is not a secret teaching. It is the teaching of a secret. The secret teaching means that we are trying to hide something from you. The teaching of the secret means that we are trying to teach something to you, to open up and reveal something hidden. Now, you might point out, if the secret is taught, it is no longer a secret. A revealed secret, it would seem, is an oxymoron. That would be so if we were discussing an artificial secret, one that is secret only because it is shrouded in secrecy, because others dont want you to find out. True secrets, even once taught, explained, illustrated, analyzed and integrated into your consciousness, remain just as mysterious as before. Novastly more mysterious, for as the island of knowledge expands, so too its beach upon the infinite sea of the unknowable. Life teems with such mysteries: What is love? What is mind? What is life? What is existence? How do they come to be? From where do they emerge? What is your soul, the person within your body? You experience all these at every moment. They are you. And yet, the more you gaze upon the depths of their mysteries, the deeper their waters become. The deepest of all secrets are those best known to all, that which we learn as small children, take for granted the rest of our lives, live with dailyand yet never manage to unravel or grasp with our cognitive mind. There is. Things are. I exist. I am alive. Life is not death. Darkness is not light. There is that which is bigger than me. Kabbalah plunges into these secrets and pulls their depths into the open. It provides metaphor, parable, understanding. It shines light and opens our eyes. It inspires and guides us to use this wisdom for healing and growth in everyday life. That is why the experience of learning Kabbalah is one of Yes! I knew that truth all along! My heart knew, but my mouth was unable to speak it! The truths of the Kabbalah belong to every sentient being. Yet, most of all, Kabbalah provides a sense of the beyond; the knowledge of that which cannot be known, the wisdom of mystery, the understanding that we do not understand. Kabbalah is the knowledge of wonder. Rabbi Tzvi Freeman


+ 142 Anyone who has had a truly spiritual moment, a moment of breaking through our day-to-day reality and touching the divine, knows how difficult it is to communicate that experience to othersor even to recapture it later for ourselves. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi


+ 150 Every person is a microcosm of the entire Creation. When a person brings harmony between his G?dly soul and his material life, he brings harmony between the whole of heaven and earth. Rabbi Tzvi Freeman


+ 136 Rabbi Akiva's favorite principle was Love your fellow as yourself (Leviticus 19:18)


+ 113 When Your Soul Connects

When your soul connects with the supernal light of the Torah, its smallest details become beloved to your soul. Then your desire for the Torah spreads to every letter of its subtleties and the subtle distinctions made by the rabbis, as they spread and branch forth.

Orot Hatorah 5:1


+ 101 The Neglect of Torah

The neglect of Torah is different for everyone, each on his level. Someone who can rise mentally to a great level but who is indolent or afraid and thus rejects his lofty state, allowing himself to remain low, is rejecting the Torah of God for which he is suited.

In regard to this, the rabbis stated that God overlooked idolatry, immorality and bloodshed, but not the rejection of the Torah.

Orot Hatorah 7:2


+ 142 The Prayerbook and the Villager

by Shai Agnon

Shai Agnon (winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature) told:

One time, a number of usmyself, Chaim Nachman Bialik, Eliezer Meir Lifshitz, Rabbi Simchah Asaf, Binyamin and othersentered the presence of the great Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Hacohen Kook and discussed the problems of the generation and how to rectify it.

One of the group made a speech in praise of the Torah, which ended by criticizing the many additional laws enacted by the rabbis in every generation. Rabbi Nachman rose in pain, and appeared angry. But he immediately overcame his anger, as was his holy way, and answered quietly: Hearing this has brought to mind a story.

There was once a great rabbi who happened to pass through a village. Night fell, and he had to stay there overnight. He asked the villager at whose house he was staying for a volume of the Talmud, but the villager didnt have one. He asked for a mishnahthe villager didnt have. He asked for an Ein Yaakovthe villager didnt have that either.

Finally, he asked the villager, Do you have a prayerbook? The villager brought him an old prayerbook, which contained a commentary that the rabbi read the entire night, and which he enjoyed greatly.

The next day, the rabbi offered to pay a good price for the prayerbook, but the villager refused. The rabbi persisted: Ill trade it for a new prayerbook with a fine binding. But the villager still refused.

Why? asked the rabbi.

The villager replied, Rabbi, every morning when I get up I like to drink something hot, and I warm up the kettle. To make the fire catch quickly, I light a piece of paper and put it under the tinder. Since I dont have much paper in the house, I rip a page out of the prayerbook and light that. And also, every time I want to smoke my pipe, I rip a page out of the prayerbook to light it.

