Rabbi

+ 302 770 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.


+ 263 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


+ 322 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


+ 241 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


+ 208 (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).


+ 292 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, S’dei 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."


+ 192 Long Live our Master, our Teacher, and our Rabbi, King Messiah, for ever and ever. Chabad Hasidism


+ 212 It is a great mitzvah to be happy. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov


+ 183 Rabbi Shimon the son of Gamliel would say: By three things is the world sustained: law, truth and peace. Pirkei Avot 1:18


+ 218 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


+ 220 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


+ 239 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


+ 194 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


+ 237 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


+ 232 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


+ 216 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


+ 236 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


+ 236 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


+ 217 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


+ 175 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


+ 223 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


+ 202 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


+ 213 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


+ 186 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


+ 216 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


+ 203 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


+ 199 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


+ 192 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


+ 198 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


+ 204 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


+ 243 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


+ 177 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


+ 186 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


+ 219 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


+ 195 Rabbi Ishmael would say: Be yielding to a leader, affable to the black-haired, and receive every man with joy. Pirkei Avot 3:12


+ 197 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


+ 236 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


+ 185 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


+ 202 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


+ 188 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


+ 203 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


+ 188 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


+ 192 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


+ 215 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


+ 207 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


+ 211 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


+ 200 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


+ 162 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


+ 218 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


+ 213 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


+ 199 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


+ 210 Rabbi Elazar HaKapor would say: Envy, lust and honor drive a man from the world. Pirkei Avot 4:21


+ 270 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


+ 218 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


+ 223 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


+ 222 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


+ 247 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 (today’s Istanbul), you should put on your Shabbat clothes and don’t 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.


+ 224 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.


+ 178 If you don't know what you're living for, you haven't yet lived. Rabbi Noah Weinberg, of blessed memory


+ 207 I do not want followers who are righteous, rather I want followers who are too busy doing good that they won’t have time to do bad. Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk


+ 168 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


+ 169 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


+ 200 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.


+ 200 If you want to meet a princess, make yourself into a prince. Rabbi Dov Heller, Aish LA


+ 231 “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


+ 152 Interfering in someone else’s quarrel as you pass by is like grabbing a dog by the ears. Mishlei 26:17


+ 222 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


+ 261 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


+ 180 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


+ 172 Do not do to others what you would not have them do to you. Rabbi Hillel


+ 136 He who refuses to learn deserves extinction. Rabbi Hillel


+ 197 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


+ 223 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


+ 216 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


+ 169 An aged rabbi, crazed with liberalism, once said to me, We Jews are just ordinary human beings. Only a bit more so! Lionel Blue


+ 151 I learned early on that 'rabbi' means teacher, not priest. George Steiner


+ 177 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


+ 198 My father was a rabbi and had a little synagogue in Canada, so I'm from Canada. I left there at 16. David Steinberg


+ 200 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


+ 182 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


+ 159 Calling a taxi in Texas is like calling a rabbi in Iraq. Fran Lebowitz


+ 150 I have ended as a Reform Rabbi, grateful to Christianity for so many good things. Lionel Blue


+ 236 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


+ 217 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


+ 200 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


+ 211 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


+ 169 I wanted to be a soccer player. And then I wanted to be a rabbi. Jake Epstein


+ 171 How can a rabbi not live with doubt? The Bible itself is a book of doubt. Arthur Hertzberg


+ 198 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


+ 163 I feel very privileged indeed to be appointed to be the next Chief Rabbi. Ephraim Mirvis


+ 206 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


+ 192 The beth din is the court of the chief rabbi. I see myself taking an active role within the beth din. Ephraim Mirvis


+ 263 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


+ 204 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


+ 155 Follow the white rabbit.


+ 41 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


+ 40 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


+ 39 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


+ 38 "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


+ 71 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 don’t want you to find out. True secrets, even once taught, explained, illustrated, analyzed and integrated into your consciousness, remain just as mysterious as before. No—vastly 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 daily—and 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


+ 24 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 others—or even to recapture it later for ourselves. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi


+ 29 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 others—or even to recapture it later for ourselves. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi


+ 26 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


+ 24 Rabbi Akiva's favorite principle was “Love your fellow as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18)