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About the Author

Rabbi Shraga Simmons

Rabbi Shraga Simmons is the co-founder of Aish.com, and co-author of "48 Ways to Wisdom" (ArtScroll). He is co-founder of HonestReporting.com, and author of "David & Goliath", the definitive account of anti-Israel media bias. Originally from Buffalo, New York, he holds a degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, and rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem. He lives with his wife and children in the Modi'in region of Israel.

Middot Series #11 – Preserving the Peace

Middot Series #11 – Preserving the Peace

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Harvey S. Hecker Character Development Series: Meeting others more than halfway.


Middot Series #10 – Compassion

Middot Series #10 – Compassion

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Harvey S. Hecker Character Development Series: How to become more of a caring person.


Middot Series #9 - Envy: The Path to Self-Defeat

Middot Series #9 - Envy: The Path to Self-Defeat

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Harvey S. Hecker Character Development Series: Avoiding the damaging spiral of jealousy and frustration.


Middot Series #8 - Guard Your Eyes

Middot Series #8 - Guard Your Eyes

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Harvey S. Hecker Character Development Series: Judaism’s life hack for avoiding harmful images.


Israel On Fire: Where's the Coverage?

Israel On Fire: Where's the Coverage?

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A country burns, yet coverage in the mainstream media is nearly non-existent.


Middot Series #7 - Ethical Speech

Middot Series #7 - Ethical Speech

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Harvey S. Hecker Character Development Series: Our words are a powerful force to build – and destroy.


Middot Series #6 - Patience, or How to Overcome Road Rage

Middot Series #6 - Patience, or How to Overcome...

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Harvey S. Hecker Character Development Series: It can be a rude awakening to discover that you are not the Master of the Universe.


Sarah Zoabi: Proud Muslim Zionist

Sarah Zoabi: Proud Muslim Zionist

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One Arab Israeli woman’s fight against radical Islam and the high price she pays for speaking her mind.


Middot Series #5 - Integrity: Will the Real You Please Stand Up

Middot Series #5 - Integrity: Will the Real You...

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Harvey S. Hecker Character Development Series: Life's greatest challenge is the battle for self-respect.


Middot Series #4 - Gratitude

Middot Series #4 - Gratitude

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Harvey S. Hecker Character Development Series: It’s not happy people who are thankful; it’s thankful people who are happy.


Middot Series #3 - Discipline: The Power of Restraint

Middot Series #3 - Discipline: The Power of...

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Harvey S. Hecker Character Development Series: Life is an ongoing training regimen in willpower.


Dustin Hoffman's Jewish Moment

Dustin Hoffman's Jewish Moment

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Watch a moving clip of the actor declaring, “I am a Jew."


Middot Series #2 - Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

Middot Series #2 - Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

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Harvey S. Hecker Character Development Series: Caring for others is the fuel for a vibrant life.


Middot Series #1 - The Art of Character Perfection

Middot Series #1 - The Art of Character Perfection

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Harvey S. Hecker Character Development Series: Improving ourselves is a tangible way to improve the world.


44. The JewishPathways Brachot Food Guide

44. The JewishPathways Brachot Food Guide

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The correct bracha to say for over 500 food items.


43. 100 Blessings Each Day

43. 100 Blessings Each Day

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Averaged over a typical day, one bracha is said every 10 minutes.


40. She'hecheyanu & Other Events

40. She'hecheyanu & Other Events

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The blessing that thanks God for enabling us to reach a special milestone.


39. Answering Amen

39. Answering Amen

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When another person says a bracha, we answer "amen" as a testament that the statement is true.


38. Being Motzi Others

38. Being Motzi Others

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One person can say a bracha and exempt another person's obligation.


37. Bracha Achrona: After the Fact

37. Bracha Achrona: After the Fact

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What happens of you mistakenly said the wrong after-bracha?


36. Time and Space

36. Time and Space

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An after-bracha is subject to restrictions of when and where.


