Gil Perl

A Call for Clarity

Derashah for the 2nd Day of Rosh Hashanah 5780

In speaking last spring with Ha-Rav Moshe Lichtenstein, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Etzion, I mentioned to him that we were planning a 20th anniversary trip to Italy over the summer.  He then informed me that his father and my teacher, Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, ztz”l, had also taken an anniversary trip to Italy with his wife Tovah. . . .

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October 02, 2019

Rebellious Jewish Women

Derashah for the 1st Day of Rosh Hashanah 5780

Rebellious Jewish women are hard to escape.  Or, at least they are today.


The first one we encounter is Sarah who in this morning’s Torah reading has an uneasy feeling about the environment in which she is raising her son Yitzchak and the influence of his half-brother Yishmael.  When she decides to take . . .

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October 02, 2019

From Lithuania to Lakewood: A Response to American Anti-Semitism

Talk of the relationship between the Jewish community and their non-Jewish neighbors in the United States today almost exclusively centers on the growing threat of American anti-semitism.  Depending on the geographic location, religious affiliation, and political leanings of the particular community, the focus may be on the rise of . . .

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May 22, 2019

What vs. Why: Teaching Self-Awareness

A lesson in metacognition

One of our core Learning Principles at Kohelet Yeshiva Lab School and Kohelet Yeshiva Middle School is that "Self Reflection Fuels Progress."  In educational terms, it refers to the importance of metacognition in the learning process.  Like all other cognitive tasks, however, metacognition or self-reflection is not something we can . . .

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May 07, 2019

Summoning Our Inner Chareidi

Derasha for the 2nd Day of Rosh Hashanah, 5779

There are few phrases that encapsulate the ideals and aspirations of Torah Judaism quite like the phrase, yirat shamayim.  Literally translated, the phrase means “fear” or “awe of Heaven.”  Yet, in recent years Jewish thinkers have made the rather convincing case that this phrase actually has little to do . . .

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September 12, 2018

Silencing the Satan

Derasha for the 1st Day of Rosh Hashanah, 5779

As one makes their way through the halakhot pertaining to the days and weeks leading up to this moment, a curious creature raises his ugly head time and again.  He is one that we, living in the Modern world as we do, don’t often give much credence to and - if we do - we might well dismiss him as a Christian concept foreign to our . . .

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September 12, 2018

זה היום עשה ה' נגילה ונשמחה בו

A Religious Zionist Perspective on Yom Ha'atzmaut

Following an incredibly inspiring communal tekes Yom HaZikaron last night followed by a ruach-filled tefillah chagigit in our Beit Midrash last night, and a spirited tefillah this morning, I took a few minutes out to try and place everything we were doing for Yom Ha'atzmaut in context. 

As an institution and as a community we are . . .

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April 19, 2018