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Vayeitzei: the Tears of Yaakov and the Tears of Esav

5 Kislev 5774 – November 7, 2013
Are we really meant to applaud Yaakov's behavior?

The ‘Perfect’ D’var Torah

4 Kislev 5774 – November 6, 2013
Several years ago, my wife and I were in Boro Park for a wedding. Early the next morning, we received news from Yerushalayim that we had a new grandson.

Toldot: a Conversation for the Ages

28 Heshvan 5774 – November 1, 2013
What does the parsha teach us about the nature of heritage?

Breakfast And Happiness (Part I)

28 Heshvan 5774 – October 31, 2013
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.

Two Sides Of The Same Coin

27 Heshvan 5774 – October 30, 2013
Chaim (not his real name) was walking down the street, feeling very discouraged. It seemed that lately, the news was filled with stories depicting the disparities, distrust and dislike between the different streams of Jews living in Israel. Much of it revolved around the different religious affiliations or non-affiliations that people adhered to. There were times when Chaim felt the situation was hopeless, with no way to bring people together as a cohesive group – despite their differences.

A Life-Saving Mitzvah

With Sukkos well behind us, we are back to our normal workday mode, our post- holiday routine. The sukkah, our temporary dwelling for eight days, has been dismantled and we have returned to our comfortable, permanent homes. Likewise, our Daled Minim have been discarded, having served their purpose. We’re done with those mitzvos (at least for this season).

Chayei Sarah: What Makes for a Successful Life?

21 Heshvan 5774 – October 25, 2013
What Rashi's take on Sarah's life means to us.

Beginning The Journey

20 Heshvan 5774 – October 24, 2013
The purchase of the Cave of Machpelah is evidently a highly significant event because it is recorded in great detail.

An Explosion Of Serendipity

20 Heshvan 5774 – October 23, 2013
Every Sukkos, at the end of a fun action-packed day at the park, we would gather our happy, albeit exhausted, children and prepare for the long ride home. Needless to say, the first item on the list was a visit to the restrooms. This became our yearly routine and the kids would comply without protest, often before being reminded.

The Shtender And The Wine Glezel

13 Heshvan 5774 – October 16, 2013
My home is furnished simply. One notes the customary family photos and bric-a-brac that makes a house a home, but certain items are my priceless treasures.

The Rebbe’s Assurance

The current situation with Syria reminds me of an episode that occurred in January 1991 in Toronto. I had taken my son for swimming lessons while my wife stayed in the car, anxiously listening to the news about Israel. Those were very tense times, with Iraq threatening to attack Israel with chemical weapons, God forbid.

The Courage Not To Conform

7 Heshvan 5774 – October 10, 2013
Leaders lead. They don’t conform for the sake of conforming. They don’t do what others do merely because others are doing it. They think outside the box. They march to a different tune.

All Of His Wonders: Our Purim Miracle

6 Heshvan 5774 – October 9, 2013
On the exalted Purim day, my husband collects money for needy families, as is the custom of many good-hearted Jews. Last Purim before sundown, he entered the home of his last stop, a home filled with many people. Upon receiving some generous donations, he reached for his pocket to keep these contributions safely together with the rest of the money he had gathered. To his great chagrin and shock, he put his hand into an empty pocket.

The Challot Segulah

29 Tishri 5774 – October 2, 2013
Meital and Aharon, married for several years, were thrilled to discover that Meital was pregnant. But within a few hours of their son’s birth, it was painfully apparent that things were far from all right medically.

The Almighty’s Supreme Call to Man

21 Tishri 5774 – September 25, 2013
Could we understand the history of Israel without its prehistory, the stories of Abraham and Sarah and their children?

The Breakfast Of Champions (Conclusion)

21 Tishri 5774 – September 24, 2013
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.

Only In Israel: The Donkey And The Car

The incessant loud knocking on the door startled me from my brief reverie. My husband had left to attend a chassanah in Yerushalayim just moments earlier, the kids were comfortably tucked into bed, and I was spending a quiet evening at home tackling sundry neglected tasks. The sudden pounding and muffled voices soon interrupted my plans for the lonely hours that beckoned. I hurried to answer the door while drying my hands on a kitchen towel haphazardly draped over my shoulder.

Hashem Will Help

14 Tishri 5774 – September 17, 2013
The zaidie sat at the head of the dining room table. I was a small child and unaware that my friend Esther’s grandfather was the revered rosh yeshiva at Yeshiva University, Rav Moshe Aaron Poleyeff, zt”l.

Flawless

8 Tishri 5774 – September 11, 2013
Approximately 30 days before Shavuos, my fondest friend, Joshua, a prominent diamond importer, invited me to his Fifth Avenue office. “Chaim, I want to show you a beautiful stone. Maybe you have a customer, and I am sure you could use the broker’s commission” (usually not more than two percent).

Moses: the Heroic Model

29 Elul 5773 – September 4, 2013
It was Moses who mediated with God.

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