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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. He is the co-founder of Aish.com, and founder of JewishPathways.com. He is also the founding editor of HonestReporting.com, and author of "David & Goliath" (2012), the definitive treatment of media bias against Israel. He lives with his wife and children in the Modi'in region of Israel.

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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A lesson in kindness from a non-kosher bird.


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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Why do we bless our sons to be like Ephraim and Menashe?


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 ...


Light of Dawn

Light of Dawn

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The name of this parsha is "Metzora," which refers to a type of spiritual skin disease. The commentator Sfas Emes explains that the word "Metzora" ...


Exile and Return (part 1)

Exile and Return (part 1)

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This week's parsha features the famous story of Joseph being sold by his jealous brothers. Joseph is sent down to Egypt, where the Jewish people ...


Bitter Herbs and Korech Sandwich

Bitter Herbs and Korech Sandwich

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The why's and how's of eating bitter herbs on Seder night.


Accepting the New Reality

Accepting the New Reality

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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 ...


Communal Connection

Communal Connection

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Parshat Tazria describes a skin disease called "Tzara'at." The Talmud says this is a spiritual malady that comes when someone speaks Loshon Hara - ...


Shema Yisrael

Shema Yisrael

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What is behind the most famous Jewish prayer?


Animal Offerings in Temple Times

Animal Offerings in Temple Times

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Understanding the phenomenon in the 21st century.


The Value of Life

The Value of Life

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Everything in the world is a potential springboard for meaning.


Teshuva: Dry Cleaning for the Soul

Teshuva: Dry Cleaning for the Soul

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Done something wrong? We all have. Here's how to fix it. Once and for all.


Receiving a Blessing

Receiving a Blessing

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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 ...


Atonement Today Through Prayer and Teshuva

Atonement Today Through Prayer and Teshuva

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If there is no Temple, how do we achieve atonement?