Episodes

Ep. 82 Why Don’t We Have An Immersive Spiritual Center Today?

Wouldn’t life be simpler if we could just walk into a building and experience God? Would it not answer so many questions and doubts? Would it not provide such...

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Ep. 81 The Deeper Meaning Of Modeh Ani

The first words a Jew says when he or she wakes up is 𝘔𝘰𝘥𝘦𝘩 𝘈𝘯𝘪, a prayer expressing thanks to God for another day. Jewish law desires one to...

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Ep. 80 A Deeper Look At The Three Weeks

This coming weekend begins the saddest part of the Jewish calendar. Occurring across a three week period, between the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av, this time...

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Ep. 79 Genetics In Torah Law

In this episode we look into the concept of genetics in Torah law. When are we developing the world and using the resources God gave us and when are...

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Ep. 78 Personal Autonomy and Medical Coercion In Jewish Law – The Case of Cassandra C. vs. State of Connecticut

In this episode we take a look at the fascinating case of Cassandra C. In September 2014, Cassandra C., then 17 years old, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After...

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Ep. 77 Disconnect To Reconnect

Have you ever felt trapped in a certain behavior pattern and struggled to break out? Often when we approach our behaviors head on, we lose badly. How can the...

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Ep. 76 Flags & Unity: Individuality Within The Community

While traveling in the desert, God commands Moses to set up the Jews in very specific formation; three tribes in each direction and the tabernacle in the center. The...

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Ep. 75 The Two Parts Of The Omer: Honor & Goodness

I heard earlier today that one of my greatest Rabbis passed away. His name was Rabbi Eliyahu Margulies zt’l, and he was my teacher that really opened my eyes...

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Ep. 74 Can You Really Love Your Neighbor As Yourself?

One of the most famous Jewish dictums is (Leviticus 19:18), “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But this verse seems quite difficult! Is it really possible? What does...

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Ep. 73 Understanding The Counting Of The Omer

There is a biblical obligation to count 50 days from the Omer offering (Leviticus chapter 23), and then on the 50th day to bring an offering of two breads...

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Ep. 72 A Deeper Look At The Yahrtzeit

The Yahrtzeit is the Hebrew date of passing of a close family member. There are many customs observed on the yahrtzeit as a merit for the departed soul, such...

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Ep. 71 Freedom and Pesach (class recording)

What is the real definition of “freedom”? Is it doing whatever we want, however we want, whenever we want or is it something more internal? How does the Torah...

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Ep. 70 The Laws Of The Passover Seder

This episode is the last one discussing the laws of Passover. In episode 68, I discussed the laws (and philosophy) of removing chametz from your house in general. In...

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Ep. 69 Kashering Your Kitchen For Passover

In this episode, I discuss the laws of using your year-round kitchen for Passover foods. Obviously, we want to avoid any chametz from getting into our Passover food, but...

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Ep. 68 Removing Chametz And Setting Up Your Pesach Zone

This episode begins with the laws of chametz, leavened bread, on the holiday of Passover. Interestingly, in addition to the famous prohibition against eating chametz on Passover, there is...

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Ep. 67 A Deeper Look At Kosher

The concept of Kosher is probably one of the most well-known Torah laws in the world. Why is that? Is there a deeper theme behind it that reflects the...

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Ep. 66 The Mourner’s Kaddish

The Kaddish is one of the mot powerful prayers that we have. The Talmud goes so far as to say that the Kaddish is one of two merits that...

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Ep. 65 The Essence Of Amalek

The verse states that G-d loves peace and makes peace, and yet when it comes to the nation of Amalek, G-d very strongly condemns them and demands the Jewish...

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Ep. 64 ʅɐsɹǝʌǝꓤ ɯᴉɹnԀ ʇɐǝɹ⅁ ǝɥꓕ

One of the great themes of the holiday of Purim is the concept of “Vinahafoch Hu,” and it is completely reversed. This concept appears throughout the Purim story and...

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Ep. 63 The Friday Night Kiddush

Every Friday night, we begin the Shabbos meal with sanctifying the Shabbos over a cup of wine (making Kiddush). It seems like such a simple action, but the Talmud...

