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Stephen Belsky

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Stephen Belsky is a graduate of the Yeshiva of Flatbush, the State University of New York at Binghamton, and the Educators Program of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. He received semikha at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, and while studying there held internships at Beth David Synagogue in West Hartford, Connecticut, and the International Rabbinic Fellowship. Before starting semikha, Stephen taught at the Schechter high school in Teaneck, New Jersey, and after ordination, he returned to education, teaching Jewish Studies in the middle and high school divisions of Yeshivat Akiva in Southfield, Michigan. In addition to classroom teaching, Stephen has taught and lectured both in his local community and in synagogues across the eastern United States.

תפילת היוצר | A Worker’s Prayer, by Rabbi Stephen Belsky

Contributed on: 05 Sep 2016 by Stephen Belsky |

A worker’s prayer by Rabbi Stephen Belsky, dedicated to Noam Ezra ben haRav Moshe z”l. . . .

An Accounting of Punny Foods for the Rosh haShanah Feast, by Stephen Belsky

Contributed on: 28 Sep 2011 by Stephen Belsky |

As חז”ל [Ḥazal] taught us, on ראש השנה [Rosh Hashanah] we elevate puns from the lowest form of humor to the highest religious experience. The foods suggested by our Sages had names in Aramaic or Hebrew that symbolized hopes for the new year — here is a list of foods with English names for those of us for whom English is our vernacular. . . .

עֵת שַׁעֲרֵי רָצוֹן | Eit Shaarei Ratson, a piyyut by Rabbi Yehuda ben Shmuel ibn Abbas (ca. 12th c.)

Contributed on: 01 Sep 2021 by Stephen Belsky | Yehudah ben Shmuel ibn Abbas |

This is the piyyut, עֵת שַׁעֲרֵי רָצוֹן (Eit Shaarei Ratson) by Rabbi Yehuda ben Shmuel ibn Abbas (12th century Aleppo, Syria (born in Fez, Morocco)). The English translation presented here is by Rabbi Stephen Belsky. . . .

תפילה לבאסטאן | Prayer for Boston after the bombing, by Rabbi Stephen Belsky (2013)

Contributed on: 19 Apr 2013 by Stephen Belsky |

May the One who spoke the world into being, and who blessed humanity created in God’s image, and who brought about the miracle of these United States to promote freedom and peace among all people — bless, guard, and protect all the inhabitants of the Boston area, and strengthen and encourage their leaders, representatives, police officers, and detectives; bring them out from the shadow of death to light, and from danger to relief; and may the verse be fulfilled for them which says, ‘God is good to all, and shows mercy to all God’s creatures.’ And let us say: amein. . . .

מי שברך על כל המחרפים נפשם לעצור את המגפה | Mi sheBerakh for the Medical Workers & Researchers on the Front Lines of the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic (2020)

Contributed on: 27 Mar 2020 by Stephen Belsky |

A prayer for the medical workers and researchers on the front lines of treating the afflicted and finding a cure for the COVID19 coronavirus pandemic. . . .

תפילה לארצות הברית לאחר הטבח בפּיטסבּורג | Prayer for the United States after the Pittsburgh Massacre, by Rabbi Stephen Belsky (2018)

Contributed on: 03 Nov 2018 by Stephen Belsky |

A prayer composed in the aftermath of the mass murder of the Dor Ḥadash community at the Ets Ḥayyim (Tree of Life) Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh on Shabbat morning 27 October 2018. . . .

A Prayer for Uvalde [after the Massacre at Robb Elementary School], by Rabbi Stephen Belsky (25 May 2022)

Contributed on: 30 Aug 2022 by Stephen Belsky |

A prayer for Uvalde and for all of us, from a little over three hours away, up the road in Austin… . . .

רָנּוּ שָׁמַֽיִם | Ronnu shamayim, a piyyut celebrating the Decalogue by Elyaqim

Contributed on: 03 Jun 2022 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Stephen Belsky | Anonymous (translation) | Elyaqim haPayyetan | Ḳaraite Jews of America |

This piyyut is signed “Elyaqim Ḥazaq.” Alas, we do not know who this Elyaqim was or even whether he was a rabbinic or Karaite Jew. The piyyut has been preserved for us in the Karaite cycle (Vilna printing press, 1852, Vol. IV, p. 135.) and there are several other piyyutim signed with his name. . . .

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