click here to jump to start of article
Join Our Newsletter

Get latest articles and videos with Jewish inspiration and insights​




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.

Building Blocks

Building Blocks

by

Parshat Va'eira tells about Aaron performing miracles in front of Pharaoh, and how he turns a stick into a snake. So what's Pharaoh's response? ...


Real Heroes

Real Heroes

by

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


Be a Giver

Be a Giver

by

How to bring the reality of God into the world.


Wool and Linen = Shatnez

Wool and Linen = Shatnez

by

A practical guide to keeping your clothes kosher.


Mezuzah: The Inside Story

Mezuzah: The Inside Story

by

Complete guide to making your doorpost Jewish. But will it protect your home?


The Golden Calf: Yesterday and Today

The Golden Calf: Yesterday and Today

by

Understanding the sin of the Golden Calf.


Under Pharaoh's Nose

Under Pharaoh's Nose

by

Parshat Shmot tells how the baby Moses - floating in a basket in the river - is saved by Pharaoh's daughter, who adopts Moses and takes him to live ...


Taste of a Mitzvah

Taste of a Mitzvah

by

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


Seventh of Adar

Seventh of Adar

by

Haman picked this day as the best time to plot the destruction of the Jewish people. His calculations left out one crucial thing...


Moving Down in the World

Moving Down in the World

by

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


The Sin of the Spies

The Sin of the Spies

by

The deeper connection between the wandering in the desert and the destruction of the Holy Temple.


Jewish Value

Jewish Value

by

Parshat Vayechi quotes Jacob as saying that when he dies, he wishes to be buried "in the grave which I dug"(Genesis 50:5) - a reference to the Cave ...


Go to Yourself

Go to Yourself

by

On becoming your own person.


Who Is a Leader?

Who Is a Leader?

by

A Jewish perspective on leadership.


Can You or Can't You?

Can You or Can't You?

by

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


Nothing Else Works

Nothing Else Works

by

Parshat Vayigash tells how Jacob, his children and grandchildren all get ready to move down to Egypt. And the verse says that Jacob sent his son ...


Getting Back to Eden

Getting Back to Eden

by

All the wild shrubs did not yet exist on the earth, and all the wild plants had not yet sprouted. This was because God had not brought rain on the ...


Haman: Heir to Amalek

Haman: Heir to Amalek

by

Amalek, the nation that personified evil, insisted that God was absent in the world and everything happened by chance.


Day After Day

Day After Day

by

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


Natural Wisdom

Natural Wisdom

by

Parshat Mikeitz tells of Pharaoh's dreams of the 7 cows, and the 7 sheaves of grain. Pharaoh's advisors try to interpret the dreams - suggesting ...


Concrete Action

Concrete Action

by

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


The Power of Speech

The Power of Speech

by

One man spread a rumor about another. He later felt regret, and went to the rabbi to ask how to make amends. "Go to the store and buy a bag of ...


Snakes and Scorpions

Snakes and Scorpions

by

Parshat Vayeshev tells of Joseph being thrown by his brothers into a pit. The Torah describes the pit as being "empty and without water." This ...


Call My Bluff

Call My Bluff

by

Parshat Vayishlach tells of Jacob wrestling with an angel, and Jacob asks the angel an unusual question: "What's your name?" The great commentator ...


Israel and Kiddush Hashem

Israel and Kiddush Hashem

by

In this week's Parsha, God tells the Jewish people: "You shall not desecrate My Holy Name (Chillul Hashem), rather I should be sanctified ...


Tisha B'Av - The Ninth of Av

Tisha B'Av - The Ninth of Av

by

Overview and laws of the Jewish national day of mourning.


Hidden Blessings

Hidden Blessings

by

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


The Three Weeks

The Three Weeks

by

Overview and laws of the period leading up to Tisha B'Av.


Etiquette Faux Pas

Etiquette Faux Pas

by

Parshat Vayetzei tells how Jacob worked for seven years to marry his beloved Rachel. But then at the last minute, Rachel's father Lavan pulls a fast ...


Intermarriage and Identity

Intermarriage and Identity

by

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


Too Close for Comfort

Too Close for Comfort

by

This week's Parsha begins with the tragic deaths of Aaron's two sons, Nadav and Avihu. The Torah says that "fire consumed them" ...


Midstream Adjustment

Midstream Adjustment

by

In Parshat Toldot, Isaac wants to give the special "birthright" blessing to his son Esav. Rebecca, however, knows prophetically that Esav is ...


The Impossible Dream?

The Impossible Dream?

by

The Israeli government has a spy in France named Goldstein. They want to send him a message, so they call in another spy and say, "Go over to ...


Higher Than Angels

Higher Than Angels

by

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


17th of Tammuz

17th of Tammuz

by

Beginning three weeks of mourning for the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.


Greatest Test of All

Greatest Test of All

by

At the beginning of Parshat Chayei Sarah, we find Abraham in an extremely difficult situation. He has just gone through the enormous stress of ...


Nine Holy Words

Nine Holy Words

by

Click on this link to hear Rabbi Shraga's insights from the weekly Torah ...


Human Degradation

Human Degradation

by

This week's Parsha picks up the story of Moav's scheme to entice the Jewish people into immorality. Not only do the Moabite women seduce the Jewish ...


The Fast of Gedalia

The Fast of Gedalia

by and

One day after Rosh Hashanah commemorates a tragedy in Jewish history whose message reverberates for us today.


Individuality within Structure

Individuality within Structure

by

"There are 70 faces to Torah." (The Talmud) As a child, I felt sympathy for my brother, whose Bar Mitzvah fell out on Parshas Naso. He ...


Toxic Purity

Toxic Purity

by

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


The Mistaken Laugh

The Mistaken Laugh

by

Parshat Vayeira tells about an angel - disguised as an itinerant traveler - coming to Abraham and Sarah to inform them that they'll finally have ...


Pursuit of Peace

Pursuit of Peace

by

The dangers of dissension and the importance of pursuing peace.


Mazal Tov!

Mazal Tov!

by

Every person is born underneath an astrological field, a particular energy-flow that determines many specifics of life – personality, ...


Speech and Unity

Speech and Unity

by

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


Star of David

Star of David

by

From the Holocaust to the Israeli flag, what is the deeper meaning of this six-pointed Jewish symbol?


Aaron's Hesitation

Aaron's Hesitation

by

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


Daredevil on the Bridge

Daredevil on the Bridge

by

Clarity sometimes comes when you least expect it.


Touching and Eating

Touching and Eating

by

Parshat Bereishit recounts the famous story of Adam & Eve eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. This incident is truly shocking, ...


Moses Hits the Rock

Moses Hits the Rock

by

This week's Parsha features one of the most perplexing incidents in the entire Torah. The Jews have been wandering for 40 years in the desert and ...