Beit Midrash

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41 Lessons
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    3 min
    The Spirit of the Holiday

    The Day The Music Died

    Music has a tremendous power - for the good or the bad. It all depends on the soul of the composer and the musician.

    Yaakov Asher Sinclair | Tishrei 13 5782
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    2 min
    The Essence of Yom Kippur

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers - Yom Kippur

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers - Yom Kippur

    Yaakov Asher Sinclair | Tishrei 3 5782
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    3 min
    Rosh Hashana

    Was It Worth Creating The World For Me?

    Rosh Hashana is the anniversary of the creation of the first man. It's also the day on which God judges the whole world. What is the connection between the two?

    Yaakov Asher Sinclair | Elul 24 5781
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    G-d's leadership in the world

    Why Evil Exists

    A mini-lecture about why evil exists in this world.

    Yaakov Asher Sinclair | Elul 19 5781
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    The Month of Elul

    Fear of Elul

    Right now, faced with the prospect of having to turn my life and my emotions upside down, I go into a panic that results in total spiritual paralysis. Fear of Elul.

    Yaakov Asher Sinclair | Elul 15 5781
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    3 min
    The Month of Elul

    Leaving Our Comfort Zone

    One of the most difficult things in this world is to change. To become more than we are. To realize our true potential. We don't want to change. We'd rather sit by the pool and watch the water-lilies float-to-and-fro. Any true change is painful. The Hebrew month of Elul is the time that demands from us to leave our comfort zone and realize our true spiritual potential.

    Yaakov Asher Sinclair | Elul 3 5781
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    4 min
    Various Events

    Richard Branson and The Ultimate Joy Ride

    It's easy to think of life as a trip through a treasure-house of experiences. Climbing Everest. Flying around the world in eighty days, or to the edge of space. The truth is that all the pleasures, all the experiences of this world, are given to us for one reason only: that we might sense to the smallest degree, the taste of life itself. But what is life itself if not our experiences in it?

    Yaakov Asher Sinclair | Av 4 5781
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    5 min
    The Ninth of Av

    Tisha B'Av, IBM, and the Nazis

    How were the Nazis able to carry out the Holocaust - something extremely complex - without a computer?

    Yaakov Asher Sinclair | Av 4 5781
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    4 min
    The Ninth of Av

    The People of the Moon

    Have you ever noticed that from the Earth, the Sun and the Moon look exactly the same size? Is it just a coincidence? Maybe there's a deeper meaning to this?

    Yaakov Asher Sinclair | Tammuz 29 5781
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    3 min
    The Ninth of Av

    Tragedy in Miami

    When tragedy strikes, each one of us must make an accounting.

    Yaakov Asher Sinclair | Tammuz 20 5781
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    5 min
    The 17th of Tamuz

    Book Burning and the 17th of Tammuz

    A hallmark of all repressive regimes is burning books. One of the tragedies that we mourn on the 17th of Tammuz is the burning of the Torah - the ultimate repression of the ultimate book.

    Yaakov Asher Sinclair | Tammuz 15 5781
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    3 min
    Jewish Thought

    Two Bottles of Coca-Cola cost $4 billion

    Mystical concepts can be hard to imagine, but something happened recently that gives us a parable to grasp the enormous power that lies within us.

    Yaakov Asher Sinclair | Tammuz 14 5781
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    3 min
    The spiritual view

    Why Do We Say Shabbat Shalom?

    All right-thinking people in this world want shalom – peace. Why is it that almost since the beginning of time, peace has been elusive and often illusory. Shabbat holds the answer.

    Yaakov Asher Sinclair | Tammuz 8 5781
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    3 min
    Various Events

    Who Really Should Have Won The Israeli Elections

    Yaakov Asher Sinclair | Tammuz 5 5781
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    3 min
    Brit Mila

    Is Circumcision Mutilation

    Prince Charles and before him the sons of George V - Edward VIII (later the duke of Windsor), George VI, Henry, duke of Gloucester; George, duke of Kent; and Prince John, were all circumcised. In fact, circumcision was widely performed on British middle - and upper-class male infants from the 1890s through the 1940s. Things have changed a bit since then: In 2010, activists against infant circumcision began an initiative to ban all non-medically necessary circumcisions of minors calling it mutilation. Why do Jews circumcize their sons?

    Yaakov Asher Sinclair | Sivan 20 5781
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    3 min
    Beha'alotcha

    The Hidden Light

    At the beginning of time there shone a light called the "Ohr Haganuz." With this light you could see from one end of the world to the other - meaning you could see the connection between cause and effect. God hid that light away after 36 hours but there are still times when you can still catch its glow.

    Yaakov Asher Sinclair | Sivan 15 5781
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    4 min
    Israel and the Nations

    Why The World Hates The Jews

    Anti-Semitism is rife not just in Gaza, Akko, and Jerusalem, but in London, New York and Toronto. Why won't anti-Semitism go away?

    Yaakov Asher Sinclair | Sivan 9 5781
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    3 min
    Shavuot

    A Real Jewish Princess

    A magical parable about Shavuot.

    Yaakov Asher Sinclair | Sivan 3 5781
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    4 min
    Articles about Shavuot

    The Empty Landscape

    Seasons of the Moon

    Pesach has Matza, the Seder, the four cups of wine, "Ma Nishtana.…" Succot has the Four Species and the Succah. Shavuot, however, has no single identifying Mitzvah, no recognizable landmark in its scenery. Why?

    Yaakov Asher Sinclair | Sivan 1 5781
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    Bechukotai

    Why Bad Things Happen To Good People

    Nothing is as challenging to our faith as seeming injustice and tragedy. How does a believing person reconcile an apparently cruel world with an Omnipotent and Merciful Creator?

    Yaakov Asher Sinclair | Iyar 26 5781
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