About the Author


Rabbi Shraga Simmons

Rabbi Shraga Simmons is the co-founder of Aish.com, and co-author of "48 Ways to Wisdom" (ArtScroll). He is Founder and Director of Aish.com's advanced learning site. He is co-founder of HonestReporting.com, and author of "David & Goliath", the definitive account of anti-Israel media bias. Originally from 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 lives with his wife and children in the Modi'in region of Israel.


Chanukah Quiz

Test your knowledge!

It's Up To Us

Rav Noach taught that every individual is responsible to change the world.

What is the Omer?

The significance, customs and mechanics of counting the Omer.

Humility & Mt. Sinai

It's no accident that Torah was revealed on that particular mountain.

Lag B'Omer: Remembering Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

Lag B'Omer marks the date of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai's death. So why is it such a celebration?

Fast of Esther

The fast of the 13th of Adar is intended to hone the soul and galvanize Jewish strength for the challenges ahead.

Moses: Master of Self

Rabbi Shraga Simmons shares an inspiring insight from the weekly Torah portion. Your life can...

Shavuot Learn-a-thon

Awakening from our national slumber.

Mutual Responsibility

This week's parsha records how Moses, on the last day of his life, gathered together the entire...

Essential Jewish Library

Ten books that are essential to any Jewish home.

Noah's Ark

Pivotal lessons from this week’s enigmatic parsha.

Balancing the World

Rabbi Shraga Simmons shares an inspiring insight from the weekly Torah portion. Your life can...

Shushan Purim

Are you a resident of a "walled city"? If so, you'll celebrate Purim on a different day than other Jews.

Seder Plate - 15 Steps

The 15 Seder steps and what they symbolize.

What Is Purim?

Summing up the Purim holiday: They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat.

The Mysterious Copper Mirrors

Rabbi Shraga Simmons shares an inspiring insight from the weekly Torah portion. Your life can...

Secrets of the Four Species

The key to joy is success in our relationships. This includes our relationship with other people, with ourselves, and with God.

A Quick Overview of the High Holidays

The most important time of the Jewish year is often the most misunderstood. Here's all the basics you need to know.

Reading the Megillah

The laws of reading the book of Esther twice on Purim.

How To Be a Good Shabbat Guest

A guide to making your visit more pleasurable for you and your hosts.

Kiddush - First Cup

Why is this one of the 15 steps to freedom?

Discovering Ourselves

The Talmud says that Moses, before his death, wrote 13 Torah scrolls - one was kept in the Holy...

Laws of the Four Species

The Torah says: "You shall take ... the beautiful fruit (Etrog), a palm frond (Lulav),...

Make the Omer Count

Instead of counting "down" toward the big day, we count "up" from one to 50. Why?

Revolutionary Illumination

A new invention allows you to turn the light "on and off" on Shabbat. No timers, no switches.

Pronouncing the Name

Parshat Ha'Azinu includes the verse: "When I say God's Name, it should be with greatness." The...

Tefillin: A Primer

Tefillin: Everything you need to know about those powerful black boxes, placed on the head and arm.

Why Dairy on Shavuot?

Seven fascinating reasons for this popular custom.

Just Too Much

Rabbi Shraga Simmons shares an insight from the weekly Torah portion. Your life can change in...

Exploring the Al-Chet prayer

When one begins to look at the task of teshuva (repentance), it can be overwhelming. We've made so...

Urchatz - Karpas

Lessons and ideas behind these two symbols.

Why Not Intermarry?

Exploring some rational reasons.

Laws of the Four Species

The special mitzvah of waving the 4 species: Esrog, Myrtle, Willow and Lulav.

Gifts to Friends and the Poor

Giving food and money spurs feelings of camaraderie and unity among Jews. It's also a special mitzvah on Purim.

Perfect Travels

Rabbi Shraga Simmons shares an inspiring insight from the weekly Torah portion. Your life can...

Hanukkah: What, How and Why

A concise, comprehensive guide to the holiday of Hanukkah.

The Big Picture

Parshat Ki Tavo speaks about bringing the first fruits of the harvest to the Temple in Jerusalem....

In Broad Daylight

Another year, another cycle, and the Five Books of Moses is drawing to a close. At the end of this...

Why Jerusalem Matters

For millennium of exile, Jews always turned toward Jerusalem. What memory were they eager to preserve?

Family Fun with the Ten Plagues

Add an experiential, dramatic element to the evening.

Ganza Megillah

A detailed summary of the Purim story - the next best thing to reading the whole megillah by yourself.

People of the Book

Jews have long been known as the "People of the Book." Here's why.

Sub-Atomic Miracles

Rabbi Shraga Simmons shares an inspiring insight from the weekly Torah portion. Your life can...

Laws of the Seder

A practical guide to the Seder night.

All Nite Tora-thon

What does Torah learning mean to the Jewish people? And is it really worth staying up all night for?

Pleasure of Eating

Parshat Ki Teitze includes an interesting labor law: When workers are picking produce in a field,...

Matityahu's Revolt

For the Maccabees, it was not physical life at stake, but the spiritual life of the Jew.

Boys' Names

The origin and meaning of some of the most common Jewish names for boys.

Constructive Criticism

This week's Torah portion shows us how to properly give rebuke.

Capital-K King

Parshat Shoftim tells how a Jewish king had to keep a Torah scroll by his side at all times. This...

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