35. Birkat Hamazon – Part 2

35. Birkat Hamazon – Part 2

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Grace After Meals requires extra dignity and concentration.


34. Birkat Hamazon – Part 1

34. Birkat Hamazon – Part 1

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The special after-bracha said following a bread meal.


33. Bracha Achrona on Mixtures

33. Bracha Achrona on Mixtures

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When foods are eaten in combination, which after-bracha do you say?


32. Which Bracha Achrona to Say

32. Which Bracha Achrona to Say

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Guidelines for the Three-Faceted Blessing, and the "miscellaneous" after-bracha.


Happiness Hall of Fame

Happiness Hall of Fame

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Aish.com author awarded for radiating the power of joy.


4 Reasons Why the Media is Biased against Israel

4 Reasons Why the Media is Biased against Israel

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Understanding the media's insidious contribution to the war.


31. Bracha Achrona - Introduction

31. Bracha Achrona - Introduction

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The guidelines for saying bracha after finishing to eat.


30. Shinuy Makom: Wrap-Up and Review

30. Shinuy Makom: Wrap-Up and Review

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Instances when a bracha remains in effect even after making a shinuy makom.


29. Outdoor Eating

29. Outdoor Eating

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The difference between enclosed areas and open areas.


28. Leaving the House

28. Leaving the House

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Walking outside implies a cessation of this eating session.


27. Introduction to Shinuy Makom

27. Introduction to Shinuy Makom

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Changing locations can terminate a bracha's effectiveness.


26. Terminating a Bracha's Effectiveness

26. Terminating a Bracha's Effectiveness

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Certain actions can signal your intention to stop eating.


25. The Right Environment

25. The Right Environment

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When saying a bracha, the surrounding environment must be dignified and clean.


24. Honor for Brachot

24. Honor for Brachot

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How to ensure that brachot are said with the correct spiritual intent.


23. Unauthorized Brachot

23. Unauthorized Brachot

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An unnecessary bracha is a problem of "saying God's Name in vain."


22. Soups & Cereals

22. Soups & Cereals

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A hodge-podge of ingredients produces some complex rules.


21. Special Status of Mezonot

21. Special Status of Mezonot

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A mezonot ingredient is always considered primary, even when not the majority.


20. Primary and Secondary Foods

20. Primary and Secondary Foods

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A bracha on the primary food also covers the secondary food.


19. Including Other Foods – Part 2

19. Including Other Foods – Part 2

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The bracha said at the beginning of the meal covers all foods normally consumed in a meal.


18. Including Other Foods – Part 1

18. Including Other Foods – Part 1

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A bracha includes whatever foods you intend to eat at the time you said the bracha.


17. Sequence of Brachot – Part 2

17. Sequence of Brachot – Part 2

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When two foods have different brachot, which bracha is said first?


16. Sequence of Brachot – Part 1

16. Sequence of Brachot – Part 1

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When eating two foods that have the same bracha, we say the bracha over the more important food.


15. Drinks During a Meal

15. Drinks During a Meal

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When you drink during a bread meal, when is a bracha required and when is it not?


14. Fruit During a Meal

14. Fruit During a Meal

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Fruit can be eaten as a main course, an appetizer, or for dessert.


13. Other Foods at a Bread Meal

13. Other Foods at a Bread Meal

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Generally, when other foods are eaten with bread, the only bracha recited is Hamotzee.


Should Israel accept Syrian Refugees?

Should Israel accept Syrian Refugees?

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Finding the right way to show compassion.


12. Non-Hamotzee Bread

12. Non-Hamotzee Bread

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Altering the state of bread can sometimes "downgrade" the bracha from Hamotzee to Mezonot.


11. The Mezonot Meal

11. The Mezonot Meal

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When eaten as meal, cake attains the status of bread and its bracha is Hamotzee.


10. Three Mezonot Categories

10. Three Mezonot Categories

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How bread differs from cake, and how cake differs from pasta.