Torah

Abraham’s Well

The city of Beer Sheva recently built a magnificent visitor’s center around Abraham’s well, and I highly recommend visiting either on your own or as part of a tour with me. But first a bit of background. In the book … Read More

Pirkei Avot 1:5, Don’t Talk to Women? (Video)

In this Mishna we are told not to talk too much with women. But it’s not as bad as it sounds. Watch to find out why. … Read More

1.4 Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) Video

Pirkei Avot is a book of the Mishna that condenses thousands of years of rabbinic wisdom into a few pages. This is the 4th in a series bringing you that depth in concise, meaningful, bite size videos. … Read More

Pirkei Avot 1:3 (Chapters of the Fathers)

Thousands of years of rabbinic wisdom condensed onto a few short pages. This is the third video in the series going through it line by line. … Read More

Pirkei Avot Video 1:2 (Ethics of the Fathers)

Pirkei Avot is the repository of thousands of years of Rabbinic wisdom in just a few short pages. This is the second video in a series going through it line by line. … Read More

Pirkei Avot Video 1:1 (Chapters of the Fathers)

Pirkei Avot condenses thousands of years of rabbinic wisdom into a few short pages. Here I break it down into enjoyable short videos. Let’s learn together. … Read More

David v. Goliath, The View from Tel Azeka and the Elah Valley

This is where Israelite pride was restored, the Philistine yoke thrown off, and the meteoric rise of the future king David began. See and learn more from the vantage point of Tel Azekah overlooking the site of the battle. … Read More

Saul’s Death and David’s Curse: Mount Gilboa

Saul’s death, David’s curse, Gideon’s army, Elisha’s miracles, and more took place here in the Jezreel valley. … Read More

Passover seder plate

Passover Playlist for Our Times

Anti-semitic attacks in France got you down? Hamas and Hezbollah on your mind? Have no fear. Here’s a little timeless, [mostly] Jewish, musical wisdom to get you into the holiday spirit! … Read More

Passover Cleaning for Humans

Clean your house for Passover without completely losing your mind. And while you’re here, check out the snazzy new version of rabbieitan.com! … Read More

Jerusalem Stone, Hulda Gates arches filled in

Layers: The Story of Jerusalem Stone

The story of how a dead crustacean 70 million years ago became part of the holy landscape, the Western Wall, and a worldwide symbol of Jerusalem. … Read More

man waking up happy cartoon

Modeh Ani, Thanks Upon Awakening

Thank you living and eternal King for returning my soul to me with mercy. Great is your faithfulness. This is my loose translation of the ‘Modeh Ani’ prayer, which is the first words uttered by an observant Jew upon becoming … Read More

a picture of the 'joseph' stained glass window at hadassah hospital in jerusalem

Joseph’s Technicolor Life of Personal Growth: Torah Portion Vayeshev

How Joseph turned his youthful challenges into mature success, with dreams, pain, growth and God’s help. … Read More

adam bridge jordan valley israel side border

Crossing the Jordan

Here, in this nondescript bend in a small river, deep in the wilderness of the desert an hour drive from Jerusalem on modern highways, is the point of transition from wandering to homecoming, from paganism to monotheism, from personal striving to striving for (and with) God. … Read More

Hebron quote chayei sarah Abraham purcheses plot

Chayei Sarah and the ‘Stabbing Intifada’

And he spoke with them, saying, “If it is your will that I bury my dead from before me, listen to me and entreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar. That he may give me the Machpelah Cave, which … Read More

richard lakin teaching as an act of love

Teaching As An Act of Love

Parenting is the natural outgrowth of a parent’s love. In the same manner, teaching children in the more formal school setting is also based upon love. –Richard Lakin, “Teaching As an Act of Love”   Richard Lakin was a former … Read More

Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah: Wellspring of Salvation

“And you shall draw water with joy from the wellspring of salvation.” (Isaiah 12:3) Tonight is the beginning of Shemini Atzeret, also known as Simchat Torah. It’s the end of the period of holidays that started with Rosh Hashannah 3 … Read More

If I Forget You Jerusalem

The psalmist writes, If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cleave to my palate if I do not remember you, if I do not hold Jerusalem above my highest joy. (Ps. 137:5-6) The Jewish … Read More

fire

Lag B’Omer: Bonfire of the Heart

A VERY CONFUSING DAY We have conflicting traditions about what we’re celebrating, who the hero is, and how to celebrate. We end a period of mourning that falls in what is ‘supposed’ to be the ‘time of our joy.’ Lag … Read More

Spring, Wild Barley and Counting the Omer in Israel

Every year between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot religious Jews do a strange ritual of counting every night. The ‘counting of the Omer’ starts the night after Passover and ends the night before Shavuot. But what is an ‘Omer’ … Read More