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Tasting the “Heat” of the Torah

5 Heshvan 5772 – November 2, 2011
As a Baal Teshuva who discovered the “emes” about eight years ago, I am often asked by my FFB friends in my very FFB neighborhood to describe what inspired my wife and I to take the plunge and more specifically, what it feels like to lead a Torah observant life after so many years of living on the “other side.”

‘Forget About It!’

29 Tishri 5772 – October 26, 2011
Yanky was going through difficult times. "My company merged over a year ago and I got laid off," he poured his heart out to Moish, a neighbor. "I've been trying everywhere to get a job, but nothing's available."

Bitachon And Effort: Finding The Balance

Hashem appeared to Noach and told him the world had turned to wicked ways and was to be destroyed by a deluge. Hashem commanded Noach to build a teivah, an ark, so that he and his family would be saved.

Noach: Vengeance For Israel

The world before the Flood was starkly different from the world today (as even science will attest), and the destruction of the world under a layer of boiling water was an event without parallel in nature or history.

Was The Teivah Made Of Stolen Materials?

In this week’s parshah Hashem tells Noach to build a teivah, for as the pasuk says, “assei lecha teivas… – you shall make for yourself a teivah” (Bereishis 6:14).

Kashering Meat

Strolling around an antique shop in Pennsylvania’s Dutch Country, I was reunited with many of the items that inhabited my mother’s kitchen. There was a scrubbing board and a metal oval-shaped tub with which one would scrub and wash clothes and a ringer through which one would dry them. I also saw a charred metal grate that reminded me of the one my mother used to kasher pieces of liver.

Q & A: Incongruous And Unbecoming (Part II)

Question: Lately I've seen some young men who, though they wear a yarmulke, have ponytails or long unruly hair. I've even seen some ear piercings. Somehow I find this behavior to be incongruous. My real problem is that my own nephew and a few of his friends wear their hair in this manner. Even though his parents look upon it as a passing fad, I am at a loss to understand such behavior. Luckily, whether right or wrong, I've held my tongue. I wonder what the proper positive action to take is in this matter. No Name Please (Via E-Mail)

Which Nusach Should One Use?

Question: What should a person who davens nusach ashkenaz do during kedushah in a shul that davens nusach sefard? Should he use his own nusach or that of the shul he’s in?

Babel’s Larger Theme

Between the Flood and the call to Abraham, between the universal covenant with Noah and the particular covenant with one people comes the strange, suggestive story of Babel:

What My Dog Taught Me About God

Two years ago Mrs. S. was divorced after an unhappy, childless marriage. Now in her mid-60s, she has no interest in finding a new husband. At this time, she told me, she is just beginning to discover herself as an independent adult, and she is reveling in the opportunity to make her own choices on everything from what to cook for dinner to what color to paint the bedroom.

A Simple Teaching, Difficult To Understand

I am interrupting my series on “Yom Tov Mayhem,” focusing on adult children who come home for the holidays with their families and expect their mothers to be cook, housekeeper and baby-sitter all rolled into one.

Parshas Bereshis

22 Tishri 5772 – October 19, 2011
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Reb Elimelech M’Lizhensk (Part I)

Just when it seemed that the Jews could never recover from the ruinous events of the 17th and 18th centuries, their plight was worsened yet, by even heavier taxes imposed by the Polish government.

Family Mayhem

18 Tishri 5772 – October 16, 2011
Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis: I have been a reader for many years. I realize that lately you have been focusing on very serious subjects that pertain to the very life of our people, so I do not know whether you will publish my letter, which deals with family problems. I hope, however, that you will do so, not because it will change my family situation - it is too late for that - on the chance that others might learn from it.

We Must Have Faith

15 Tishri 5772 – October 12, 2011
I live at Scharf's Ateret Avot, a residence for seniors. I get around via a motorized wheelchair. This gives me the independence to go where I choose.

Place Of Honor

8 Tishri 5772 – October 5, 2011
I have a girlfriend I'll call Esti who works for a kiruv organization. During the summer semester, this organization offered an experiential history program. They taught a subject for a week, and then the next week toured the places they discussed in order to experience history firsthand. If they studied the First Temple era, for example, they would then visit the City of David.

The Fire That Will Not Be Extinguished

In the early years of Hineni, I spoke to a standing room only audience at Binyanei Haouma in Yerushalayim. As I looked out from the stage, I noticed there was a large contingent of frum people present, and on the spot I created a story to share with them.

Bubbies, Babies and Locksmiths

1 Tishri 5772 – September 28, 2011
It was an exceptionally hot and humid day in Toronto. I was driving the car with my bubbie sitting next to me, and baby Shmueli in the back. I suddenly remembered that I needed a small item at the local supermarket. I gently asked my bubbie if she would stay in the car with the baby while I ran into the store. My bubbie warmly replied, "Go, my shefele [sweetheart]."

Torah Live’s Mezuzah Presentation – A New Approach To An Ancient Mitzvah

Nowadays, Jewish parents and educators must ask themselves how they can present Torah and mitzvot in a way that speaks to this generation. To many youth today, Judaism’s rich heritage seems outdated, irrelevant and boring.

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