Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
Posted on: December 26th, 2013Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
“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.
Posted on: November 29th, 2013Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
One of the ancillary axioms of cornflake fights is that they can never be contained between just two warring parties.
Posted on: October 31st, 2013Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
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.
Posted on: September 24th, 2013Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
Overtime proved to be as tense and white-knuckled as the fourth quarter. Halfway through, New London grabbed a defensive rebound and charging toward their basket when Monona’s forward poked away the ball and broke away. In a slick maneuver he managed to split the defense and went up virtually slamming it to give Monona Grove the lead.
Posted on: August 29th, 2013Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
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.
Posted on: July 31st, 2013Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
With absolutely nothing to lose, including his employment for the coming year, Dan Zweifel devised a strategy for a team that could not seem to catch an offensive rhythm and for players that had protracted shooting slumps and 10-minute-long droughts. His solution, his only recourse, was defense.
Posted on: July 3rd, 2013Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
Brief synopsis: Monona Grove High School in Wisconsin was a most unlikely candidate to make it to the 1998 high school basketball championships, referred to as “State.” Especially so since the coach is a very young rookie named Dan Zweifel, who replaced the veteran Coach Verhelst. Andy Witte, the team’s star player, will do anything to please Coach V.
Posted on: June 6th, 2013Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
Dear Readers: You may remember how we once did an experiment with a story (about a monster fire in Arizona) without Jewish protagonists, but containing a universal lesson that I believed worthy to record for the readers of Chodesh Tov. We are there yet again, this time directly north in Wisconsin. Please bear with me as we once again record a story we investigated in the hope that the lesson is unique and worthy of our attention. It is going to take us five full columns to complete the tale, and I thank you in advance for your patience.
Posted on: May 1st, 2013Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
Reb Elimelech personally selected his burial spot, explaining that on that location he perceived the soul of the Baal Shem Tov. Reb Elimelech returned his pure soul to his Maker on 21 Adar, 1787 at the age of 70. Ever since, his burial plot has become a center for prayer and personal requests.
Posted on: April 4th, 2013Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
Ahavas Yisrael, the genuine love of one Jew for another, stood at the center of Reb Elimelech’s teachings. He always found a way to speak in praise of a fellow person and elevate the status of the Jewish people.
Posted on: March 6th, 2013Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
After Reb Elimelech had restored the glory of his colleague, Reb Shmelkeh of Nikolsburg, he departed home to Lizhensk. He was en route when a voice descended from Heaven and proclaimed, “In the merit of your helping Reb Shmelkeh you have the privilege of blessing whomever you desire during the next 24 hours. And your blessing will be fulfilled.”
Posted on: February 6th, 2013Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
Reb Elimelech was concerned for every Jew but himself. Even when he was physically assaulted by an over-zealous misnagid, his reaction was typical: “Master of the Universe, I forgive him with my whole heart. Let no man be punished on my behalf.” But when Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev was persecuted, Rabbi Elimelech rallied to support him. He was always there on behalf of others.
Posted on: January 3rd, 2013Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
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.
Posted on: December 6th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
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.
Posted on: November 8th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
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.
Posted on: October 11th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
In 1648 and 1649 Bogdan Chmelnitzky and his hordes of Cossack warriors perpetrated an annihilation campaign against the Jews of Poland and the Ukraine. Almost 100,000 Jews and 300 communities perished at the hands of these murderous mobs. All of the Jews, including infants, were targeted for murder; the general populaces nearly always joined in […]
Posted on: September 12th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
Wandering from town to village, the Holy Brothers neglected their physical needs and were sustained by meager coins or scraps of food that were donated along the way.
Posted on: August 9th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
On the sad day that Eliezer Lipman, Reb Elimelch and Reb Zusha’s father, passed from this world, his children gathered for the week of mourning. At the conclusion of the shivah the sons divided their father’s inheritance in the following way: Avraham received the cash and the house was given to Nosson. The jewelry and housewares went to Elimelech and the outstanding debts were to be collected by Zusha.
Posted on: July 11th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
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.
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