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Rabbi Vigler's Blog

Rabbi Vigler's Blog


To Gaze at Har Habayis






Fifty years ago we witnessed awesome miracles as G-d granted Am Yisroel access to Yerushalayim and the Koisel.


Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the Rav of Efrat, tells the story of Sanford Bernstein, an assimilated Jew who had started a successful investment firm in the 1970s and slowly became frum after his father passed away.


One day, Mr. Bernstein turned to Rabbi Riskin and said that he wanted to be buried on Har HaZeisim. Rabbi Riskin passed on the request to the Chevra Kadisha there and sure enough, the matter was taken care of. Mr. Bernstein decided to travel to Eretz Yisroel to personally inspect the plot that he had purchased.


Rabbi Riskin met him in Yerushalayim, and together with the Chevra Kadisha, went to check out the kever. Rabbi Riskin, being a Kohen remained outside while the rest of the group started climbing the hill. When Mr. Bernstein returned he was visibly upset: “I can’t see the Temple Mount from the plot I bought! I refuse to be buried there! I found a different plot but they won't sell it to me because they say it's too close to the grave of Rav Kook and not right for a person like me to be buried next to Rav Kook."


Rabbi Riskin tried to reason with him, stating that after 120 the view from the grave doesn’t really matter. But Mr. Bernstein left Har HaZeisim angry and frustrated.


A week later, Rabbi Riskin got a letter. It was from Mr. Bernstein. In the letter he apologized for his anger. He went on to explain that he wasn’t concerned for his own plot but rather for his children.


He explained that his kids had grown up and left the house before he became frum; not allowing him to leave them with any Yiddishkeit whatsoever. So he thought that maybe after his passing, when they would come to visit his grave, they would look out from there over the Har HaBayis, the holiest place in the world—and perhaps that would inspire them and give them some connection to Judaism.


The Chevra Kadisha sold him the plot.


When he died, Mr. Bernstein left billions of dollars for Jewish education and founded the Avi Chai Jewish Education Foundation.


Such is the power of Yerushalayim - Visiting It, Knowing We Have It, Being Inspired by the Kedusha.

It is our connection to G-dliness here on this planet.


And Thank You Aybishter for the miracles in enabling us to experience the Kedusha even today!

Gut Shabbos!

Rabbi Vigler


Soul Connection



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Dear Aba and Ima,

I want a WhatsApp.  I demand a smartphone. I'll make your life a misery and I won't stop nudging until you give me one. 

Yours truly,

Your teen 

How do you react? Does he get the smartphone? Does it make a difference how old he is?  Can you insist on a filter? Should you monitor the phone? How do you respond?

To answer this one, we really need to appreciate the soul of חינוך. 

As we prepare for Matan Torah, consider this - when G-d gave us Torah he said אנכי ה' אלוקיך singular.  I am G-d customized to YOU. Your very essence has G-d in it.  That applies to every single Jew. Your job as a parent is to reveal the inherent connection to G-d that your child has built in.

Some kids are academic and others are more social. 

To some, not davening without a hat is sacrilegious. To others, "black hatters" are the problem. 

One child is struggling, another is cruising. One is happy, another is depressed.

One is living in 2007, another in 2017.

The answer to the question is: It depends. First get to know the child, get to understand and appreciate the soul of where they are and what they are about.

Giving the child WhatsApp may be sacrilegious or it may be a blessing. It's a gray area. 

Once you are intimately familiar with your child's character, temperament, surroundings and situation, then you are poised to ask yourself the question - Is WhatsApp going to help my child grow or will it bring down other factors that could come into play. It doesn't matter what everybody else does - what is good for the soul of MY child?

If you nurture a soul to soul connection with your child, you will discover the answer within!

Have a Great Shabbos,

Rabbi Vigler

An Avera Leshem Shamayim?



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There is a whatsapp audio going around of a radio show from many years ago. The interviewee was a famous personality involved in kiruv. ​A caller asked how come he was known to compromise on halacha in his quest to bring Jews closer. He throws the question back at the caller:  "If your daughter were off the derech, would you then agree to do ANYTHING to bring her back - even against halacha? Well my approach has brought back many Jews to keep Shabbos, would you prefer they did NOT keep Shabbos?!" 

In a nutshell, he was suggesting doing an avera for the sake of Heaven. 

