In Pirkei Avos (1:4), our Sages teach us that the person most worthy of honor is one who honors others. This approach is nicely portrayed in the famous story concerning Rabbi Akiva Eiger zt”l and Rabbi Yaakov Loeberbaum zt”l, the “Nesivos HaMishpat,” who were once traveling in a wagon heading for the same town. The whole community turned out to welcome the two esteemed rabbanim. The Nesivos naturally thought that all the honor was meant for his companion, so he descended from the coach and walked beside it. When he looked over to the other side of the coach, he saw Rabbi Akiva Eiger walking alongside the coach, for he too was certain that the honor was not meant for him, but for the author of the Nesivos HaMishpat. Accordingly, the entire village and the two rabbinic guests all walked alongside an empty wagon into town.

In 1974, the landscape of kiruv and Jewish outreach changed forever. Rav Noach Weinberg zt”l founded Aish HaTorah, the renowned yeshivah and international organization dedicated to Jewish education for Jews of all stripes. Aish HaTorah strives to ignite a passion within Jews to discover their heritage and instill pride in their faith. The yeshivah is headquartered in the heart of the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, directly overlooking the Kosel HaMaaravi. Its rooftop view is the best in the city. It offers a spectacular view of the Temple Mount and Har HaZeisim (Mount of Olives) that is unparalleled by any other vantage point in the city. Many young men and women have gazed out from this scenic spot over the years and felt the stir of inspiration that eventually would lead them down the path to observant Judaism.

In the early part of the 20th century, a young girl stood near her father on the dock of a Polish harbor, a steamer trunk at her feet. Out of her nine siblings, 12-year-old Rose was the child chosen to be sent to the “golden land,” America. Life in Poland was hard, hunger a constant visitor in her home. After much scraping and pinching, her family saved enough for a single one-way ticket to the United States. And Rose, the youngest of the nine, was the lucky one chosen to go.

The yeshivah system of Eastern Europe in the first half of the 20th century suffered great hardship during the economic crises in Europe and the Great Depression of the 1930s in the United States. As institutions with no independent source of income, the pre-war yeshivos were dependent on donations from Jews all over Europe, the United States, and from more distant communities within the Russian empire. Even this source of support diminished as a result of the political, economic, and social changes that took place after the First World War. A number of yeshivos opened offices in the US and established networks of m’shulachim (emissaries) there and in other countries, and these were able to bring in some additional financial support. Nonetheless, despite these various sources of income, the budgets of the yeshivos were always in deficit.

On a broad level, it would appear that, due to his involvement in the incident of the Golden Calf, Aharon HaKohen was somewhat complicit – even if inadvertently – in the entire horrible episode. Yet, as we know, and as Rashi tells us, Aharon asked the people to wait and bring their wives’ jewelry, as his intention was simply to delay, not to encourage.

Many Israelis travel to India after they complete their military service. In the army, these young men and women have to undergo intense training and abide by strict codes of discipline. India provides a mellow antithesis to such a regimen, and beckons to travelers in many ways. Liora and her brother Ayal were two such tourists who took off for India. They traveled together from one tourist attraction to the next, then split up to follow separate trails. Ayal stumbled upon Arachim’s Bayit HaYehudi hostel in India where he enjoyed the hospitality and listened to some fascinating lectures. Drawn to the extensive library, he discovered new concepts that changed his life completely. He eventually opted for a life of Torah and mitzvos.