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Ep. 62 A Deeper Look At Clothing

In many places throughout the Torah and Rabbinic writing we find an emphasis on clothing. There are mitzvahs about the clothing we wear, and there’s even an entire Torah...

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Ep. 61 The Secret Of The Jewish Leap Year

The Jewish calendar is a lunisolar calendar, meaning it aligns with the cycles of both the sun and the moon. Since the solar year is 11 days longer than...

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Ep. 60 Gefilte Fish History And Shabbos

One of the most recognizable Jewish dishes is the gefilte fish. Often served with a cooked carrot and a side of beets and horseradish sauce, known as chrein, it’s...

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Ep. 59 Man Is Like A Tree In The Field – Tu Bi’Shevat 2022

The Mishna (Rosh HaShanah 2a) teaches us that the 15th day of the Jewish month of Shevat is the “New Years for the Trees.” In the practical sense this...

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Ep. 58 The Ten Commandments, The Ten Plagues and The Ten Utterances: Discovering The Soul Of The World

Anyone who has read the Bible knows that G-d famously decimated the Egyptian nation with 10 plagues, enabling the Jews to leave and gain their freedom. But why did...

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Ep. 57 Blessing Our Children On Friday Night

Many have the custom to give their children a blessing before they sit down to the Friday night Shabbos meal. We place our hands on our children’s head and...

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Ep. 56 You Are Worthy Of A Relationship With God

When people think of their relationship with God, they sometimes feel unworthy. God is so great, is it possible that he really cares about me individually? Does he really...

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Ep. 55 The Heavenly Tribunal and Asarah Bi’Teves

There are 6 public fast days on the Jewish calendar: Yom Kippur, Tisha B’Av (the 9th of Av), Tzom Gedalia (the 3rd of Tishrei), Asarah Biteves (the 10th of...

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Ep. 54 Uncovering Chanukah’s Deeper Meaning

Chanukah is often viewed as the holiday of lights in which we light the Menorah, eat oily foods and get presents, but is that all there is to Chanukah?...

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Ep. 53 Laws and Customs of Chanukah

In this episode, we go through the basic laws and customs of Chanukah. We discuss the menorah, the fuel, time of lighting, placement of the menorah, the game of...

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Ep. 52 Why Are We Called Jews?

The name we generally identify with as a religion and a nation is the “Jew”. We consider ourselves Jewish and practice Judaism, but have you ever wondered where this...

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Ep. 51 Why Are The Stories Of Genesis Included In The Torah?

The Torah is a legal guide to help us maximize our time in this world. The word Torah itself means instruction or teachings. Why would a book of laws...

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Ep. 50 Why Are Mitzvahs Physical – Understanding Physical and Spiritual Space

Often when one thinks of a deep spiritual experience, they think of a transcendent meditation, or maybe about accessing deeper levels of consciousness or the like. They don’t generally...

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Ep. 49 Uncovering the Mystery of Mikvah

The Mikvah is one of the most powerful tools in Judaism. It has the ability to transform a ritually impure (tamei) person into a pure one (tahor), as well...

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Ep. 48 Understanding A Traditional Jewish Wedding

Marriage is one of the most important values in Judaism, and as such the marriage process is filled with meaningful rituals and processes, reflecting the magnitude of the moment....

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Ep. 47 – Why Do We Look At Our Fingernails During Havdala?

The Havdala ritual is comprised of making a blessing on a cup of wine, a candle and nice smelling spices. When we make the blessing over the havdala candle,...

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Ep. 46 The Holiday Season and The Search For Adam

The incredible high holiday season, beginning with Rosh Hashanah, continuing with Yom Kippur and then Sukkos, finally comes to a climax with the holiday of Shemini Atzeres. And while...

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Ep. 45 A Deeper Look at the Laws of Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar and carries along with that many unique laws and customs. What are all the laws of Yom Kippur? When...

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Ep 44 It’s Not Too Late To Repent

What if we feel like we haven’t accomplished as much repentance as we would’ve liked over the past month? What if we are embarrassed to show our faces in...

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Ep. 43 The Power of the Shofar

The only mitzvah unique to Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, is the obligation to hear the Shofar blasts. These Shofar blasts are so powerful that they actually get...