ANSWER: When reaching out to unaffiliated Jews, we must indeed understand where they are coming from. When Rabi Shimon bar Yochai and his son exited their cave after 12 years, they were on a very lofty level. With their spiritual powers, they were burning up simple folk who were simply not on the same spiritual height they were. A Heavenly edict sent them right back into the cave to learn how to relate to people. So yes we too need to relate to the lives and perspectives of unaffiliated Jews. 

But bending a halacha is a different story.

Did you hear about the alcoholic who recently came home drunk? He mistook the kerosene for water and took a shower in kerosene. In his drunken stupor he lit a cigarette which, unfortunately, was his end. 

In 1910, at a Jewish conference, every speaker explained eloquently how the fire of assimilation was raging and something needed to be done, even if it meant compromising halacha in the process.  If a fire is burning, you need to extinguish it using whatever water you can find, even dirty water. 

The Rebbe Rashab got up and responded - all well and good if it is water you are throwing, but what if you mistook kerosene for water and mistakenly drank it? 

The Mishnah says - אוהב את הבריות ומקרבן לתורה. Love everyone and bring them close to the Torah, but never bring the Torah to them. Never vice versa. Don't compromise on anything! 

If you have to transgress halacha, you have not been mekarev the yid - you just threw kerosene on his fire. You cannot bend halacha.  

If it was your child, you would indeed go to the ends of the earth to be mekarev her, absolutely.

But no, never throw kerosene, never ever bend halacha chas veshalom!

Gut Shabbos!

Rabbi Vigler

Why Does G-d Need Our Praise?



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Why does G-d need us to praise Him..and why so much? We keep on speaking of the greatness of Hashem in so many ways through davening. Why does the Almighty need us to continually do it?


What's the difference between a human king vs. the Creator?

When a president RUNS for office, he is elevated above the people and becomes their leader. A king is a regular human being who has been given an honor. Whether you praise the president or the king, he feels honored. 

The Creator is different. Our relationship to Him is more like all the ants in the world asking you to become their king. They give you all the kovod in the world - as THEY understand kovod. Do you feel honored? Would you take the position? Or would you get some anti pest spray?

The divide between the creation and the Creator is far greater than between a human and an ant. 

He doesn't gain from any of our praises. 

But G-d wants to help us.  He realizes how closed our minds are. He wants to expand our horizons beyond sushi and steak. So He gave us a glimpse to appreciate Him, to experience and mediate on that which is larger than life. 

And when we daven every day, we experience a connection to something loftier and we aspire to things greater than ourselves. 

And THAT is His true praise. 

קדושים תהיו.

The possuk says,  You should be holy.

How does a Jew become holy?

קדושתי למעלה מקדושתכם

Which the Chassidic Masters interpret, 'My Holiness Above comes from your holiness.'  When you recognize G-d Above then G-d becomes Holy.  And that's why we praise G-d.

Gut Shabbos

Rabbi Vigler


The Beekeeper


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Reb Moshe Schneersohn ע״ה was a beekeeper in Kfar Chabad who had a beautiful vort:

"Why, on Rosh Hashana do we eat specifically honey when there are many other options of sweetness like sugar or mangos...?"

Naturally, he began to explain the uniqueness of bees:

What does a fly do when he flies into a beautiful garden of flowers? What does he look for? He seeks out dirt, anything disgusting and lowly because flies and mosquitoes thrive on dung. No matter how beautiful the garden is, the fly will seek out the feces.

Conversely, a bee will always seek out the flowers. It will look for the best and the most beautiful to transform it into sweet delicious honey.

On Rosh Hoshana we look for the sweetness of honey. Sweetness exists where you look for it, where you choose to build it and nurture it.

Applying this to Chinuch, one can recognize that some children are beautiful, delicious and lovable. While other children's challenges are obvious, more apparent.

Our job as parents and educators is to be bees!  To look for the beauty, for the soul of that child and every yiddishe child, to enhance their unique neshama. Nurture it, build it, develop it until it produces honey.

Good and bad exist in everyone. Flies focus on the bad, bees focus on the good. Be a bee and make honey!

Gut Shabbos

Rabbi Vigler


Life is Full of Opportunities


Those little, sometimes irritating, disturbances in life can trigger off the greatest opportunities for chinuch, growth and fulfillment.

