Rabbi Jonathan Tawil

Sukkot 5780

REPENTANCE OUT OF LOVE The festival of Succot is a happy festival. We celebrate the fact that Hashem took us out of Egypt and sheltered us in booths, as well as placing us in a special defence force of Ananei Hakavod – Clouds of Glory. These surrounded the Jewish nation in the wilderness and protected […]

Yom Kippur 5780

You only fail when you stop trying! Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the holy of holies of Jewish time. It is that rarest of phenomena, a Jewish festival without food. Instead it is a day of fasting and prayer, introspection and self-judgment when, collectively and repeatedly, we confess our sins and pray to […]

Vayelech 5780

Never give up on the things that make you smile. We are blessed to have youth. Rashi spells out the details of Hakhel, based on the Gemara [Chagiga 3a]: The men come to learn; the women (who in those days did not have the educational background to really learn the Torah) come to listen; and […]

Rosh Hashana 5780

Macro or Micro?   It’s Rosh Hashanah and that gets you thinking. Many questions pass your mind, what’s with the apple and honey? What’s with the Shofar? Isn’t one day enough to celebrate as a New Year? As the questions start piling in and your mind is let loose, you start pondering about the bigger […]

Ki Tavo 5779

Smile It is every kid’s worst nightmare and six-year-old Jaden Hayes (from Savannah, Georgia) has lived it -twice. First he lost his dad when he was four and then last month his mother died unexpectedly in her sleep. What does one do if faced with such a terrible disaster? How does one cope, especially a […]

Ki Teitzei 5779

Ki Teitzeh – MARRIAGE Two Wives!   Are you married? No? What you waiting for, join the club! Yes – for how long? Has it been a while since you were under the chupa with your spouse to be? How’s married life treating you? When we are young we all desire to settle down with […]

Shoftim 5779

What are you chasing? A banker was vacationing in a small coastal village. While walking near a pier, he observed a small boat with just one fisherman. Inside the boat with the fisherman were several yellow-fin tuna. The businessman complimented the fisherman on the quality of his catch and asked how long it took to […]

Re’eh 5779

Why is the Place hidden?   At the end of this sentence I would like you to close your eyes for a few seconds and ponder – When I say Jerusalem, what do you think of? That Holy City, the eternal Jewish capital, lined with ancient stones that glow with the sunrise. Well – Jerusalem […]

Eikev 5779

To Fear G-d.     Bertrand Russell (a British philosopher and mathematician who was a foremost proponent of atheism in the early 20th century) once was asked what he will respond if after he dies he meets G-d and He will judge him for his lack of belief. Russell responded that he would ask G-d, […]

Va’etchannan 5779

SHEMA – GIVE WITNESS!   There is a famous story of a traveller who visited one of the greatest rabbis of the last generation – the Chafetz Chaim. The traveller entered the humble abode of the Chafetz Chaim and was astonished by the meagre accommodation. He asked the Chafetz Chaim where all his furniture was? […]

Devarim 5779

Where’s My Reward?   The Midrash Tehillim says that the Giants Og and Sichon were more formidable adversaries than Pharaoh and his army. Moshe had battled Sichon and won. Now he faced a war against the mighty Og. Yet before this war, Moshe seems to be worried. Hashem has to reassure him – Al Tirah […]

Matot Masei 5779

  Not Just Any Stones! There is never a dull moment in Israel! Just this week a thief returned two archaeological treasures with a confession note – after apparently experiencing 20 years of bad luck. The 2,000-year-old sling stones were taken from the ancient city of Gamla in the Golan Heights in July 1995, the […]