A recent article that appeared on the haredi website, yeshivaworld.com, described how askanim in Israel had approached HaRav Aryeh Yehuda Leib Shteinman, shlita, armed with a kol korei against vacations during bein hazmanim. Their goal was to get his haskamah in their mission to stop bachurim from doing what they felt was an inappropriate and wasteful use of time - hiking, swimming, nature walking, sightseeing, etc. (generally vacationing from their studies).
Prayers of thanks make us focus on the reality that we do have it much better than we think we do.
It seems like yesterday that we were shuddering in shul on Yom Kippur, pleading with Hashem to forgive our sins, wrongdoings and transgressions. Especially those that involved unethical and mean-spirited treatment of friends, relatives and strangers alike.
Many go about the business of living frum, observant lives, but they are only going through the motions.
"We were slaves down in Egypt," The young, cheerful mother said, As she knelt on the floor And swept under the bed.
A letter to the Chronicles in Crisis column in the Magazine section of The Jewish Press a few weeks back (12-24-2010) greatly disturbed me. The writer expressed her opinion that many "older" female singles were not doing what was necessary to maximize their looks. She writes, as an example, that she was at a lecture given by a visiting rebbetzin from Eretz Yisrael and a quick glance at her fellow attendees affirmed her observation that many were "plain Janes" who were not trying to look more attractive - and hence be more marriageable.
Maybe because Tisha B'av was on our minds, as were recent dismaying events both in Israel and closer to home, but what had started as a relaxed, light-hearted lunch with friends took a dark turn when someone mentioned a recent tragedy involving a young child. Another friend shared an equally horrible story. We acknowledged that lately we all had heard of so many "umglicks" - horrific events afflicting members of the community.
With the semi-mourning period of Sefira behind us, and the festival of Shavuot as well (as evidenced by the tightness of our clothing due to over-indulging in irresistible versions of cheesecake that is an integral component of celebrating our receipt of the Torah), our community can look forward to participating in joyous engagement parties and weddings.
Hitler's destruction of the Jewish family continued long after the liberation.
In this week's Dating Primer column, Rosie Einhorn and Sherry Zimmerman write about the destructive nature of frequent, often unjustified criticism directed towards children and some of the repercussions of what they feel is unintentional but nonetheless genuine verbal abuse.
This column is being written on my secular birthday, February 14 (my real birthday is 11 Adar), a birthday - not surprisingly - that I share with my twin brother.
Over the years, I have been to many, many theatrical productions, most in Toronto, some in Israel and of course, in New York - on Broadway, off-Broadway, and even off-off Broadway. At times I have been entertained, amused, moved, and educated by what I have seen ( and on the negative side, sometimes bored or disgusted or angered) but I don't think that I have ever been imbued with a much needed sense of hope.
If you do not like the system, then do not perpetuate it!
I know Purim is over, but Megillat Esther is so rich with lessons on how people should live their lives - along with the consequences of not doing so - that I wish to share one of the many wisdoms that I have gleaned from reading it. I believe that the world wouldn't be in the mess it is in - economically, socially and spiritually - if people would only open their eyes to the megillah's masterful insights on how to behave.
The price of deliberate obliviousness is very high - emotionally, physically, socially, and financially.
Every year as we sit in shul during Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, we make a chesbon nefesh - a reckoning of our actions and reactions.
Purim teaches us that life is like a Ferris wheel – one moment you can be on top, and suddenly you are at the bottom.
If certain elements of the charedi community have issues with the way women dress, let them figure out a way to alleviate their obvious spiritual and mental distress in a way that does not encroach on other people’s rights. It's their problem - they need to resolve it, instead of demanding that a huge segment of society change their lives and the way they do things just to accommodate them.
Every Friday evening, in Jewish homes across the world, the question is asked, "Eishet chayil mi yimtzah – The woman of valor, where can she be found?"
My all powerful Father hadn’t protected me. He had let a biological bogeyman grab me.
There is an old joke that describes a passerby who sees a man repeatedly hitting his head against a wall. Each time his head hits the wall, the man yelps in pain. Concerned, the first man runs up to him and asks why he keeps banging his head when it obviously hurts when he does so. The man answers, "Because it feels so good when I stop."
Parents should be quick to say something positive to a child even as they chide him or her for bad behavior.
As my friend Eve (not her real name) and I started filling our plates at a recent buffet dinner, she commented that lucky for her, her mother wasn't with us.
Was it possible that these butchers of Jewish children had been living the "good life" all these years?
I remember a mishap years ago while in first grade and happily swinging on the playground swing during recess.