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About the Author

Rabbi Shraga Simmons

Rabbi Shraga Simmons spent his childhood trekking through snow in 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. In 1997 he became the founding editor of Aish.com, and later the founder and director of the Torah study website, JewishPathways.com.

Rabbi Simmons is co-editor of the four Aish.com anthologies: Like Water on a Rock (ArtScroll 2011); Triumph - Inspiring True Stories of Challenge and Spiritual Growth (2006); Israel - Life in the Shadow of Terror (2003); and Heaven on Earth (2002). He is also the author of The Brachos Book, a concise guide to understanding and remembering the laws of blessings over food (publication pending).

An expert on media bias, Simmons was the founding editor of HonestReporting.com, building it into a leading database of pro-Israel activists, where his work was cited by the New York Times as effecting sweeping changes in Mideast media coverage. He is the author of the definitive treatment of the topic, David & Goliath: The Explosive Inside Story of Media Bias in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (2012), which James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal calls "of crucial importance for the future of the Middle East."

In 2012, Simmons produced the critically-acclaimed short film, "Red Line on Iran," outlining a peaceful solution to stopping nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.

Rabbi Simmons currently serves as the Director of Aish Communications, handling all marketing, public relations and media activities for Aish HaTorah International.

He lives with his wife and children in the Modi'in region of Israel.

It's Up To Us

It's Up To Us

by

Rav Noach taught that every individual is responsible to change the world.


ABC's of the Omer

ABC's of the Omer

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The significance, customs and mechanics of counting the Omer.


Humility and Mt. Sinai

Humility and Mt. Sinai

by

The Midrash says allegorically that when God was preparing to give the Torah, all the mountains stepped forward and declared why they thought the ...


Lag B'Omer: Remembering Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

Lag B'Omer: Remembering Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

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Lag B'Omer marks the date of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai's death. So why is it such a celebration?


Fast of Esther

Fast of Esther

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The fast of the 13th of Adar is intended to hone the soul and galvanize Jewish strength for the challenges ahead.


Moses: Master of Self

Moses: Master of Self

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Rabbi Shraga Simmons shares an inspiring insight from the weekly Torah portion. Your life can change in just one minute! To download the MP3 ...


Shavuot Learn-a-thon

Shavuot Learn-a-thon

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Awakening from our national slumber.


Mutual Responsibility

Mutual Responsibility

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This week's parsha records how Moses, on the last day of his life, gathered together the entire Jewish nation and introduced a new level of the ...


Essential Jewish Library

Essential Jewish Library

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Ten books that are essential to any Jewish home.


Noah's Ark

Noah's Ark

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We all know the story of this week's Parsha: God wants to send a flood to destroy the world, so He tells the righteous Noah to build an ark and ...


Balancing the World

Balancing the World

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Rabbi Shraga Simmons shares an inspiring insight from the weekly Torah portion. Your life can change in just one minute! To download the MP3 ...


Shushan Purim

Shushan Purim

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Are you a resident of a "walled city"? If so, you'll celebrate Purim on a different day than other Jews.


Seder Plate - 15 Steps

Seder Plate - 15 Steps

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The 15 Seder steps and what they symbolize.


ABC's of Purim

ABC's of Purim

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Summing up the Purim holiday: They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat.


The Mysterious Copper Mirrors

The Mysterious Copper Mirrors

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Rabbi Shraga Simmons shares an inspiring insight from the weekly Torah portion. Your life can change in just one minute! To download the MP3 ...


Secrets of the Four Species

Secrets of the Four Species

by

The key to joy is success in our relationships. This includes our relationship with other people, with ourselves, and with God.


A Quick Overview of the High Holidays

A Quick Overview of the High Holidays

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The most important time of the Jewish year is often the most misunderstood. Here's all the basics you need to know.


Reading the Megillah

Reading the Megillah

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The laws of reading the book of Esther twice on Purim.


How To Be a Good Shabbat Guest

How To Be a Good Shabbat Guest

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A guide to making your visit more pleasurable for you and your hosts.


Kiddush - First Cup

Kiddush - First Cup

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Why is this one of the 15 steps to freedom?


Discovering Ourselves

Discovering Ourselves

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The Talmud says that Moses, before his death, wrote 13 Torah scrolls - one was kept in the Holy Ark, and the remainder was distributed one to each ...