I am already an old man, but because there is so much commentary, I still havent come to the prayers. All the pages Ive ripped out really arent the prayerbook.

Malachim Kivnei Adam, pp. 363-65


+ 97 Thank You Rabbi for beautiful explanation


+ 91 Thank You Rabbi for Amazing day


+ 89 Thank You Rabbi for Amazing Thoughts


+ 100 Thank You Rabbi for All Books


+ 113 I have seen it written that the prohibition from Above to refrain from open study in the wisdom of truth was only for a limited period, until the end of 1490, but from then on the prohibition has been lifted and permission was granted to study the Zohar. Since 1540 it has been a great Mitzva (commandment) for the masses to study in public, old and young... and that is because the Messiah will come because of that and not because of any other reason. Therefore, we must not be negligent. Rabbi Abraham Ben Mordechai Azulai, Introduction to the book, Ohr HaChama, Light of the Sun


+ 113 A new flood is foretold and nothing can be done to prevent it; in three days, the waters will wipe out the world. The greatest leaders of the major religions go on worldwide television to make their final plea. The leader of Buddhism pleads with everyone to become a Buddhist; that way, they will at least find salvation in heaven. The Pope goes on television and shakes his fists to the audience, "It is still not too late to accept Jesus!" he cries. The Chief Rabbi of Israel approaches the podium...stands silent for what seems to be an eternity...looks directly into the lens of the center camera and slowly but solemnly states, "My people"...he pauses once again and continues..."We have three days to learn to live under water"...


+ 108 A Reform Rabbi was so compulsive a golfer that once, on Yom Kippur, he left the house early and went out for a quick nine holes by himself. An angel who happened to be looking on immediately notified his superiors that a grievous sin was being committed on earth. On the sixth hole, G-d caused a mighty wind to take the ball directly from the tee to the cup for a miraculous and dramatic hole in one. The angel was horrified. "Lord," he said, "you call this a punishment?!" "Sure," answered G-d with a smile. "Who can he tell?"


+ 123 So the Synagogue got really fed up with its Rabbi. The Executive Committee met and ne-too-reluctantly, concluded that they'd have to let him go. Trouble was - who'd want to take him - especially if it got out that he'd been fired? So the Executive Committee decided to give him a glowing letter of recommendation. It compared the Rabbi to Shakespeare, Moses and even G-d Himself. The recommendation was so warm that within six weeks the Rabbi succeeded in securing himself a pulpit in a major upwardly-mobile Synagogue 500 miles away, at twice his original salary and with three junior Rabbis working under him. Needless to say, in a couple of months the Rabbi's new employers began to observe some of his imperfections. The President of the Rabbi's new pulpit angrily called the President of the old Synagogue charging "We employed this man mostly on the basis of your recommendation. How could you possibly compare him to Shakespeare, Moses and even G-d Himself, when he can't string together a correct sentence in English, when his knowledge of Hebrew is worse than mine and that on top of everything else, he's a liar, a cheat and an all-round low-life?" "Simple," answered his colleague. "Like Shakespeare he has no Hebrew or Jewish knowledge. Like Moses, he can't speak English, and like G-d Himself - 'Er is nisht kan mentch (He's not a human being!).


+ 109 Reb Menachem Schneerson is being driven to a Chabad retreat in the Catskills by a young student chauffeur. He suddenly requests of the driver a wish to try driving himself after many years of being driven by others. The young driver feels he cannot refuse the beloved Rabbi and lets him into the drivers seat while he gets into the back seat. Reb Schneerson, having last driven a stickshift in Europe, is having a ball with the advanced automatic, power steering, power brakes and all the luxuries. He soon makes like Richard Petty and comes down the NY Thruway at 95 mph. A NY State Police car soon pulls him over. The jackbooted cop ambles over with the ticket book. As soon as he spots the driver, he freezes and mumbles a "wait here a minute, please." The cop hurries back to his car, gets on the radio to his area supervisor, and reports a very serious problem, "I just pulled over a very important person!"
The captain on the other end asks; "Did you pull over Senator D'Amato again?"
"No, this guy is more important!"
"You didn't stop the governor?"
"No."
"The President?"
"No, but this person is real important, although I'm not quite sure who he is."
"How do you know then that this person is so important?"
"Well, he has the Lubavitcher Rebbe for a chauffeur!"