About the Author


Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen

Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen is a close student of Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits and a senior member of the Jerusalem Kollel.  Rabbi Gefen’s has spent over 12 years of intensive Torah and Talmudic study at Aish HaTorah and the Jerusalem Kollel, and has a degree in history and politics from the University of Birmingham, UK. Rabbi Gefen has written numerous articles for Hamodia and other publications. His writing inspires people across the spectrum of Jewish observance to live with the vibrancy and beauty of Torah.

Rabbi Gefen has recently published his second book, A Light in Time, a compilation of essays on the Jewish festivals and life cycle. Rabbi Gefen’s successful first book, The Guiding Light, a compilation of essays on the weekly Torah portion.

Visit Rabbi Gefen's site at http://rabbiygefen.blogspot.com/


The Haggadah: The Instruction Manual of Gratitude

There are numerous lessons that can be derived from the Hagaddah. One of them is brought out by...

The Value of the Tabernacle

"These are the reckonings of the Tabernacle, the Tabernacle of Testimony, which was reckoned...

Purim: Keeping Hope

The Gemara tells us that the terrible decree to destroy the Jewish people was a punishment for...

Tu B'Shvat: Appreciating God's World

The first Mishna in the tractate Rosh Hashana informs us of various 'new years'. These are times...

Pharaoh's Daughter: The Rebel

One of the heroic figures who briefly appears in the Torah is Batya, the daughter of Pharaoh. Her...

The Connection Between Shechem, Joseph, Zimri and Korach

Bereishis, 49:5-6: "Simeon and Levi are comrades; their weaponry is a stolen craft. Into...

Judah – Taking Responsibility

The Torah Portion begins with the momentous confrontation between Judah and Joseph. Judah...

Spiritual Kindness

Bereishis, 41:55: "When all the land of Egypt hungered, the people cried out to Pharaoh for...

Tamar and Potiphar's Wife: Making Good Intentions Last

In Vayeshev, the Torah juxtaposes two seemingly unconnected stories. The first is the incident...

Timna and Amalek: The Rejects

The nation of Amalek is well-known as the epitome of evil and enmity towards the Jewish people....

Jacob - The Man of Truth

Jacob is known as being the pillar of Emet, truth, as it states in the Book of Micah, "give...

The Source of Blessing

When famine strikes the Land of Israel, Isaac plans to go to Egypt. However, God instructs him to...

Ephron - Acting on Impulse

In Chayei Sarah we are briefly introduced to the character known as Ephron. His sole 'merit' in...

Yishmael: The Wrong Type of Chesed

A significant character in these Torah Portions is Ishmael, Abraham's eldest son. Understanding...

Responding to Difficulty

One of the supporting characters in the Torah portions of Lech Lecha and Vayeira is Hagar,...

Never Give Up on Any Jew

Towards the end of Haazinu, Moses exhorts the people: “…Apply your hearts to all the...

All Jews Are Bound Up With Each Other

Devarim, 29:28: The hidden things are for Hashem, our God, but the revealed things are for us and...

The Torah of the Levites

Devarim, 29:1-3: Moshe summoned all of Israel and said to them, "You have seen everything...

The Coldness of Amalek

Devarim, 25:17: Remember what Amalek did to you on the way, when you were leaving Egypt. That he...

The Value of Life

Devarim, 21:1: If a corpse will be found on the Land that Hashem your God, gives you to possess it...

Making the Effort

Devarim, 13:7-10: If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or your daughter, or the...

Using the Good Inclination for the Good

Devarim, 6:5: "You shall love HaShem, your God, with all our heart, with all your soul, and...

Perfecting Our Perspective

Bamidbar, 22:16-18: They came to Bilaam and said him, "So said Balak son of Tsipoor, 'Please...

The Importance of Forgiveness

Bamidbar, 21:4-7: They journeyed from Mount Hor by way of the Sea of Reeds to go around the land...

The Sin of Korach's Assembly

Bamidbar, 16:5-7: He [Moses] spoke to Korach and to his entire assembly, saying, 'In the morning,...

Calev - A Different Spirit

Of the 12 spies sent to explore the land of Israel, only Joshua and Calev remained loyal to the...

Raising Our Trust

Vayikra, 26:3: If you will follow My decrees and observe my Commandments and perform...

The Added Importance of Keeping Kosher

Vayikra, 11:44-45: "For I am HaShem your God - you shall sanctify yourselves and you will be...

Parshas Zachor

Throughout history, many nations have tried to destroy the Jewish people. However, we are...

Effort vs. Results

Vayikra, 2:1: "When a soul (nefesh) offers a meal-offering to HaShem, his offering shall be...

The Positive Aspect of the Churban

Shemos, 38:22: These are the reckonings of the Mishkan, the Mishkan of Testimony, which were...

Atonement for the Sale of Joesph

"This shall they give - everyone who passes through the census - a half shekel of the sacred...

Fulfilling Our Potential

How to bring out your hidden talents.

Going Beyond the Boundaries

Shemos, 32:6: They arose early the next day and offered up elevation offerings and brought peace...

Making the Effort

Shemos, 25:31: "You shall make a Menorah of pure gold, hammered out shall the Menorah be...

Sanctifying God's Name

Shemot, 18:1: "Yitro, the priest of Midian, the father-in-law of Moses, heard everything that...

Praying Out of Habit

Shemos, 14:10-11: "Pharaoh approached; the Children of Israel raised their eyes and behold -...

Pharaoh and Abraham

Shemos, 12:29-30: "And it was at midnight that God smote every firstborn in the land of Egypt...

The True Test of Greatness

Shemot, 6:26-27 "This was Aaron and Moses to whom God said: 'Take the Children of Israel out...

On Leadership: Women as Leaders

This week’s parsha could be entitled “The birth of a leader.” We see Moses,...

Joseph’s Reunion with Benjamin

Bereishit, 45:14: “Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept; and...

Joseph - The Fourth 'Patriarch'

Of all the sons of Jacob, the Torah gives by far the most attention to Joseph. It is very apparent...

Two Ways of Subduing Evil

Bereishit, 32:23: And he got up that night and took his two wives, and his two handmaids, and his...

Appreciating the Righteous Man

Bereishis, 28:10: "And Jacob departed from Beer Sheva and went to Haran." Rashi, 28:10:...

The Value of Toiling

Bereishit, 25:22: "And the children crushed within her..." Rashi, Bereishit, 25:22,...

The Battle of Body and Soul

After enduring the incredible test of the Akeida (Binding of Isaac) and the death of his wife,...

Understanding Lot

What really drove this conflicted character?

Above the Stars

Bereishis, 15:5: "And He [God] took him outside and said, 'gaze, now, toward the Heavens and...

The Importance of Gratitude

Bereishis, 11:5-6: "God descended to see the city and tower which the sons of Adam built; and...

Going Up to the Heavens

After a lengthy admonition regarding the consequences of not following the Torah, Moses assures...

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