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My Girls

30 Shevat 5772 – February 22, 2012
My children were growing up and leaving the nest. Wanting to fill up my days with a challenging project, I heard through a friend that a local high school needed an English teacher.

Rabbi Lord Sacks: The Hardship Of Freedom

23 Shevat 5772 – February 15, 2012
First in Parshat Yitro there were the Asseret Hadibrot (the Ten Utterances, or general principles). Now in Parshat Mishpatim come the details.

Reb Elimelech M’Lizhensk (Part V)

Baruch, from the village of Radovitz, was a sharecropper who barely eked out a living. His income was at the mercy of the infamously cruel Poritz, who owned the Radovitz environs.

A Shampoo Gemach

I thank Hashem that my daughters play “shampoo gemach", and I take pride in our community, which stresses gemachs and acts of gemilas chesed. Families try to find ways to help others, and people go out of their way to search for opportunities to practice kindness.

‘All Your Deeds Are Written In A Book’

16 Shevat 5772 – February 8, 2012
Recently, I discovered a frum website, www.jewish-e-books.com, that allows one to download hundreds of Jewish books – both in English and Hebrew. Having written a sefer myself, I was able to get it put on their website.

The Supernatural Miracle

10 Shevat 5772 – February 2, 2012
In September 2010, BBC, Reuters and other news agencies reported on a sensational scientific discovery. Researchers at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University of Colorado showed through computer simulation how the division of the Red Sea might have taken place.

My Packrat Friend

9 Shevat 5772 – February 1, 2012
My friend Mrs. Rosen (not her real name) asked me to share her story. A widow for several years, she recently moved back to the community where she grew up so that she could help her elderly parents.

The Egyptian March Of Folly

3 Shevat 5772 – January 26, 2012
There is a fascinating moment in the unfolding story of the plagues that should make us stop and take notice. Seven plagues have now struck Egypt.

Hashem Hears Our Tefillos

The following inspiring story was told to Rochelle Rothman by her close family member. It truly shows how Hashem runs the world, and helps us in all of our endeavors.

Reb Elimelech M’Lizhensk (Part IV)

26 Tevet 5772 – January 20, 2012
Reb Elimelech M’Lizhensk was considered one of the finest students of the Baal Shem Tov’s successor, the Maggid MiMezretch. When the Maggid passed away, his disciples gathered for the funeral and then had to decide who would succeed their master.

When History Was Born

The parshah of Va’eira begins with some fateful words. It would not be too much to say that they changed the course of history because they changed the way people thought about history. In fact, they gave birth to the very idea of history. Listen to the words:

Reaping The Fruits Of His Labor

25 Tevet 5772 – January 19, 2012
Reb Pinchos, born in Romania, moved shortly after birth with his parents to Vienna. As a teenager, he learned in another city and took his Gemara with him. Pinchos remembered how his rebbe always liked to teach from his Gemara.

Making It To The Simcha

17 Tevet 5772 – January 11, 2012
Here is an amazing story. I recently made a bar mitzvah for my second son. I went to have my daughter's hair done in Flatbush, and had to be at the hall two hours later.

Hashem’s Nachas

10 Tevet 5772 – January 4, 2012
It’s lately become a family joke. During the course of a day, something occurs that touches me. My kids see the wheels turning in my head and ask, teasingly, if I have another idea for one of my columns. It can be a simple kindness, or it can be one of the miracles that Hashem has wrought for us.

Closeness And Distance

4 Tevet 5772 – December 29, 2011
What do porcupines do in winter? asked Schopenhauer. If they come too close to one another, they injure each other. If they stay too far apart, they freeze. Life, for porcupines, is a delicate balance between closeness and distance. It is hard to get it right and dangerous to get it wrong. And so it is for us.

Coincidences And Happenings

To this day, this true story makes the hairs on my neck stand up straight. It’s a story whereby too many “coincidences” just “happened.”

Reb Elimelech M’Lizhensk (Part III)

26 Kislev 5772 – December 21, 2011
Wherever the two holy brothers went on their self-imposed exile they generated a spirit of repentance. Their standard routine was to admonish themselves out loud for their supposed crimes, when in fact their “sins” were precisely the ones that the villager within earshot needed to rectify.

The Real Issue

There has long been a massive debate in Anglo Jewry as to whether we should take a unified stance in our support for the State of Israel or openly air our differences. It’s mostly been a noisy and shrill debate, but it’s the wrong debate – as it is deflecting us from the real issue.

Hand In Hand

I was walking home from my weekly Tehillim group when I encountered a very worried-looking young woman. She told me she had been standing outside her apartment when she encountered an old man. He seemed lost, and did not respond to her offer of help. She noticed he was not wearing shoes.

Conversation Is The Key To Understanding

20 Kislev 5772 – December 15, 2011
From Parshat Vayeishev to the end of Sefer Bereishit, we read the story of Joseph and his brothers. From the very beginning we are plunged into a drama of sibling rivalry that seems destined to end in tragedy.

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