Rabbi Yitzchok Oratz

Rabbi Yitzchok Oratz is the Rabbi and Director of the Monmouth Torah Links community. Shortly after receiving his semicha (rabbinic ordination) from Bais Medrash Govoha, the famed Lakewood Yeshiva, Rabbi Oratz, along with his wife Toby and family, moved to Marlboro, NJ where they co-founded the MTL community in 2001. Aside for his "Devar on the Par" that he writes for MTL, his writings have also been published on Aish, Times of Israel, Seforim Blog, Hakira, and in various Rabbinic journals. Rabbi Oratz looks forward to continuing teaching Torah in a way that is timely and timeless, and sharing meaningful Jewish experiences with the amazing MTL community.

Suffering, Sin, and the Ways of G-d Dialogue #8

Can there be a misfortune in a city and God has not brought it? (Amos 3:6)
On January 12, 2010, a catastrophic earthquake hit the country of Haiti, causing widespread devastation and massive loss of life and limb, and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. The international community, shocked by the indescribable human tragedy, immediately galvanized efforts to bring relief to, and express solidarity with, the suffering people of Haiti. Prominently included among those expressing solidarity and offering humanitarian aid was the State of Israel and the Jewish community—including the Orthodox Jewish community.

Lonely Boat on Water

Parshas Tazria/Metzorah – Sensitivity for the Suffering Sinner

Lep’er n. One suffering from leprosy; outcast. (Webster’s Dictionary) Webster has it right. Indeed, as the Torah tells us, a leper is both one who is suffering from leprosy and an outcast. Unique among other forms of impurity, leprosy causes a person to be sent completely outside the camp[i], all alone and seemingly deserted[ii]. But he is not chased …

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Oh, the Places You’ll Go! — Corona Update and Thought

Dearest Friends,    When I first sent out an email about ourShul closing, I wrote —    “Thecurrent plan is to reopen Wednesday, April 1st for Shacharis at7:15″     That would be tomorrow.    How much wishful thinking and naivety thatstatement had.     The painful reality is that as of now, itdoes seem that our …

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Parshas Vaeira – Busy and Important? Do Not Read

Wife (calling husband at work): “Hi Honey, I have a great idea. Let’s get a babysitter and go check out that new restaurant tonight. We haven’t been out together in a while.” Husband (barely hearing her): “What did you say? Oh, go out together? Sounds like a good idea, but not tonight, working late.” Child: “Look Mommy, I …

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Parshas Vayishlach – The Sun Will Shine Again

Food plays a major role in Judaism. Whether it is the foods that we are required to eat (e.g.,  matzah and marror on Passover), or foods that are customary to eat (e.g., latkes on Chanukah, cholent on Shabbos), in Judaism many a morsel has a meaning. But so does refraining from eating. One unique food prohibition is that of the sciatic …

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Parshas Vayeitzei – Simple Pleasures

Question: What do children look forward to most? A) School ;   B) Playing at home;  or C) A family vacation to Disney World? “Survey says”:  C – by a landslide. Another question: During which of the above activities are children most likely to fight, “kvetch,” and complain? The surprising answer to this question is very …

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Parshas Va’eschanan – Staying in Love

Have you ever fallen in love? You know, the head-over-heels, sweaty palms, heart pounding, can-think-of-nothing-else kind of love? If you have, it is sadly somewhat likely that you also have fallen out of love. While there are wonderful couples who manage to keep the love going strong for the long term, the fifty-plus-percent divorce rate …

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Parshas Vayigash – Fate and Future

The Irish-American writer John O’Hara opens his novel Appointment in Samarra with the following passage from British novelist Somerset Maugham:  DEATH SPEAKS: There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was …

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Parshas Shoftim – His Royal Lowness

“Let them eat cake!” Popularly attributed to Marie Antoinette, this quote has entered our lexicon as an expression of the callousness and obliviousness of the royalty and upper class to those less fortunate. Although the attribution to Marie Antoinette is doubtful, the concern that those in power not lose touch with the masses is an …

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