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14 Tishri 5779 -
? Sunday, September 23, 2018


Reb Elimelech M’Lizhensk (Part X)

To the misnaged-opponent, chassidus was not perceived as a different strand of normative Judaism, nor as a movement to uplift downtrodden Jews – but as an existential threat to Judaism itself. And the threat was no longer viewed as a futuristic potentiality; it was a real and imminent danger, for the movement was no longer limited to just the commoner but had infiltrated the ranks of scholars.

The Rubashkin Saga – XVI

Another installment in the ongoing Rubashkin saga

The Rubashkin Saga – XV

Another installment in the ongoing Rubashkin saga

The Rubashkin Saga – XIV

The ongoing saga of the incarceration and punitive pursuit of Shalom Rubashkin.

Reb Elimelech M’Lizhensk (Part VIII)

Scholars have debated where precisely the Baal Shem Tov was born, few giving credence to the tiny village of Okopy (pronounced Akup). Most likely he hailed from Kolomyya on the slopes of the Carpathian Mountains and on the banks of the Prut River. Nearly 300 years have lapsed since the passing of the Baal Shem Tov and all the while the stories of his miraculous abilities have increased. Yet all fail to fully portray his greatness.

The Rubashkin Saga

Rubashkin’s idea was sound. A kosher slaughterhouse located in Pottsville, Iowa provided many benefits for consumers of kosher meat and the local economy.

The Yale Five (IV)

The Yale 5 became the cause célèbre of liberals who maligned & conservatives who triumphed the cause

The Breakfast Of Champions (Part IV)

Monona Grove was headed to “State” and the Silver Eagle fans went insane. The coming games would not be played in monotonous high school gyms erected in the 1950s. They were off to the University of Wisconsin's colossal Kohl Center where they would play before a crowd of 12,000. The games would be broadcast to a statewide television audience of millions, as a battery of newspapers and stations would be begging for interviews. The Kohl Center was just a short drive from Monona, technically in the same city.

Jewish Practice In The U.S. Military (I)

The story of Air Force Chaplain Rabbi Geller's options concerning his beard: "Either you go to the barber shop or you go to jail."

Breakfast And Happiness (Part I)

After having written this column for so many years, and covering so many topics, I am (finally) bowing to the numerous requests to write about our blessed family. More specifically, I shall commit to paper everyone’s favorite routine: the scene at our breakfast table.

Breakfast And Happiness (Part V)

So goes the story about a man in the silly town of Chelm who visited a public bathhouse and found himself in a terrible predicament. Without the distinction of clothing, everyone looked alike. “Among all these men who look alike,” he said to himself, “how will I ever know which one is me?” He solved his dilemma by tying a red string around his big toe.

Guard Your Influence (I)

No year will exceed the seminary year in influencing the development of these young women.

The Rubashkin Saga – V

These PETA people are not Orthodox Jews. So, why would they so strongly criticize a kosher packing plant for what they believe to be violations of kosher practice? They are using tactics similar to the Nazis.

The Ever-Amazing Reb Elimelech (Part XV)

Reb Elimelech maintained that just for him alone they will have to make a new Gehinnom, for the one that already exists is not adequate enough. He also commented – in his infinite humility – that the reason people come to him and request his assistance with children, health and parnassah is because it is his sins that are responsible for the absence of these blessings.

The Ever-Amazing Reb Elimelech (Part XVI)

It was when Reb Elimelech assumed the leadership of the chassidic movement that the Austrian Kaiser decreed that before a woman may wed, a tax of 400 golden coins must be paid to the government. This tax was far too exorbitant for the commoner to pay and many feared that they would never be able to marry off their daughters.

Guard Your Influence (Conclusion)

It is quite a mind-shift to look at your life from the future. This entails thinking about your greatest legacy, how will one be remembered?

Salek Discovers Apt

Whereas Salek's father's appearance was rather modern for that period - sporting only a short beard, just like his cousins - his grandfather, Avrohom Orenstein, had a flowing beard and wore a shtreimel on Shabbos.

A Humbling Lesson (Part IV)

“he’s my rabbi” the Black painter said with pride, pulling out a photo of the Rebbe from his wallet

The Ever-Amazing Reb Elimelech (Part XIV)

As has been noted in a previous column, Reb Elimelech – like the Baal Shem Tov before him – asserted that pessimism and depression cause sin and spiritual apathy. Repentance (yes, even repentance!) that causes depression and sadness distances the Holy Presence.

Jewish Practice In The U.S. Military (XI)

The ongoing legal saga of whether Dr. Simcha Goldman could wear his yarmulke while serving in the US Air Force

Guard Your Influence (IV)

At its worst, nearly 200,000 'fare-beaters' daily entered NY City's transit system without paying

Reb Elimelech M’Lizhensk (Part I)

Just when it seemed that the Jews could never recover from the ruinous events of the 17th and 18th centuries, their plight was worsened yet, by even heavier taxes imposed by the Polish government.

Breakfast And Happiness (Part III)

“I never said I have nothing to complain about,” she intoned with an expression that belied her age. “I just don’t see the wisdom of protesting. I am fine and I am being adequately nourished.” And with that she went back to her cereal.

Shabbos In The Shtetl

In preparation for Shabbos, Salik Orenstein's (our protagonist, and through his eyes and his memoir are we viewing the shtetl) mother baked challos.

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