Avodat Halevi, Rabbi Aharon Halevi Horowitz of Staroshelye

“BE-ZOT YAVO AHARON EL HA-KODESH” “WITH THIS SHALL AARON ENTER INTO THE HOLY PLACE” (LEVITICUS 16:3) A DISCOURSE OF THE STAROSHELYER REBBE Rabbi Aharon Halevi Horowitz of Staroshelye (1766-1828), was the eminent disciple of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of Habad Hasidism. Rabbi Aharon studied under the master for thirty years. The Alter Rebbe […]

Hallel from Heaven and Hallel from Hell: The Post-Holocaust Responses of Paul Celan, Aharon Appelfeld and Meshulam Rath

Hallel from Heaven and Hallel from Hell – “Just as the praise of the Holy One ascends to Him from Heaven, so it ascends from Hell.” – (Midrash) What do poet Paul Celan, novelist Aharon Appelfeld, and religious legalist Meshulam Rath share in common? Two things. First, they all emerged from Tchernowitz (today Chernivtsi, Ukraine), capital of […]

Batei le-Gani (“I Came to My Garden”): Two Discourses of Rabbi Schneersohn and Rabbi Hutner Compared

By Bezalel Naor In the year 5710/1950, in honor of the tenth of Shevat, the yahrzeit of his paternal grandmother Rebbetzin Rivkah, Rabbi Yosef Yitshak Schneersohn, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, composed and distributed a ma’amar (discourse) to be studied on that day. As Divine Providence would have it, the tenth of Shevat (which fell on a […]

Rabbi Ishmael ben Elisha’s Mystical Encounter with Akatriel in the Holy of Holies: A Lesson for the Generation of the Holocaust

Said Rabbi Ishmael ben Elisha: One time I entered to offer incense in the inner sanctum, and I saw Akatriel, Yah, Adonai Tseva’ot sitting upon an exalted throne, and He said to me, “Ishmael, my son, bless me.” I said to Him: “May it be Your will that Your compassion conquer Your wrath; and Your […]

Four Liberating Strategies

Four Liberating Strategies By Bezalel Naor In the non-Jewish world, the second of the Five Books of Moses is referred to as “Exodus.” Scholars tell us that this name derived once upon a time from Jewish sages; the Hebrew “Yetsi’at Mitsrayim” was translated into Greek: Exodus. The medieval Spanish commentator Nahmanides does in fact refer […]