Laws of the Four Species

Laws of the Four Species

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The Torah says: "You shall take ... the beautiful fruit (Etrog), a palm frond (Lulav), myrtle twigs and willow branches of the stream -and ...


Make the Omer Count

Make the Omer Count

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Instead of counting "down" toward the big day, we count "up" from one to 50. Why?


Revolutionary Illumination

Revolutionary Illumination

by

A new invention allows you to turn the light "on and off" on Shabbat. No timers, no switches.


Pronouncing the Name

Pronouncing the Name

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Parshat Ha'Azinu includes the verse: "When I say God's Name, it should be with greatness." The commentators explain this to mean when we say God's ...


Tefillin: A Primer

Tefillin: A Primer

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Tefillin: Everything you need to know about those powerful black boxes, placed on the head and arm.


Why Dairy on Shavuot?

Why Dairy on Shavuot?

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Seven fascinating reasons for this popular custom.


Just Too Much

Just Too Much

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Rabbi Shraga Simmons shares an insight from the weekly Torah portion. Your life can change in just one minute! To download the MP3 file to your ...


Exploring the Al-Chet prayer

Exploring the Al-Chet prayer

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When one begins to look at the task of teshuva (repentance), it can be overwhelming. We've made so many mistakes this past year that it's hard to ...


Urchatz - Karpas

Urchatz - Karpas

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Lessons and ideas behind these two symbols.


Why Not Intermarry?

Why Not Intermarry?

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Exploring some rational reasons.


Laws of the Four Species

Laws of the Four Species

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The special mitzvah of waving the 4 species: Esrog, Myrtle, Willow and Lulav.


Gifts to Friends and the Poor

Gifts to Friends and the Poor

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Giving food and money spurs feelings of camaraderie and unity among Jews. It's also a special mitzvah on Purim.


Perfect Travels

Perfect Travels

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Rabbi Shraga Simmons shares an inspiring insight from the weekly Torah portion. Your life can change in just one minute! To download the MP3 ...


ABC's of Chanukah  (Hanukkah)

ABC's of Chanukah (Hanukkah)

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Everything you need to know about the holiday of Chanukah - Hanukkah.


The Big Picture

The Big Picture

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Parshat Ki Tavo speaks about bringing the first fruits of the harvest to the Temple in Jerusalem. There we make a declaration of gratitude, ...


In Broad Daylight

In Broad Daylight

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Another year, another cycle, and the Five Books of Moses is drawing to a close. At the end of this week's parsha, God tells Moses to climb the ...


Why Jerusalem Matters

Why Jerusalem Matters

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For millennium of exile, Jews always turned toward Jerusalem. What memory were they eager to preserve?


Family Fun with the Ten Plagues

Family Fun with the Ten Plagues

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Add an experiential, dramatic element to the evening.


Ganza Megillah

Ganza Megillah

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A detailed summary of the Purim story - the next best thing to reading the whole megillah by yourself.


People of the Book

People of the Book

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Jews have long been known as the "People of the Book." Here's why.


Sub-Atomic Miracles

Sub-Atomic Miracles

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Rabbi Shraga Simmons shares an inspiring insight from the weekly Torah portion. Your life can change in just one minute! To download the MP3 ...


Laws of the Seder

Laws of the Seder

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A practical guide to the Seder night.


All Nite Tora-thon

All Nite Tora-thon

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What does Torah learning mean to the Jewish people? And is it really worth staying up all night for?


Pleasure of Eating

Pleasure of Eating

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Parshat Ki Teitze includes an interesting labor law: When workers are picking produce in a field, like strawberries for example, they are permitted ...


Matityahu's Revolt

Matityahu's Revolt

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For the Maccabees, it was not physical life at stake, but the spiritual life of the Jew.


Boys' Names

Boys' Names

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The origin and meaning of some of the most common Jewish names for boys.


Constructive Criticism

Constructive Criticism

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It's been 40 long, hot years in the desert. The era is drawing to a close with the Book of Deuteronomy ― Moses' swan song, his final appeal to the ...


Capital-K King

Capital-K King

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Parshat Shoftim tells how a Jewish king had to keep a Torah scroll by his side at all times. This scroll was actually written in miniature, and ...


Above the Stars

Above the Stars

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Rabbi Shraga Simmons shares an inspiring insight from the weekly Torah portion. Your life can change in just one minute! To download the MP3 ...


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