A friend related a beautiful episode: he was out with his daughter on Ave M when a man stretched out his hand to request money. He handed him a $10 bill - what he considered a generous gift to a stranger.

But instead of receiving a warm thank you the hand shot right back at him "Give me more! Not enough, why are you so cheap?"

He was annoyed and upset, and ready to respond to the impudence of this fellow with a piece of his mind. "How dare you! How about saying thank you instead?!" The chutzpa, the nerve!

Then he remembered his young teenage daughter next to him and a spark was ignited! What if this incident could be transformed into a chinuch opportunity.

The Torah wants us to overcome our inclinations and to bring G-d into the picture - ולא תתורואחרי לבבכם. Whom does the Torah require to overcome their natural temptation if not one who has that temptation! Here is a golden opportunity to prove to the nefesh habehamis, to your egotistical self that there is indeed a G-d in this world....

If I live with a sense of Emunah then I ask myself, how does G-d view this situation? And how do I introduce Him into my life?!

My ego is insulted indeed, but who cares about my ego!

He pulled out of his pocket a $20 bill and gave it to the guy....

His daughter was mesmerized... Tatty, That guy was rude - Why would you give him more money?

Ah - because it is all about G-d! Mission accomplished.

This Shabbos we bentch the month of Nissan, the month of Geulah. אין ישראל נגאלין אלא בזכות האמונה. When you live with Emunah, you are already in a state of redemption, it's just a better way to live - one that leads a step closer to the cosmic Geulah!

Gut Shabbos and Gut Chodesh

Rabbi Vigler

What are You Going to do About It?


“After 32 years of marriage and a beautiful family of 13 children and a few ainiklach, a couple was asked what was the secret for staying together so long. The husband explains, “Way back when we made a deal with each other that the first one to pack up and leave must take all the kids." 

What is the most incredible miracle you could ever witness? Imagine you saw the 10 Makkos and the splitting of the sea, what could be EVEN GREATER than that when you seem to have had it all!?

Yet Hashem tells Moshe in our Parsha - you are now going to witness the greatest miracle of them all - נגד כל עמך אעשה נפלאות אשר לא נבראו בכל הארץ. So what is this wonder that has never been seen before and transcends all others?

It is mind boggling that two strangers can get to partner with each other and create a life together - shared bank accounts, shared home, shared assets. nothing short of astounding!

It is spectacular if these two strangers can actually LOVE each other and develop and build a relationship with each other. 

It is outright the most incredible other-worldly wonder that even if these two partners were to betray each other's trust, that the marriage would STILL LAST! It would defy any rhyme or reason, how could it possibly be??

The possuk spells it out for us -הנה אנוכי כורת ברית. Hashem says - I am making a pact with you. What's special about this pact and why the need to make one?

Note - this is not the first bris Hashem made with mankind. He already made a pact with Noach after the flood never to destroy humanity again. But that was all technical - He promised to maintain the framework of a working relationship with mankind. 

Then came Avraham - and with him G-d made a pact of love, of bonding. This is already a relationship. 

But in our Parsha the Jews betrayed the marriage and the trust and they sinned with the golden calf. And now there was no relationship. G-d's intention was annihilation chas veshalom.... But Moshe stood up and proclaimed. If you erase them, erase me. And G-d was "forced" to keep loving us. This marriage would survive the test of all ravages of time. It was to be eternal.

THAT is nothing short of the greatest miracle, far more than even the splitting of the sea.

That is how much G-d loves YOU!!

Now, what are you going to do about it?

Gut Shabbos!

Rabbi Yoseph Vigler 

Who Are You?



A Rabbi once did a workshop for his community on midos tovos and the need to forgive their enemies despite all. After a long drasha, he asked if they felt it in them to really forgive their enemies. One by one the participants agreed to forgive.

All, except Yankele. 

"Yankele, you insist on bearing grudges and taking revenge?"

"No, but I don't have any enemies to forgive."

"Yankele, that is impossible. How old are you?"

"Ninety seven."

"Yankele, that is incredible! But tell me in all honesty, how can a man live to be ninety-seven, and have no enemies at all?"

"Easy, I simply outlived them all."


