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Shabbat Lights

22 Sivan 5768 – June 25, 2008
I was thinking of my mother today. I realized that I still have much to learn from this wise woman. G‑d blessed me with my special mother who serves as my role model, my caretaker, my friend, and above all, my inspiration.

Swinging Away

21 Adar I 5768 – February 27, 2008
Ask and you shall receive! If you want something, ask your spouse, your children, your family and friends. When all else fails, ask Hashem! What do we really need? Let's be honest. We have food on our tables and a roof over our heads. We have family and friends who are true to us.

The Earthly Court vs. The Heavenly Court

19 Heshvan 5768 – October 31, 2007
I served in the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for many years as an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), Senior ALJ, Vice Chairman of the Appeals Board and, finally, TVB Director.

Something From Nothing

1 Elul 5767 – August 15, 2007
On June 27, 2001, a single mother and her son landed at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel for a two-week vacation. The plan was that she would go to a seminary and he would go to day camp. Neither of them knew a soul in Israel, nor did they know any Hebrew and next to nothing about Judaism.

The Rav Davens ‘Too Slow’

10 Av 5767 – July 25, 2007
In the early 1970's, my father, HaRav Moshe Aharon Shapiro, z"l, served as rabbi of a kosher, shomer Shabbos hotel in the Catskills. During one of those summers, my brother-in-law invited us to use his bungalow over the July 4th weekend. On Sunday we drove from the bungalow colony to visit my parents, arriving at the hotel between Minchah and Ma'ariv.

Salek Discovers Apt

25 Tammuz 5767 – July 11, 2007
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.

An Ordinary Miracle

11 Tammuz 5767 – June 27, 2007
I have a story to share with you - one that might change the way we look at every detail of our lives, labeling them coincidences or miracles. You be the judge!

Education In The Shtetl

20 Sivan 5767 – June 6, 2007
The shtetl of Apt would rise early every weekday morning when the men would rush to one of the houses of prayer, better known as shteiblech.

Shabbos In The Shtetl

28 Iyyar 5767 – May 16, 2007
In preparation for Shabbos, Salik Orenstein's (our protagonist, and through his eyes and his memoir are we viewing the shtetl) mother baked challos.

The Termination Of Shtetl Life

30 Nisan 5767 – April 18, 2007
Over a year ago, I suggested that our knowledge of the Holocaust was limited because of our familiarity with only a few, well-known stories from that period.

Retiring? Then What? – Dedicated To Those Who Are Dreaming Of Living* Their Retirement...

14 Nisan 5767 – April 2, 2007
According to the American College Dictionary to retire means: " To withdraw, or go away, to a place of abode or seclusion; to withdraw from office, business or active life." That is not what we envisioned our retirement to be. Sure, it's great to sit on the beach and bask in the sun, to golf, play tennis, etc. But how much of that can one do without feeling that something is lacking?

The Belzer Rebbe’s Flight To Freedom

2 Nisan 5767 – March 21, 2007
Beginning in the tiny Galician town of Belz, Rabbi Aharon Rokeach, better known as the Belzer Rebbe, maintained his chassidic court despite the constant danger.

Everything Given Us Is For The Best

29 Av 5766 – August 23, 2006
Everything given us is for the best. Yet some of us forget this when we should know better. I recently moved to another state and needed to see an ophthalmologist. My brother and sister-in-law have been living in that state for 10 years, and my brother's wife said she would make an appointment for me.

My Fractured Pesach

26 Iyyar 5766 – May 24, 2006
When my wife and I were about to leave Israel after last Sukkos, our son and daughter-in-law told us they were expecting another child to be born about two weeks before Pesach. We realized immediately that it would be difficult for them to make Pesach at home.

The Missing Plumba

17 Shevat 5766 – February 15, 2006
Nathan Mark, Esq., who passed away recently, spent many years working as a civil servant for the State of New York, first with the Human Rights Division and later, with me, at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The Treif Bribe

2 Iyyar 5765 – May 11, 2005
It was in the late 1980s. Retired FBI agent Tim McCarthy, Inspector General for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, took the call in his office from Kevin Green, the head of the FBI-NYPD Inter-Agency Task Force investigating official corruption in New York State and City government.

From Gush Etzion To Gush Katif – Gush Katif Revisited

18 Nisan 5765 – April 27, 2005
My husband and I had the distinct pleasure and privilege to join a group of English speaking Israelis on a visit to Gush Katif. The trip was organized for the World Mizrachi and Tehilla movements. Both organizations are involved in aliya and living in Israel. Our goal was to become reacquainted with Gush Katif, while for some, it was their first time there.

My Mother’s Bashert

7 Adar I 5765 – February 16, 2005
On the 6th of Adar, 5667 (March 20, 1907) Shoshe and Rabbi Avraham Halevi Shapiro welcomed Moshe Aharon, their sixth (and last) child, into the world in the little town of Nesvizh, near Baranovich, in Russia.

Gush Katif And Me

26 Heshvan 5765 – November 10, 2004
I had envisioned Gush Katif with images of a sea of turquoise blue, pristine white beaches, boats bobbing along the horizon, and me sitting in the sun.

Memorial Day – Efrat 2004

13 Sivan 5764 – June 2, 2004
There we stood, my husband and I, on the darkened mirpeset (balcony) of our home. It was 8:00 p.m. Our mirpeset overlooks the valley which marks the boundary of Efrat. In the distance is the road leading south to Kiryat Arba and Hevron, and north to the holy city of Yerushalayim.

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