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A New Option for Starting the Torah Anew

September 27, 2023 9:21 PM

Following the joyous holiday of Simchat Torah, Jews all over begin learning the Torah anew as part of the daily study cycle. Beginning with the portion of Bereishit, which tells of the creation of the world, we will learn more each day and each week until we’ll complete the entire Torah in a year’s time.

This year, in addition to the classic classes by Rabbi Yehoshua B. Gordon, we’ve got an option for those who want a quick treatment of the portion with Rashi’s commentary: Rabbi Levi Avtzon from Johannesburg provides a concise and accessible podcast, ideal for those who are not yet fluent in Hebrew or do not have time to study the entire portion in depth.

So as the Jewish world begins to study again from the beginning (quite literally), be sure to check out Rabbi Avtzon’s classes.

Foundational Rosh Hashanah Text Released Online

Prepare for Rosh Hashanah on a spiritual front!

September 14, 2023 8:02 PM

With Rosh Hashanah around the corner, the Jewish world’s preparations are moving into high gear. In addition to shopping for apples and honey, baking round challahs, and cooking our favorite (sweet) Rosh Hashanah foods, we’re preparing on a spiritual front as well.

One very exciting resource that we just published is a classic Chassidic discourse that helps us understand the cosmic and personal significance of Rosh Hashanah by exploring the deep meaning behind sounding the shofar.

Published with an all-new translation and commentary by Rabbi Elisha Pearl of Sichos in English, it is part of a broader project to share the teachings of the Alter Rebbe—the founder of Chabad—on the prayerbook.

These teachings are from a unique book known as Siddur Im Dach, which was published by the Alter Rebbe’s son, the Second Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Dovber, in 1816 and forms an integral part of the canon of Chabad teachings.

This particular essay has been cited by all subsequent Rebbes of Chabad, including the Seventh Rebbe, who quoted it frequently throughout the decades of his leadership.

As students will learn, the essay articulates one of Rosh HaShanah’s key themes: that by blowing the shofar, we reach out from our soul’s core and touch G‑d’s Essence, moving Him to take pleasure in creating the world anew.

“For many people, even attempting to learn an essay from Siddur Im Dach has always been no more than a dream,” says Rabbi Shmuly Avtzon, director of Sichos in English. “Baruch Hashem, after a lot of investment, this teaching will be accessible to all on”

The essay was released on the new Torah Texts platform, which makes available a wealth of major Jewish works, including classic texts with their accompanying commentaries, halachic treatises and Chassidic discourses—with more being added all the time! It also integrates’s vast trove of video and audio classes, offering a “guided learning” experience, where users can listen to or watch world-class lectures alongside the text.

“We are excited for our readers to have the opportunity to access this fundamental teaching which stems from the Baal Shem Tov as taught by the Alter Rebbe,” says Rabbi Meir Simcha Kogan, director of, “and are deeply grateful to Sichos In English for their longstanding partnership and steadfast dedication to sharing the teachings of Chabad Chassidus as widely as possible.”

Get ready for Rosh Hashanah in a whole new way!

Study The Soul’s Cry on Torah Texts

Now Is the Time to Start the Jerusalem Talmud!

Dive into our new online series today!

September 13, 2023 1:54 PM

The Jerusalem Talmud, also known as the Talmud Yerushalmi, joins the Babylonian Talmud as one of the two major compilations of Jewish oral law and tradition.

It was compiled in the Land of Israel during the 4th century CE, by the great Rabbi Yochanan. It is often considered obscure and difficult to understand. Since it has terse and cryptic language and lacks the extensive commentary and analysis that the Babylonian Talmud has, many Jews have not had the opportunity to study it in depth, or even at all.

But who says things have to stay that way?

Rabbi Avrohom Zajac, a master Torah teacher on, teaches all of the Babylonian Talmud, Mishneh Torah, and many halachah classes.

Having just completed Rambam’s Mishneh Torah, Rabbi Zajac is now starting to teach the Jerusalem Talmud in a new series of online classes. He will guide you through the text and its context, as well as its relevance to you by shining the light of Chassidism on whatever you learn.

Click here to access the steadily growing collection of classes and start learning today!

This Week's Highlights

September 5, 2023 4:18 PM


I hope your week—the second to last before Rosh Hashanah!—is humming along. Here are some of my personal favorites for this week:

  • What's it like to date a man fighting cancer? Sarah Lavane shares her experience.
  • We talk a lot about the soul, and now Tzvi Freeman lets us know what it is.
  • And Rabbi Y sheds Jewish light on the trend of human composting.

Was there something you especially enjoyed? Please click the link below and leave us a comment.

Have a great week and a sweet new year in 5784!

Menachem Posner and the Editorial Team

PS: Ashkenazim begin Selichot (pre-Rosh Hashanah morning prayers) in the wee hours of this Sunday morning. Read up on them here.

PPS: Should you need any High Holiday supplies, our Judaica shop has you covered!

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