What was Haman's official rationale for wanting to get at all the Jews r"l? After all, they all did bow down and only Mordechai refuse to submit - so why not take revenge on Mordechai alone and... walla... problem solved!

What prompted Haman to insist on revenge for an entire nation? Was it conventional antisemitism, a lame pretext of a Jew-hater to seize the opportunity at all the Jews? Or was it something deeper?

And if it was merely a pretext, why didn't the Jewish people get upset at Mordechai and blame him for Haman's wrath since he was the one who antagonized Haman and was the instigator of their tzorres? Had he not played the "noble" card nobody would have got into trouble....

Haman discovered something that the Jews themselves could not deny.


Haman wanted to understand where Mordechai drew his strength and conviction from. Was he a noble individual, a unique character with unprecedented fortitude and stamina that he could stand up for his beliefs against an entire world? Or was he part of a deeper global faith?

Haman studied the background of Mordechai, studied the meaning of Judaism and discovered that Mordechai was infact a Jew.  From the data he gathered, a Jew was a unique breed. He never blended in to society. He was always different - ישנו עם אחד. And a Jew who tells you that he believes the lie of the world is a one big liar.

Mordechai's convictions means that the reason he refused to budge was because ALL Jews don't budge. ויבז בעיניו לשלוח יד במרדכי לבדו כי הגידו לו את עם מרדכי

Once Haman realized this, he wanted to get the entire Jewish people because he understood that ALL Jews don't really bow down and that they all wont really buy into his lie.




Imagine you were a Jew living in Shushan when Haman issued his decree. How do I react you ask yourself? On the one hand you see right through Haman; false, evil, wicked and you know there is nothing there to "bow down" to.  Only a big fake ego that can be shattered with one blow. On the other hand you you know you are a proud Jew, You know that Daniel was thrown into the lions den so as not to submit. Chananya, Mishael and Azarya jumped into the fire so as not to bow down. But as proud as you are you are also pragmatic. 'I'm not holding on that level, you cry. I have a wife and kids and a life to live.' 

So you bow down to Haman. but in your heart of hearts you despise him and reject everything he stands for. 



Haman could care less about the pragmatic rationale of the Jew.  If the Jew contained in himself the inner fortitude then that must be attacked and squashed lest it express itself.  And so he set out on a mission that no Jew could deny that Haman wasn't wrong about who they were. Mordechai expressed what they all knew deep down to be true!


Haman rejoiced when his lottery fell out in the month of Adar because Moshe passed away on the seventh of month of Adar. Interestingly enough, Moshe's yahrzeit always coincides around the week of Parshas Tetzaveh - the one and only parsha in the entire Torah since Moshe's birth where Moshe's name is not mentioned. Why not? Because Moshe has insisted after the sin of the golden calf that if G-d did not forgive the Jews then his own name should be erased from the Torah. And G-d accepted and spared the Jews. But Moshe's name was still omitted from one parsha - Tetzaveh. 

Now why would Moshe insist on fighting for the sinful Jews? Why not let the sinner suffer his due punishment? Because Moshe knew that ישראל אע"פ שחטא ישראל הוא - the Jew remains a Jew even if he sinned, therefore the most sinful Jew is worth fighting for. 

Really, said Haman- then the Jews who are bowing down to me and apparently rejecting their faith, don't really mean it! Proof in the pudding, their Rebbe Moshe believed in them. If so - I will get at them!



No Jew could deny that Haman was right. So they got themselves together and decided to stop faking it. Be real, you are a Jew, you were born a Jew whether you like it or not. So stay true to yourself. 

And they rallied behind Mordechai and they returned to their own being and for this we celebrate Purim. For the ability to celebrate who  we truly are and be genuine and honest with ourselves.

Sometimes it takes Haman to discover. Sometimes lehavdil it takes Moshe to reveal it. 

If you were a Jew living on Shushan and you heard that Haman decreed to annihilate your entire nation r"l, wouldn't you say "I told you so." We told you, Mordechai, not to antagonize that villain. We told you to bow down and submit and not fight him. Why, oh why, Mordechai, did you insist on giving the wicked man that pretext he needed?

A freilechen Purim Yidden!

Rabbi Yoseph Vigler


A Life Akeda


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R’ Dovid was a simple Jew, a devoted chossid of the Baal Shem Tov who served Hashem with simplicity and sincerity.

