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About the Author

Rabbi Stephen Baars

Originally from London, Rabbi Stephen Baars resides in Washington D.C. and serves as Executive Director of Aish Seminars. He did nine years of post-graduate studies at the Aish HaTorah Rabbinical College in Jerusalem, and has been an educator and marriage counselor for the past 20 years. He is creator of the BLISS seminar, which was awarded a Federal Grant to help reduce the divorce rate in Washington DC. He studied and performed comedy in Los Angeles, and is known for imparting important ideas with creativity and humor. Rabbi Baars and his wife, Ruth, are blessed with seven children.

Hezbollah’s Yom Kippur Message

Hezbollah’s Yom Kippur Message

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The door to holiness is in you. It’s the one marked "mistakes."


Money, Money, Money!

Money, Money, Money!

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Despite what ABBA may have proclaimed, it's not a rich man's world. Curtis L. Carlson, the founder of the Gold Bond Stamp Company and owner of the ...


Lying

Lying

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"The tongue is the pen of the heart." -- Bachya Ibn Pekudah (11th century Spanish Rabbi) "If a man makes a vow to God, or makes an ...


Job Opening: Leader

Job Opening: Leader

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"If you have wisdom, what do you lack? And if you lack wisdom, what do you have?" -- Midrash, Vayikra Rabba George Burns used to quip, ...


Really Needy People

Really Needy People

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Back in the 1970s there was a hit song, "People who need people." The lyrics went on to say that these kind of people are the luckiest ...


Satisfied Yet?

Satisfied Yet?

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Despite our immense sophistication, technology and so-called brain power, most people never achieve what field mice enjoy nearly all the time - a ...


Living Comfortably

Living Comfortably

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This is the outline of the major story in this week's Parsha: In preparation for entering the Land of Israel, the Jewish people send in a ...


The Best Things In Life Are Never Free

The Best Things In Life Are Never Free

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As they say in Hollywood, "You just can't make this stuff up." There are some things in the Torah that could not have been written unless ...


Why Is Peace So Hard?

Why Is Peace So Hard?

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"May God ... grant to you peace." (6:26) Peace is not achieved because you hate war. Peace is only achieved when you love peace. (based ...


The Head of a Family Tree

The Head of a Family Tree

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(This week's parsha is based on an idea by Rabbi Moshe Chaifetz, as explained in "Growth Through Torah" by Rabbi Zelig ...


Gambling on the Game of Life

Gambling on the Game of Life

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If we require someone to attend driving school before he is allowed to drive, and flying school before he is allowed to fly, why don't we require ...


God's Cosmic Joke

God's Cosmic Joke

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It would seem that life can go one of four ways: (1) the rich get richer, (2) the rich get poorer, (3) the poor get richer, and (4) the poor get ...


Cow Tears

Cow Tears

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This week's Torah portion says that for an animal to be acceptable as a sacrifice it had to be with its mother for at least the first seven days ...


All You Need Is Love

All You Need Is Love

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Believe it or not, there is no specific Mitzvah (Commandment) to love your parents, your spouse (although it's a good idea) and even your children. ...


Heaven Meets Earth

Heaven Meets Earth

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This week's parsha declares that it's through keeping the statutes and ordinances of the Torah that a person comes "To live" (Leviticus ...


It's Good To Come Home

It's Good To Come Home

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Exploring the meaning of tzaraat on homes.


The Greatest Parenting Technique That Was Never Seen On T.V.

The Greatest Parenting Technique That Was Never...

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You’ll never guess what it is.


Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

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As long as man has been trying to figure out how to rub two sticks together to make a BBQ, they have been pondering this question. Yet all the ...


The Seder To Set You Free

The Seder To Set You Free

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Making the Seder relevant.


Finding Passion

Finding Passion

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In this week's parsha God commands the Kohanim (priests) to remove the ashes every morning from the Temple. At first glance, that doesn't sound like ...


The Journey of Life

The Journey of Life

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"Journeys" is the last word of this week's Parsha, which being the last Parsha, makes it the last word in the entire book of Exodus. What ...


Don't Worry America

Don't Worry America

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Have you ever been in a store and thought to yourself, "A few simple changes would make this place so much more pleasant and probably even more ...


Parenting Made Easy

Parenting Made Easy

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No matter how objectively good and valuable something is, if it is given and not earned it will inevitably be abused.