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Ep. 42 Uncovering the True Essence of Rosh Hashana

Many view the day of Rosh Hashana as the Day of Judgement; when God looks at our past year’s actions and determines what the next year will look like....

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Ep. 41 Elul – When God Is Near

Our Rabbis teach us that during the month of Elul, God makes Himself more accessible than at any other time of the year. During this period of introspection and...

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Ep. 40 Seeing God’s Hand – Stories of Providence

When you take of G-d’s children, you’re partnering with G-d and you can be confident that he’ll assist you in your efforts. If you want to see the hand...

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Ep. 39 Eruv – The Essence of Shabbos

In the last episode, we discussed the practical elements of constructing a community eruv. In this episode, we take a deeper look. What does an eruv represent in Kabbalah?...

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Ep. 38 Building a Community Eruv

Have you heard people say, “Do you live in the eruv?” or “Which eruv is that in?” What exactly is an eruv? How does a community go about creating...

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Ep. 37 Appreciating the Loss of The Holy Temples

The destruction of the holy Temples in Jerusalem took places between 2000-2500 years ago. It’s an event so distant in our national history, yet we relive it again every...

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Ep. 36 Why Does EVIL Exist?

Psalms teaches us that God created our world out of endless kindness. We also know that God loves every single one of us a deeper love than we can...

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Ep. 35 A “Three Weeks” Primer

We have recently began the saddest part of the Jewish calendar. It’s a three week period, between the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av, and historically this...

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Ep. 34 What is God?

We talk about God all the time, saying He is compassionate, loving, just etc.  We love His Torah and try our best to follow His commandments, the Mitzvohs.  But,...

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Ep. 33 Why Hang a Mezuzah?

The Mezuzah hanging on the doorpost of a house is one of the most identifiably Jewish items that exists. For centuries, across the many countries we’ve been exiled in,...

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Ep. 32 Right, Left and Center in Jewish Law and Kabbalah

Why does Jewish law always prioritize the right side to the left? When you get dressed in the morning, the Code of Jewish Law writes that you should put...

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Ep. 31 Defining “TRUTH”

We live in a world where it’s so difficult to know what is true and what is not. Kabbalah calls our world an alma dishikra, a world of falsehood....

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Ep. 30 Transitioning from Shabbos to the Week

There are two ceremonies described in the Code of Jewish Law regarding transitioning from Shabbos back to the work week: Havdala and Melava Malka. Havdala consists of making blessings...

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Ep. 29 Washing Your Hands in the Morning

One of the first laws discussed in the Code of Jewish Law is the obligation to wash your hands when you wake up in the morning. What’s the reason...

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Ep. 28 G-d’s Legacy: Yibum and Mashiach

The Zohar, the great Kabbalistic work of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, makes a fascinating comment. It states that two great Jewish women, Tamar and Ruth, merited having the Messiah,...

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Ep. 27 Uncovering the Hidden Theme of Shavuos

Did you ever wonder why the holiday of Shavuos doesn’t have any special mitzvah for the masses to do on it? On Pesach we eat matzah, on Sukkos we...

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Ep. 26 Numbers in Judaism; 6, 7 and 8

Did you ever wonder why there are 7 colors in a rainbow? Why didn’t G-d create it with 8? or 6? Ever wonder why G-d created the world in...

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Ep. 25 Understanding Jewish Holiness

What exactly is holiness? G-d defines the role of the Jewish nation as (Exodus 19:6), “A kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Clearly, holiness is not some elusive...

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Ep. 24 Why do Jews say a blessing before eating?

What’s so special about blessings?  Why do we have to make so many of them? Why do we have to bless before eating or drinking anything? The Talmud (Menachos...

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Ep. 23 Can the Rabbis Change Torah Law?

If you look at any mitzvah as it’s described in the Torah, it’s impossible to understand all the nuance and details necessary to fulfil it properly from the text...

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Ep. 22 Uncovering the Omer’s Deeper Meaning

The counting of the Omer is a 50 day period connecting the holiday of Passover to the holiday of Shavuos. If you look in the Torah, the Omer actually...

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Ep. 21 Uncovering the Hidden Theme of Passover

We all associate Passover with feelings of freedom and royalty. We sit at our seders like kings and queens, discussing our liberation from Egyptian bondage. In reality, there’s much...