The Baal Shem Tov displayed unusual warmth to R' Dovid. Responding to the puzzlement of his Talmidim, the Baal Shem Tov related a story about this R' Dovid:

Every year he craved owning his own Esrog but could not afford it. Instead he would contribute a few pennies and jointly buy an Esrog by partnering with the entire community.

One year he made a firm resolution to purchase his own beautiful Esrog. Although this was an ambitious undertaking, R’ Dovid’s love for the mitzvah knew no bounds. The entire year he deprived himself, eating less and doing without basic necessities. He saved kopeck by kopeck until, at the end of the year, he was finally able to afford his own Esrog. With great joy R’ Dovid went to the market and returned with his precious acquisition. He lovingly wrapped it and put it away on his top shelf.

The next morning, Erev Sukkos, his wife awoke and to her dismay she noticed the Esrog. She became hysterical, “You don’t have money for our food and basic needs, yet you spend money on an Esrog!” She was so upset that she grabbed the Esrog and bit off the pitum which rendered it passul. 

R’ Dovid was devastated.

But R’ Dovid did not lose his temper and did not scream at his wife. He merely commented humbly, “Apparently I was not worthy to have my very own Esrog, I overestimated myself.”

“The reaction of R’ Dovid made a tremendous impact in shamayim,” the Baal Shem Tov related. “Not since the time of Akedas Yitzchak had there been another instance of someone being tested with such a severe test and withstanding it!”

Every morning we say the Parsha of the Akeda. Every morning we remind ourselves how Avrohom Avinu lived his life with such sacrifice and devotion: To remind us how to live our lives.  

It takes much mesirus nefesh sometimes to maintain sholom bayis with our spouses, with our children and with our friends.

But then again, Akedas Yitzchok is in our genes!

Gut Shabbos! 

Rabbi Yoseph Vigler






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If a bird falls from the sky into a stream, how you can you tell if it contracted life threatening wounds and is thus treif, or if it's still kosher to be shechted? 


If it's swimming upstream it must be kosher, because if you are swimming against the current you MUST be alive and well! 

Do you ever opt to do what is popular instead of what is right, because it is simply easier than to swim against the current?

Do you ever find yourself following a herd mentality of where you live, where you daven, when you vacation, only because that's what everyone else is doing? 

How about pausing and reflecting for a moment? "How does G-d view me and what does G-d  think I should be doing?" And even then, having the courage and fortitude to follow through with just that, simply because it is right?

Noach swam against the popular current. In a generation that was destitute and corrupt, he did what was right, not what was popular. He stood up to an entire civilization because he was into acting, not reacting. Chessed was not popular and morality was not the way of life but Noach took his cue from Above and swam upstream.

Lehavdil, as Warren Buffet says in business, 

“Most people get interested in stocks when everyone else is. The time to get interested is when no one else is. You can’t buy what is popular and do well.”

​The result? Noach changed civilization forever. He saved himself and his family and created a new brand of humanity.

A yid binds ​himself to G-d and continues on his way with fortitude and conviction - a feif oiffen velt! I take my cue from Above.

A Gutten Shabbos

Rabbi Vigler


It Wasn't Me, I'm a Different Person


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I got a call from the bank this week - "your account is overdrawn" they said. I was wondering how that could possibly be, and by the time I got around to dealing with it, a couple hours passed. Meantime the bank was calling persistently. "There are checks for tens of thousands of dollars going out of your account. We are suspicious", they said. "All your accounts are frozen until you confirm if these are your checks."


They were all fraud...


It seems that one of our workers at our Beis Medrash, likely came in to the office, found a check that we had written with my signature on it, and forged my signature. (He also deposited that check on his account).


The bank had allowed some of the checks through before they realized the fraud. 


I was made to sign an affidavit - that these checks were not written by me and that this was not my signature and it was not I who was involved.


As I signed and notarized each one of the affidavits, I translated the words. It read: אני איני אותו האיש שעשה אותם המעשים. I am not the man who committed those actions. They were fraud that's not me.


אני איני אותו האיש שעשה אותם המעשים,

 Each and everyone of us is comprised of a dual personality. Nay, two separate personalities. One is the person all year round who chases materialism, narcissism, money, greed and anything else he can lay his hands on.


