Shlomo Riskin

God’s Will vs. Our Free Will

06/21/2010 - 20:00

Candelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 8:13 p.m.
Torah reading: Numbers 22:2- 25:9
Haftarah: Micah 5:6-6:8
Sabbath ends: 9:22 p.m.

This week’s episode naturally leads to a discussion of the relationship between God’s will and our own. Are we truly given the freedom to go against His will or is freedom of choice only an illusion?

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin

Moses’ Greatest Gift, And Tragedy

06/01/2010 - 20:00

 Candlelighting, Readings:

Shabbat candles: 8:05 p.m.

Torah: Numbers 13:1-15:41 

Haftara: Joshua 2:1-24


Between the lines of the Bible, we glimpse the difficulties — even tragedy — of Moses, the greatest prophet in history who nevertheless sees himself losing the fealty of the Hebrew nation, failing to direct the people toward the very goal of their Exodus; the conquest of and settlement of the Land of Israel. Where has he gone wrong, and why?


A Pioneer At Age 12

Elena Kagan was Lincoln Square’s first bat mitzvah.
05/11/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Elena Kagan, President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, wanted a bat mitzvah when she turned 12. But that simply was not done in May 1973 at Lincoln Square Synagogue, the Orthodox congregation to which the Kagan family belonged.

“I remember she was very definite,” recalled Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the congregation’s spiritual leader. “She came to me and very much wanted it; she was very strong about it. She wanted to recite a Haftorah like the boys, and she wanted her bat mitzvah on a Saturday morning.”

Kagan’s bat mitzvah was “watershed moment.”

The Ultimate Gift Of Holiness

04/19/2010 - 20:00

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 7:25 p.m.
Torah reading: Leviticus 16:1-20:27
Haftarah: Amos 9:7-15 (Ashkenaz);
Ezekiel 20:2-20 (Sephard)
Shabbat ends: 8:27 p.m.

We has just finished the cycle of days, from Yom HaShoah to Yom HaZikaron to Yom Ha’atzmaut, whose leitmotif is Kiddush Hashem: martyrdom for the sanctification of God’s name, in the Holocaust and on the battlefields of Israel reborn.

Shlomo Riskin

Sabbath Week: Dayenu And Double-Dipping

03/30/2010 - 20:00


Candlelighting, Readings:

Candles: 7:03 p.m. (Fri.); 7:05 p.m. (Sun.); 

8:06 p.m. (Mon.) 

Torah reading: Exodus 33:12-34:26; 

Numbers 28:19-25

Hafarah: Ezekiel 37:1-14


Visions Of Glory

01/25/2010 - 19:00

Candlelighting, Readings:

Shabbat candles: 4:51 p.m.

Torah: Exodus 13:17 - 17:16

Haftarah: Judges 4:4-5:51 (Ashkenaz);

Judges 5:1-51(Sephard)

Shabbat ends: 5:54 p.m.

“The Lord is my strength and song, and He is my salvation; this is my God, and I will glorify Him; my father’s God, and I will exalt Him” [Exodus 15:2].

A New Yorker On Edge

06/13/2002 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Efrat, Israel: Standing at an empty bus stop on Hebron Road under a bright hot sun, an American traveler leaving Jerusalem for the West Bank community of Efrat suddenly feels his senses turned up a notch. Waiting for the 167 bus heading south, the traveler watches four Israeli soldiers at a makeshift military checkpoint stop taxis, passenger cars and commercial trucks, delaying the Friday "have to get home for Shabbat" rush hour traffic.

Full Court Press Against New Bet Din

02/26/1998 - 19:00
Staff Writer
Several major national Orthodox rabbinical groups this week repudiated the work of a New York City rabbinical court that has gained popularity with women by “freeing” chained wives, or agunot, stuck in bad marriages. Strongly worded statements were issued separately on Tuesday by both the rigidly Orthodox Agudath Israel of America and the increasingly right-wing National Council of Young Israel, asserting that the rabbinical court was operating outside the bounds of halacha, or Jewish law.

Alternative Beit Din Gaining Some Traction

07/19/2007 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Jerusalem — Rabbi Yosef Carmel, an Israeli Army veteran and founder of an advanced training center for Israeli rabbis, received an unexpected call from overseas the other day. The call was from an Israeli, a secular businessman whose real estate dealings in Romania with a religious Romanian Jew had become strained. A lawsuit, with 400,000 euros at risk (more than $500,000), was pending. Don’t go to a civil court in Romania, a Bucharest rabbi advised the Israeli — call Rabbi Carmel.

McCain Teleconference: Give and Take, or Staged Campaign Event?

Sunday, October 19th, 2008 James Besser in Washington It was billed as a “tele-town hall with Jewish leaders nationwide,” but Sen. John McCain’s electronic meeting on Sunday sounded more like a staged campaign event than a give-and-take with community leaders.
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