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A Cardinal Message

6 Sivan 5773 – May 14, 2013
A flash of red caught my eye, and I looked up and saw a cardinal perched on the picnic table on my deck. What a miracle, I marveled. You’re beautiful. Thanks, Hashem. And then my mind’s wheels began to roll, and it struck me that several miracle stories had come my way this week. The stories prodded me to think of and feel Hashem’s presence as a more tangible and vivid reality.

Perfect Harmony

29 Iyyar 5773 – May 8, 2013
It was a lovely summer night in the Holy Land. My husband and I, and a dozen or so of our colleagues, straggled into our hotel, exhausted but exhilarated after a long action-packed day of touring and activities. As we entered the lobby, we heard the unmistakable melodic strains of a piano being played in an adjacent room.

A Journey To Faith: I’m Not Alone Anymore

22 Iyyar 5773 – May 1, 2013
Growing up with Cerebral palsy, I was angry. I asked, “Why am I disabled? Why is the kid next door Reform and healthy and my family is so religious and I am disabled?” I thought He was supposed to love us, but it seemed He was punishing me.

Measure For Measure

17 Iyyar 5773 – April 26, 2013
Recently, I was elated to hear that my daughter had left Shaare Zedek hospital content that the surgery to remove a growth under her eyelid had been successful, Baruch Hashem. It is always difficult when a loved one must endure a painful experience while separated by land and sea, but when I heard about the hashgachah she had encountered I was comforted that the One Above was again watching over our family.

Learning To Dance In The Rain

8 Iyyar 5773 – April 17, 2013
When I call my friend on her birthday and ask her how it feels to be her new age, she answers, “It's better than the alternative.” Yes, we’ve all heard Vivian Greene’s words: “Life’s not about waiting for the storms to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.”

Love The Stranger

1 Iyyar 5773 – April 10, 2013
A pale young man shuffled into the small Jerusalem yeshiva during kriyat haTorah one Shabbat morning.

The Gates Of Righteousness

25 Nisan 5773 – April 4, 2013
We live in a world that is often too cruel and unkind. Living in Israel for the last 30 years, I have attended too many funerals for those whose lives were taken through incomprehensible acts of terror. During the years of the second intifada there were many days that I found it impossible to continue teaching, as a student would burst into my classroom and announce that there had been another terrorist attack. How could I just go on with a regular lesson when lives were lost?

Mazel Can Happen Anywhere

15 Nisan 5773 – March 25, 2013
Living in Staten Island provides us with a certain type of suburban living that is enjoyed and appreciated by most, if not all. We have less congestion of cars, easier parking and more camaraderie, as there are less people than in the other boroughs. We have no alternate parking, and it’s easier to park in all shopping areas. The rabbis know each person individually, and are very familiar with their families and life histories. This is not an advertisement for our neighborhood; it’s simply background to my story.

Billionaires

10 Nisan 5773 – March 20, 2013
“If you have children, you are a millionaire. And if all of your children have children, you are a billionaire.”

My Rebbe

25 Adar 5773 – March 6, 2013
The start of the school year had already passed. Our youngest son was waiting for community leaders to determine what should be done for the students of his beloved school that had recently fallen apart due to lack of funds. The result turned out to be better than anyone could have ever expected.

With Gun Pointed, I Became A Rabbi

18 Adar 5773 – February 27, 2013
The first and only time I said I was a rabbi was also the first and only time I had a gun pointed at me. What led me to that moment was my need to stay on the Upper West Side for a Shabbos and a hospitality committee that arranged for me to stay with a man who lived in the former janitor’s apartment on the fifth floor of a synagogue.

The Heavenly Shadchan

11 Adar 5773 – February 20, 2013
There were three names with brief bios on the list. All had similar qualities and were within the correct age and frumkeit range. With nothing to distinguish one from the others, we could have enlisted the tried-and-true option of “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe…” Instead, we decided to base our decision on practical and geographic considerations. So we opted to go with the candidate from Teaneck, New Jersey, reasonably close in proximity to our son’s apartment in Edison.

Triply Blessed

4 Adar 5773 – February 13, 2013
Like many children, some of my grandchildren tended to rush through the berachot they recited each day. Somehow, the first few words were inclined to run together. The last few words often got swallowed up, especially those that were part of berachot made before eating something they really liked.

Truly Grateful

27 Shevat 5773 – February 6, 2013
To be honest, I never really understand what’s happening on the screen during an ultrasound scan. But on this visit the technician was strangely quiet. I looked at the screen. “How come you’re not showing me everything?” I asked. “It’s all still there, isn’t it?” I asked jokingly.

Kiddush Hashem And The Right Thing To Do

20 Shevat 5773 – January 30, 2013
It is very important for Jews to first help family, then other Jews close to us, then Jews not as close. Next, if possible and appropriate, Jews should help those of any race or creed.

A Miracle In Monsey

13 Shevat 5773 – January 23, 2013
Is it just me? Maybe it’s the aging factor. The shorter days perhaps? Somehow by the time the day is done there is still so much left to do. This nagging sensation becomes even more acute right before the end of the year when you know you’ll soon need to give a din v’cheshbon and will, in all likelihood, come up short.

Lost In The Snow

6 Shevat 5773 – January 16, 2013
As night fell and Shabbat drew to a close, a minyan gathered in my sister’s home in Manchester, England.

Mi Casa Es Su Casa

28 Tevet 5773 – January 9, 2013
We were literally in “seventh” heaven. The Sabbatical year in Eretz Yisrael was almost too good to be true. My husband was enjoying a rare break from his hectic schedule of teaching and administrating and was thrilled to be able to instead sit on the other side of the desk, quenching his perpetual thirst for knowledge. The entire family felt blessed to have so much heretofore unheard of quality time with Abba, while living in the Promised Land and participating in frequent exciting family activities and touring opportunities with the program. We unanimously agreed that our proverbial cup had indeed runneth over.

The Struggle

22 Tevet 5773 – January 3, 2013
Once a week or so some of my friends and I get together for activities and a little socializing. Over time I have gone through some personal changes and growth, and I sometimes feel out of place with these girls, some of whom I have known for years. I experienced a real struggle during a recent get-together that will surely have a long-lasting impact on me.

Miracles Of Faith

14 Tevet 5773 – December 26, 2012
Having faith is often difficult, especially when having to deal with more than one life challenge.

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