And then come the Aseres Yemei Teshuva. And suddenly I am a different person. I want to be good, genuine, authentic, loving, caring, holy. I'm a Jew and davening is my natural turf. 


אני איני אותו האיש שעשה אותם המעשים

Somebody else forged my signature,  forged my entire personality. But he is a fraud. He is not the real me.


I declare by affidavit that I am genuinely a Yid , a good holy Jew. 


And Aybishter I love you. Let's enjoy each other's company this Rosh hashana. 


Wishing you a ksiva vachassima tova !


Rabbi Yoseph Vigler


Thursday Bris!




I marched into hospital this week with six of my kids to go visit mammy and our newborn. We got stares and comments from all sides, we were clearly an attraction.

I couldn't help but think about the guy who gets on the Egged bus with 6 kids and the driver screams at him: You couldn't leave half your kids at home?! He says- sir, I did!

"Yes", I explained, "these are BH my kids. And we have a newborn here BH. And the older ones are not here...."

When we left hospital, the nurse who discharged my wife, was from Ghana. "This is your tenth!?" she gasps. "Well actually, I'm also number ten of twelve in my family", she says. "Number ten is special. But me, I only want to have two kids", she continues, "too much stress".

I was trying to imagine what was all the stress about back in Ghana.... did they also worry about ten yeshiva tuitions?...

My maternal grandparents were Ingarishe yidden, from Sighet. They survived Auschwitz where they lost their siblings, parents, spouses and children. To them, every new child born meant another victory against the Nazis. Each one was another: "yes, we did it". They were on a mission to produce six million new neshamos....

That passed on to the next generation. My parents felt the same sense of victory every time they had a child.

I'm not sure if the urgency of defeating the Nazis continues as much today, but it must have rubbed off.

I can't think of anything more fulfilling than a large family and as many brochos as G-d chooses to bestow upon us and feels we can handle, thank you Aybishter.

I was at a shiva house this week, of a yid who had twelve children sitting shiva for him with kain ayin hara plenty grandchildren. The home felt so warm...Now that's a yid who left the world fulfilled...

And what a bracha to have eight of my own siblings around to spend quality time with every day on a what's app group...and to travel to simchas all over the world and to enjoy the energy of a large family.

What's the answer to tuition and comforts? Good question, give me a few more years and I'll let you know how it works out IYH. But if our priorities are straight, we realize that every child brings his or her own channel of brochos from Above. Between loads of bitachon and tons of hishtadlus, we'll just buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Thank you Aybishter for Your boundless brochos, may You bestow them upon all Am Yisroel!

*The bris of our dearest new addition, our tzenter, will take place IYH on Thursday morning י"ט אלול September 22, at the new Mayan Yisroel Beis Medrash 3315 Ave N. Shachris 655am. Bris 745am.*

May we always share simchas, ksiva vachassima tova!

Rabbi Yoseph Vigler 

Mazal Tov!


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17 years ago when our first child was born, tzu langer yahren, it was still the previous century.

Back then, things were "primitive". I remember saying the Tehillim designated for childbirth, out of an actual paper sefer. Today, I said the designated Tehillim on my handheld device, on an app that knew exactly what I should say.

Back then my wife gave tsedaka -  צדקה תציל ממות -  before, during and after childbirth, using coins and notes. Today when she realized she forgot to bring her pushka, she was able to use her credit card on e-donate instead.

Back then, I took a photo of the newborn with a gadget called a camera and showed it to the family a week later once the negative was developed. Today, I had my phone doing it all instantaneously.

Back then, I called everyone on a pay phone to tell them the good news. This time round, everyone somehow already knew, within a minute of birth, before I called them, and were calling me to tell me how beautiful was the video of our baby they already watched.

Yesterday, on our 18th wedding anniversary we had the incredible zechus and thrill of welcoming in our tzenter to be mashlim our minyan of kinderlach kain ayin hara.

Number ten is
just as exciting.
Just as wondrous,
just as miraculous
as number one.

What a thrill, what a bracha, what a gift from Above.

The generation may have advanced but the foundation remains. To nurture, to love, and to care. To be entrusted yet again with G-d's child to raise, to polish and to bring out the shine of another Yiddishe child.

Thank you Aybishter for entrusting us with another precious gift, we should be zoche to nurture yet another Neshama in chinuch to work together in bringing about the Geulah.