H-O-N-O-R

H-O-N-O-R

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In Jewish life, there are two things that wear bells: Daisy the cow and the High Priest (the Cohen Godol). The Torah describes lots of bells sown ...


This Is It

This Is It

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The real way to protect your kids from drugs. I haven't seen Michael Jackson's movie "This is it." However, I am 236% certain he didn't ...


The Secret Israeli Military Disasters

The Secret Israeli Military Disasters

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You've just got to love it when God is on the Jewish people's side. And as such, it doesn't get much better than this week's parsha. The Jewish ...


Why Is There a Holocaust Museum?

Why Is There a Holocaust Museum?

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"And Yitro heard..." (Ex. 18:1) Rashi: What did he hear that made him come? ... the war with Amalek. He came and converted. Question: ...


Don't Complain Here

Don't Complain Here

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This is the story of the Jewish people as they left Egypt: "...And they went out to the Shur Desert, and they travelled for three days in ...


There Are Some Things Even God Cannot Do!

There Are Some Things Even God Cannot Do!

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Anyone with a basic grasp of Jewish theology understands that God doesn't say please. It's not that God doesn't have manners, or that He's like one ...


Animal Rights

Animal Rights

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"And God said to Moses, Speak to Aharon, Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt.... And they shall become ...


Holy Ground

Holy Ground

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"And He said (God to Moses), Do not come any closer, remove your shoes from off your feet, for the place upon which you stand is holy ...


A Brief History of History

A Brief History of History

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Newly Revised "Friendship is one heart in two bodies."(Ibn Ezra - Torah commentator) The book of Genesis is the history of the world. It is the ...


Oops

Oops

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The name of this parsha means "end." It refers to the end of the two-year period that Joseph spent in jail. If you remember, last week Joseph, who ...


Wisdom Is A Verb

Wisdom Is A Verb

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"Through me, Kings rule." (Proverbs 8:15) Not money. Not power. Not family. King Solomon is talking about wisdom. In the very short ...


Worry Makes The World Go Round

Worry Makes The World Go Round

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But chances are it’s going to be in the wrong direction.


Maggid - Bread of Affliction

Maggid - Bread of Affliction

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"This is the bread of affliction that our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt."


Whatever Floats Your Boat

Whatever Floats Your Boat

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Newly Revised "A person is only as great as the ideas that form the fabric of his being." To paraphrase Clint Eastwood, what would make your day? ...


How To Raise Emotionally Healthy Children In A Crack House

How To Raise Emotionally Healthy Children In A...

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Newly Revised There is nothing like a challenge. Mount Everest blindfolded, the 3-minute mile, a Mars landing. Great, but they all pale to a piece ...


All Who Are Hungry

All Who Are Hungry

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"All who are hungry ― come and eat. All who are needy ― come join the Passover celebration."


Next Year, Free!

Next Year, Free!

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"Next year in the land of Israel. Next year, free people."


Only The Good Die Young

Only The Good Die Young

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One of the most insidious messages from Hollywood is that only the "naughty" have fun.


Real Peace

Real Peace

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I forget the number, but studies show average American teenagers have seen hundreds of murders on TV. As bad as this sounds, that's not the worst ...


Pagans Among Us

Pagans Among Us

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Newly Revised "No one is more dependent upon others than one who seeks glory." (Rabbi Yisrael Salanter) Ask the average person, on a scale of ...


Baruch Hamakom

Baruch Hamakom

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"Blessed is The One Who gave the Torah to His people Israel."


This Is Boring!

This Is Boring!

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Newly Revised When did "boring" become cruel and unusual punishment? On any given Sunday, at least one of my children will proclaim his despair of ...


Dreams and limitations

Dreams and limitations

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"Every man's enemy is under his own ribs - i.e. his own desires." (Chovot HaLavovot)


Choice Equals Life

Choice Equals Life

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"Man is wise only while he searches for wisdom. If he thinks he has found it, he is a fool." (Rabbi Ibn Gevirol) The legendary real ...


Sukkot and the Quality of Life

Sukkot and the Quality of Life

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Sukkot represents the essence of everything we are striving for.


Education Is Life

Education Is Life

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Education is not simply a room lined with desks. Education takes place every instant of every day. Education is the experiences of life. Our ...