Parashat Kedoshim – How to be holy

This week’s second parasha starts off with the commandment to be holy. Why? Not because it’s logical or moral, but rather, simply because Hashem himself is holy. דַּבֵּ֞ר אֶל־כָּל־עֲדַ֧ת בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל וְאָמַרְתָּ֥ אֲלֵהֶ֖ם קְדֹשִׁ֣ים תִּהְי֑וּ כִּ֣י קָד֔וֹשׁ אֲנִ֖י יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶֽם׃ Speak to the whole Israelite community and say to them: You shall be holy, for I, the LORD your God, am

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SHABBAT PURIM: The Megillah’s Life Lesson Regarding Getting Along With Others

For the eternal merit to the soul of my grandfather Yitzchak Aziz Ben Mashallah Hacohen A”H When Haman was promoted to second-in-command, the king ordered that every passerby must bow down to him. The Gemara (Sanhedrin 61b) explains that it was halachically permissible to comply with this edict, for there was no issue of actual idolatry involved. As a result,

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PARSHAT MISHPATIM: Do You Communicate?

For the eternal merit to the soul of my grandfather Yitzchak Aziz Ben Mashallah Hacohen A”H The great revelation at Sinai was a most significant moment in the experience of communication. The event is described as an experience like “eating and drinking;” a real, live, enjoyable experience. Moshe, the leader of the people, achieved an even greater level of communication

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Fallacies of Articles Past

In 2019 – when I first started at the VT Scroll as the Opinion Editor – I wrote a relatively bulky article titled “UBI: An Unexpected Antidote”. In it, I discussed the merits of universal basic income as a replacement for the current welfare regime – particularly in how it could reduce bureaucracy. Notably, I argued at the time that

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PARSHAT VAYECHI: THE TRUE MEANING OF A B’NEI TORAH

For the eternal merit to the soul of my grandfather Yitzchak Aziz Ben Mashallah Hacohen A”H ” יִשָּׂשכָ֖ר חֲמֹ֣ר גָּ֑רֶם רֹבֵ֖ץ בֵּ֥ין הַֽמִּשְׁפְּתָֽיִם׃” Pashas Bereshis, Perek 49, Passuk 14-(בראשית פרק מ״ט פסוק יד) Parshas Vayechi contains the final blessings that Yaakov gave to each of his sons prior to his death. In his blessing to the tribe of Yissochar, whose

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PARSHAT VAYIGASH: WE SHOULDN’T MEASURE SUCCESS BY FAME, FORTUNE, OR POWER

For the eternal  merit  to the soul of my grandfather Yitzchak Aziz Ben Mashallah Hacohen A”H When Yosef ’s brothers returned home and informed Yaakov that he was still alive and was the viceroy in Egypt, Yaakov’s first response was one of disbelief. However, when he saw the wagons that Yosef sent, Yaakov became convinced that they were telling the

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Valley Torah Boys Return to statewide Mock Trial Tournament – now on zoom

In the first week of September, the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) announced the restart of the National Mock Trial Competition. This year the CRF announced that while the organization is not canceling the competition due to COVID-19, they will complete the competition via Zoom. What this meant for David Kerendian (’22) and I (’22), co-captains of the VTHS boys’ team,

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A simpler cure to Corruption – featuring original research

In 2014 a report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies placed the annual global cost of corruption at over a trillion United States dollars. For context, that accounted for 1.3 percent of global GDP in 2014.  Years later, a 2018 report issued by the World Economic Forum estimated corruption consumed 5 percent of global GDP.   While estimates vary

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Transition authorized: Trump admin. cooperating with biden team

It has been nearly three weeks since election day 2020 and more than two weeks since the race was called by major media sites, but only today can president-elect Joe Biden officially begin the presidential transition process.  The General Services Administration (GSA) is an independent U.S. government agency that helps manage the functioning of most federal agencies in America. The transition of

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PARSHAT TOLDOT: EISAV’S IDEOLOGY

” וַיֵּצֵ֤א הָרִאשׁוֹן֙ אַדְמוֹנִ֔י כֻּלּ֖וֹ כְּאַדֶּ֣רֶת שֵׂעָ֑ר וַיִּקְרְא֥וּ שְׁמ֖וֹ עֵשָֽׂו וְאַֽחֲרֵי־כֵ֞ן יָצָ֣א אָחִ֗יו וְיָד֤וֹ אֹחֶ֙זֶת֙ בַּעֲקֵ֣ב עֵשָׂ֔ו וַיִּקְרָ֥א שְׁמ֖וֹ יַעֲקֹ֑ב וְיִצְחָ֛ק בֶּן־שִׁשִּׁ֥ים שָׁנָ֖ה בְּלֶ֥דֶת אֹתָֽם (בראשית פרק כה פסוקים כה-כו) For the eternal  merit  to the soul of my grandfather Yitzchak Aziz Ben Mashallah Hacohen A”H After Eisav emerged from Rivkah’s womb, Yaakov came out after him holding on to

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Against Internship-interventionism

The earlier half of October saw the European Parliament – a legislature elected by citizens of European Union member states – vote on a resolution which, amongst other items, called for a ban on unpaid internships. The vote passed with eight-two percent in favor, eleven percent opposed, and the remainder abstaining.  The resolution emphatically condemns unpaid internships as a violation

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The Houston Trashtros: The Methods, Discovery, and Punishment of One of the Biggest Cheating Scandals in MLB History

In October 2017, the Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in an epic 7 game World Series to take home the first championship in their 55 year history. Led by MVP Jose Altuve, former 1st overall pick Carlos Correa, and World Series MVP George Springer, the Astros won 101 games in the 2017 regular season, their best season in

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SAt / act in 2020?