*The sholom zochor of our precious son will take place IYH on leil shabbos after 915pm at Mayan Yisroel 3315 Ave N (in the newly renovated but not yet finished Beis Medrash)*

Gut Shabbos, Mazal tov and ksiva vachassima tova!

Rabbi Yoseph and Tzippy Vigler 

The Rebuke of Zecharya


The Rebuke of Zecharya

When the butcher Nevuzaradan entered the Bais Hamikdash he saw blood boiling on the floor of the Azara. Initially he was told it was the blood of the Korbanos, so he slaughtered animals in the hope of "placating" the blood that it cease boiling. It kept boiling.
Finally he discovered the secret. This was the blood of the prophet Zacharya who was murdered by the Yidden in the Bais Hamikdash on Yom Kippur because he was rebuking them and warning them of the impending churban if they would not repent. So they killed him and silenced him. Nevuzaradan slaughtered countless Jews before he "convinced" the blood of Zacharya to cease its boiling.

That event, that crime, became one of our greatest stains:
"אם יהרג במקדש ה' כהן ונביא "
They murdered in the Bais Hamikdash of Hashem a Kohen and a prophet, the navi laments in Eicha.
They murdered this great tzaddik because he told them off...

But the Medrash offers a fascinating twist to the story. The possuk says about Zecharya ויעמוד על ראשי העם. Did he really walk on the people's heads? Explains the Medrash that is meant figuratively. Zecharya spoke AT the people and not TO the people.

Zecharya was the son of the Kohen Gadol, he was a dayan, a Navi and the son in law of the King. Precisely because he was such a prestigious person and held so many titles, he couldn't accept and relate to human flaws.

The problem was not what he was saying - he was relaying the word of G-d - it was how he communicated the message, that was the problem. He looked at the people condescendingly.

Almost 2,000 years into this long golus, we Jews have major problems. There's no shortage of what to rebuke Am Yisroel with today.

But before you rebuke a fellow Jew, your child, your student, your friend, or the guy next to you in shul, put on your humility cap. Do it with love and care. Just realize this nation of ours has been abused in golus almost 2,000 years. Appreciate the people, understand and relate to them before you go ahead and rebuke them.

As we lament the churban on Tisha b'Av, look for the cause and what we need to mend, remember to look at your fellow Jew with humility and love!

May G-d take away this churban from us once and for all

Gut Shabbos!


Rabbi Vigler


Teen Chinuch


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Dear Rabbi,

I found inappropriate reading material unbecoming of a bochur, in my teenager's room, how should I approach it? One part of me wants to react harshly and ground him with a stern warning for next time.
Another voice inside me says to react gently, but it hasn't worked in the past.
How should I treat this situation?

Answer: More important than what you say is what your relationship is. Does your teen feel that you love him?

Bilam gave us the greatest brochos in this week's Parsha and yet the gemara says, in every bracha you could sense the curse he was actually intending. No matter what he said, his true intentions and inner hatred surfaced.

Contrast that with Achiya haShiloni who cursed Bnei Yisroel. Yet, says the Gemara, you could feel the love.
Likewise, for all the curses of Moshe Rabbenu, we know it was all out of love, meant to elevate and build and empower us.

If your love for your child is felt by your child, you can happily rebuke and reprimand.

The Rebbe Rayatz was once at a clinic near Vienna. The doctor came to draw blood and prick him with a needle, but before he did, he sanitized the entire area with hygienic alcohol. 
"Why all the cleaning?" the Rebbe inquired, "I just bathed."

"Indeed," explained the doctor. "But when I prick you and draw blood I must be extremely and overly careful that no speck of dust mistakenly penetrate. Because not only will my prick not heal, it may harm G-d forbid."

It's the same in chinuch, explained the Rebbe. You do need to prick, you do need to criticize, but you can only do so when there is no dust and no dirt, when your child or student feels nothing but love.

If you focus on your teen, if you can laugh together, enjoy each other's company, learn and daven together, eat dinner as a family unit, if your home is all filled with love and warmth, then your teen may still test the limits, but will realize he has to be out of his mind to disappoint you.


That's the relationship you want to reach!

Wishing you loads of hatzlacha in being genuine!

Gut Shabbos

Rabbi Vigler 



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