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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.

Tabernacle of Time

Tabernacle of Time

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Shabbat is an anywhere-in-the-world, expense-free holy-time vacation.


Babylon's Fallen Tyrant

Babylon's Fallen Tyrant

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Saddam Hussein saw himself as the reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar. And he suffered the same ignoble fate.


300 Mules

300 Mules

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Parshat Korach tells how Korach instigated a rebellion against the leadership of Moses. This act involved a surprising amount of chutzpah, given the ...


Man Is a Tree

Man Is a Tree

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The Torah compares a person to a tree. Roots, branches, leaves. What's the connection?


One Step at a Time

One Step at a Time

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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 ...


Higher Than the Angels

Higher Than the Angels

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This week's Parsha begins with the Mitzvah to "Be holy." How do we achieve holiness? The Torah provides many avenues, and keeping Kosher in a ...


God Brought Us Out

God Brought Us Out

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"In all the gods of Egypt will I execute judgment... I am God and no other."


Battle of the Spies

Battle of the Spies

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In Parshat Shlach, Moses sends 12 people to scout out the Land of Israel. They return with the conclusion that there's no way to win a battle ...


Divine Paradigm

Divine Paradigm

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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 ...


To Pray or Not to Pray

To Pray or Not to Pray

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Harold is walking down a darkened alley, when he's suddenly confronted by two masked men carrying guns. Fearing for his life, Harold throws his ...


Animal Offerings

Animal Offerings

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This week's Parsha presents a lengthy, detailed description of animal offerings in the Holy Temple – burning of limbs, sprinkling of blood, ...


Fear of Freedom

Fear of Freedom

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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 ...


Fresh Enthusiasm

Fresh Enthusiasm

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This week's parsha describes how Aaron, the high priest, would light the Menorah every day in the Tabernacle. The verse emphasizes that "Aaron did ...


Bris Milah Beautiful or Barbaric?

Bris Milah Beautiful or Barbaric?

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Human rights groups are trying to make circumcision an illegal act of child molestation.


Message For Me

Message For Me

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Parshat Naso juxtaposes two seemingly unrelated topics: first is the suspected adulterer (the Sotah), followed by a discussion of the Nazirite, ...


The Western Wall: Yesterday and Today

The Western Wall: Yesterday and Today

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The Wall did not always look like it does today.


Tears on Tisha BAv

Tears on Tisha BAv

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Do we appreciate the loss of the Temple to the extent that it brings us to tears?


Dayenu! Many Plagues

Dayenu! Many Plagues

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The number of plagues was 5-fold, corresponding to the 5-letter Name of God which represents justice.


ABC's of Passover

ABC's of Passover

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Passover is brimming with symbols of slavery and freedom.


Director of History

Director of History

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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 ...


Shmini Azeret and Simchat Torah

Shmini Azeret and Simchat Torah

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Imagine you throw a huge party and invite everyone you know. But this is no "regular" party: It's one solid week of food, music and fun. Eventually ...


Symbolism of the Shofar

Symbolism of the Shofar

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During the blowing of the shofar on Rosh Hashana, notice there are three distinct sounds: - Tekiah – one long, straight blast - Shevarim ...


ABCs of Shavuot

ABCs of Shavuot

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Celebrating our receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai.


Pesach Offering

Pesach Offering

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Why did our ancestors eat the Passover offering at the Holy Temple?


ABCs of Kosher

ABCs of Kosher

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Which animals are kosher? How must kosher food be prepared? And why keep kosher in the first place?


You're Either with Him, or You're Not

You're Either with Him, or You're Not

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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 ...


Total Harmony

Total Harmony

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Parshat Bamidbar begins with a census of the Jewish people. We might think this "reduces everyone to a number." But actually the census teaches that ...


Land for Cash

Land for Cash

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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 ...


Tears on Tisha B'Av

Tears on Tisha B'Av

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It's a dynamic that transcends generations: Tisha B'Av and the future of Jerusalem are inextricably linked.


The Desolate Land

The Desolate Land

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The theme of Parshat Bechukotai is the "Tochacha" - a series of devastating predictions of what will befall the Jewish people throughout history - ...


Acts of Human Kindness

Acts of Human Kindness

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When kindness isn’t really kindness.


Careful Speech

Careful Speech

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Parshat Behar discusses the issue of "ona'ah" - harming others. In Leviticus 25:14, the Torah prohibits harming others financially, for example by ...


Torah and Community

Torah and Community

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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 ...


Sabbatical and Sinai

Sabbatical and Sinai

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This week's essay is dedicated in the merit of Devorah bat Mohtaram, may she gain full health and have an easy birth. Every week, we open our email ...


Discovering What You Already Know

Discovering What You Already Know

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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 ...


Blessing of Ephraim & Menashe

Blessing of Ephraim & Menashe

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Exploring the significance of Jacob's blessings.


Torah Model

Torah Model

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In Parshat Emor, God tells the Jewish people: "You shall not desecrate My Holy Name, rather I should be sanctified among the Children of Israel." ...


Exile and Return (part 3)

Exile and Return (part 3)

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At the end of last week's parsha, Mikeitz, things were looking grim. Joseph – having not yet revealed his true identity – had accused ...


Filling the Vacuum

Filling the Vacuum

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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 Bar/Bat Mitzvah

ABC's of Bar/Bat Mitzvah

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A 7-point guide to the Jewish coming-of-age ceremony.


Mayor with the Golden Touch

Mayor with the Golden Touch

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Uri Lupolianski, mayor of Jerusalem, has an even bigger claim to fame. An Aish.com exclusive.


How To Be Holy

How To Be Holy

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Parshat Kedoshim begins with the commandment to "Be holy." How do we achieve holiness? Nachmanides explains that holiness is the result of ...


The Lost Art of Prophecy

The Lost Art of Prophecy

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Prophecy ceased with the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE.


50-50 Chance

50-50 Chance

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Parshat Acharei Mot discusses the Yom Kippur service in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. One of the most dramatic moments was when two goats were ...


Exile and Return (part 2)

Exile and Return (part 2)

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The Sages enumerate four separate "exiles" that the Jewish people have endured since first settling the Land of Israel over 3,000 years ...


The Angel With No Name

The Angel With No Name

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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 ...


Eating the Matzah

Eating the Matzah

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It is a Torah mitzvah to eat matzah on Seder night.


Degrees of Crime

Degrees of Crime

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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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