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Ep. 20 A Deeper Look at the Passover Seder

Why do you suppose the Rabbis titled the Passover night ritual a seder? Do you know that the word seder means order? Why commemorate a miraculous, beyond natural order...

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Ep. 19 Kashering your kitchen for Pesach and other various preparatory laws

In this episode I go through the process of preparing your kitchen for Passover, as well as some other relevant Jewish laws regarding preparing for the upcoming holiday. Although...

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Ep. 18 Setting Up Your Pesach Zone

Have you ever walked into a kitchen on Pesach and thought you’re on a spaceship? Ever wondered why and how to properly clean your house from Chametz? Or even...

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Ep. 17 The Miraculous Connection between Purim and Pesach

Purim and Pesach seem like such different holidays. One celebrates G-d’s explicit overriding nature with the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt and the other celebrates G-d functioning from...

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Ep. 16 The Real Sin of the Golden Calf

Isn’t it shocking that a mere 40 days after experiencing the most personal and deep connection to G-d in the history of the world, the Sinai experience, they’d throw...

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Ep. 15 PURIM 🥳🥂🎉🤡 Uncovering Purim’s Deeper Meaning

Why do we do so many unique actions on Purim? Why do we distribute money to poor? Food gifts to friends? Dress up in costumes? Hear the story of...

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Ep. 14 The Role of the Tabernacle, a Sinai Memento

Did you ever wonder why almost half of the book of Exodus, which is described as the book of redemption, discusses the building of the Tabernacle? What’s the Tabernacle’s...

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Ep. 13 Lessons from Haman for a great marriage

Purim is rapidly approaching, and there are so many amazing lessons to glean from the Purim story. Today, I focus on one of the less spoken about lessons; Haman’s...

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Ep. 12 What’s the role of Mitzvahs in Judaism?

Do you ever feel restricted by all of the commandments that exist in Judaism? Is the primary focus of Judaism supposed to be purely observance of the commandments or...

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Ep. 11 The Real Mount Sinai Experience

Did you know that there are 6 events that Jews are supposed to remember daily? Number 2 on the list, is remembering our ancestors standing at the foot of...

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Ep. 10 Quarantine in Jewish Law

Does the Torah allow us to restrict individual rights for the betterment of society? Where do we draw the line between freedom and safety? With three kids home in...

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Ep. 09 Tu Bi’Shevat – a Kabbalistic perspective of fruit

Tu Bi’Shevat is the Jewish holiday celebrating the New Years for the trees. Why do we celebrate trees by eating fruit? Why don’t we take branches or flowers into...

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Ep. 08 Covering Our Eyes for Shema

Did you ever wonder why of all the prayer services, we only cover our eyes during the Shema? And only for the first sentence of the Shema? Why is...

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Ep. 07 Parsha Bo – Controlling Time

If you were giving the Jewish nation the Torah, what would be the first national mitzvah (commandment) you would give? In this week’s Torah portion, G-d gives the Jewish...

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Ep. 06 Moses, Abraham and the many names of G-d

Did you ever notice in the Torah that there are so many different names of G-d? In the first two verses of this week’s Torah portion, the Torah uses...

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Ep. 05 Bathing my pots and pans – why put my food vessels in the Mikvah?!?

There are three basic functions that the Mikvah (Jewish ritual bath) has in the modern world: 1) for purifies the ritually impure male or female 2) for Jewish conversion...

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Ep. 04 Prayer – Why do Jews pray three times each day?

We discuss in this episode the source of prayer in the Torah and the evolution into and meaning of the three daily prayers: shachris (morning prayer), mincha (afternoon prayer)...

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Ep. 03 Understanding the Role of Exile in Jewish History

Did you ever wonder why so much of our national history has been spent in exile? We’ve been in exile for more years than we’ve lived on our land!...

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Ep. 02 Loving God – An Obligation to Love?

In this episode, we discuss a very fundamental question in Judaism regarding love of God. We say in the Shema “and you shall love Hashem your G-d with all...

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Ep. 01 Parsha Vayechi – Living for the Greater Good

Welcome to the first episode of the thinking Jew podcast. In this episode, we’ll discuss an underlying theme of Jacob’s final blessing to his children, the true power of...

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