Why Kosher? – Sparks

The first man and woman ate fruits and vegetables—not animals—in the Garden of Eden. It was only later, after the Flood during the time of Noah, that G-d allowed mankind to eat meat. We cannot understand the exact connection between the sins of mankind and the subsequent permission to eat …

God Wants You To Be Happy – Sparks

When I was in my early 20s, I studied in a yeshiva and completed my rabbinical ordination. After many years of full-time Torah learning, I felt I would like to start reaching out and teach. Because there are so many thirsty souls in the world that know so little about …

Passover: Can You Feel The Love – Sparks

Passover commemorates the miraculous exodus of the Jews from Egypt. After 210 years of oppression and cruel servitude, an entire people leave in astounding record time, faster than it takes dough to leaven into bread. We celebrate this event with a festive meal and ceremony called the Seder, during which …

Love Is In the Air – Sparks

Passover celebrates the getting out of Egypt as an event greater than just a political emancipation of the Jewish people. It was a spiritual transformation. The Jews were not only physically enslaved but also spiritually enmeshed in Egyptian culture. Egypt was the epitome of egotism and haughtiness. But in truth …

Aren’t Sacrifices Primitive and Barbaric? – Sparks

There are different opinions regarding the actual meaning of the animal sacrifices. Maimonides (1135-1204) understood the sacrifices as a divine concession. G-d recognized that when the Israelites left Egypt they were steeped in a religious culture that brought sacrificial offerings to their gods. G-d decided, so to speak, to allow …

Got Cow? The Golden Opportunity For Love – Sparks

When Moses went up the mountain to receive the Commandments written in stone by G-d the Israelites impatiently waited below. Based on their miscalculation of time Moses seemed to delay in returning and the people panicked. Before Moses came down from Mt. Sinai G-d told him that the Jewish people …

The Greatest Gift is the Gift of Giving – Sparks

In this week’s Torah Portion we are commanded to bring pure oil to the tabernacle to light the Menorah (candelabra). “And you (Moses) shall command the children of Israel, that they bring to you pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause a lamp to burn continually.” (Exodus 27:20) …

Is G-d Beyond Us or Within Us? – Sparks

The Torah recounts that G-d instructed the Israelites to build a sanctuary, telling Moses, “Let them build a sanctuary and I will dwell in them.” Note that G-d did not say, “I will dwell in the sanctuary.” G-d said, “in them.” Is G-d beyond us or does God dwell within …