Shraga Simmons
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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.

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 ...


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?


Heroes on the Border

Heroes on the Border

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How do we respond when a Hezbollah killer goes free?


The Greatest Achievement

The Greatest Achievement

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The secret of Rachel’s greatness.


Racing Up the Ramp

Racing Up the Ramp

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The beginning of Parshat Tzav describes how every morning in the Temple in Jerusalem, one of the Kohanim (priests) would remove the ashes that had ...


Seder Conclusion

Seder Conclusion

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Next Year in Jerusalem!


Your Very Best

Your Very Best

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Parshat Vayikra discusses the "Oleh v'Yored" offering - literally the "up-and-down" offering - so called because it had three levels, based on one's ...


God's Great Name

God's Great 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 ...


Instantaneous-ism

Instantaneous-ism

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The differences between Yaakov and Esav.


Western Wall: Yesterday and Today

Western Wall: Yesterday and Today

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What we see today is only a small portion of the actual Wall.


Exploring the Al-Chet Prayer

Exploring the Al-Chet Prayer

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The Yom Kippur service features a long list of 44 mistakes. What does it all mean?


What You See When Looking At the Wall

What You See When Looking At the Wall

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A detailed description of the fences, gates, and hills surrounding the wall.


Getting the Message Loud and Clear

Getting the Message Loud and Clear

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In this week's parsha, three million Jews gather at the foot of Mount Sinai and personally witness God Almighty giving the Torah. Despite what you ...


Living Torah

Living Torah

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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 ...


Shadow of God

Shadow of God

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Parshat Pekudei tells about Betzalel, the man who supervised the design and construction of the Tabernacle. The name Betzalel literally means "in ...


A Matter of How You Use It

A Matter of How You Use It

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This week's parsha tells of God's instruction to make a copper washbasin for the Tabernacle (Exodus 30:17). Now let's understand: The Jews were out ...


Shabbos:  Tabernacle of Time

Shabbos: Tabernacle of Time

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Exploring the mystical connection between Shabbat and the Mishkan.


Grappling with Gratitude

Grappling with Gratitude

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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 ...


Publicizing Miracles

Publicizing Miracles

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When we light Chanukah lights, we help each other remember God's miracles and kindnesses.


God? Who is God!?

God? Who is God!?

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Pharaoh and the purpose of the plagues.


The Temple: Do We Feel The Loss?

The Temple: Do We Feel The Loss?

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Is our world the way we really want it to be?


See-Food Diet

See-Food Diet

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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 ...


Knowledge Vs. Wisdom

Knowledge Vs. Wisdom

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The secret of why the Greek empire didn't survive more than a few hundred years.


Jumping on the Bandwagon

Jumping on the Bandwagon

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Parshat Ki Tisa tells of the building of the Golden Calf. The obvious question is: How could the Jews have done such a thing? They had just ...


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