As a high school student now trying to apply to college, we all face a similar situation due to COVID-19: should we take the SAT or ACT?  Because of the Global Pandemic, the College Board and American College Testing organizations, creators of these standardized tests, asked colleges for the upcoming year to be sympathetic to high schoolers and acknowledge that

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Parshas Pekudei: Every Letter Counts

Parshat Pekudei is well known as one of the most descriptive Parshiot in the Torah, especially with regards to the building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). When delving into the Parsha itself, the first Possuk (verse) of the Torah appears to have a blatant redundancy where it says “אלה פקודי המשכן, משכן העדת” (translation: These are the accounts of the Mishkan,

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Sofer Station 2: Adar Beis Special!

Welcome back to The Sofer’s Station! The second month of Adar has arrived! Being that one of the four mitzvot of Purim, celebrated this month, is to read the Megillah, the next couple of articles will briefly talk about important “ingredients” in writing a Megillah, specifically Megillat Esther. These “ingredients” will be scrutinized in detail in later articles. As mentioned

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“Snowflake Culture” Comes From Both Sides…Especially at Valley Torah

Unless you have been living under a very large rock there is no doubt you have heard the term “snowflake”—a derogatory term placed on someone who gets easily offended. Commonly used to put down people on the left side of the political spectrum, a snowflake believes that they are, for some reason or another, entitled to special treatment. Recently, however,

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Shabbaton 2018-19: A Weekend of Achdus and School Spirit

Of the many events in a Valley Torah Student’s career, one that can’t be missed is the annual winter Shabbaton. Much like all of the other meticulously planned school events, the Shabbaton has been designed for decades by our Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Stulberger, and graciously executed by Rabbi Semmel and other administrators over the times, as a weekend where students

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Israel in Review: 2018

In the month of January, many of us get reminiscent about the previous year. With American politics as crazy as they now are, let’s take a look at how 2018 treated the state of Israel. The year didn’t start off too well for the Israeli government. Amid allegations of corruption, the government opened an investigation into Prime Minister Netanyahu’s affairs

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The Sofer’s Station: Intro

Hello and welcome to the Sofer’s Station! One thing that I am currently studying is how to become a Sofer סת״ם (Stam).  סת״ם stands for ספר תורה, תפילין, ומזוזות (Sefer Torah, Tefillin, and Mezuzah). A Sofer סת״ם writes these holy objects. There are many different halachot when dealing with the halachot of סת״ם. I will be writing the Halachic section

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VTHS 2019 Baseball Preview

The new baseball season is approaching quickly and there’s a lot to look forward to this year for the Valley Torah Wolfpack. Returning players such as Eli Solomon (‘19) and Yosee Kreitenberg (‘20) have been recently appointed captains and look to lead the team to their first playoff berth in three years. Both Eli and Yosee have been playing since

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PARSHAT METZORA: Life Lessons

This week’s Parsha is Metzora, which focuses on many things. One very important thing that the Parsha discusses is the tzaraat: a heaven-sent disease that was inflicted upon people due to their misdeeds, most commonly Lashon Hara. To gain atonement for a sin so great that it deserved tzaraat, a person must vanquish himself totally of the moral underlying flaw inside of

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An Update: Running Reflections Part 2

It’s now Motzei Shabbos, March 19, 2022. Friday was Shushan Purim and Klal Yisroel suffered a terrible tragedy: the loss of Maran HaRav Chaim Kanievsky zt”l. This awful news strengthened my resolve to still attempt to achieve my next goal to be able to grow in my ruchnius in memory of the Godol Hador. Which goal? Friday happened to be the day that I had set for myself to

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We, Again, Are Left Heartbroken; May Their Memories Be A Blessing

From March 22 to April 7, 2022, fourteen innocent civilians were murdered. Twenty-eight parents will live the rest of their lives without ever hugging their child again. Fifteen children will grow up without their biological parent. Fifty-six grandparents won’t see their grandchild sitting at the dinner table on holiday nights again. Three wives and two husbands will never get to

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VTHS Wolfpack Wins 2022 Red Sarachek Championships In all-time Best and Historic Performance

On Monday afternoon, a new Sarachek champion was crowned. In front of a deafening crowd at Yeshiva University’s Max Stern Athletic Center, the Valley Torah Wolfpack (#2-seeded) defeated the DRS Wildcats (#4-seeded) 55-45 to win the 2022 Sarachek Tournamnent in four games and capture the Wolfpack’s first Red Sarachek Championship in 30 years.  The historic final playoff was action-packed from start to

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Conflict In Ukraine: Autocracy Tests The Limits of Democracy On The Global Stage

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine approaches the two-week mark, heartbreaking images of the devastation and suffering inflicted by the war reverberate around the world and compound the complexity of the global response to the Ukrainian crisis. In a modern era dominated by media access and technology, the world’s viewers have been given instant awareness and visions of war unlike

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Valley Torah Wolfpack Makes CIF State history In Groundbreaking Win Against Millikan Rams

In a game for the books, The Valley Torah Wolfpack arose as the first 16th-seeded team in CIF State history to make the Southern California Regional Finals this past Saturday night. With the Howard Lyon Gymnasium packed with impassioned fans, the Wolfpack won Saturday night’s regional semifinal game against the Millikan Rams by a score of 72-59. VT junior Johny

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