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? Thursday, September 21, 2017

You Are Your Child’s Best Advocate

When you have a child with special needs, whether it be medical or developmental, you are very familiar with signing those lengthy privacy practice information sheets. At some point we don't even bother reading them because we know that once you have a child with special needs, nothing is ever private. Every professional has an opinion. Still, the ultimate decision is up to you.

The Positive Side of Autism: An Interview with Dr. Temple Grandin

For many years, autism was considered to be a rare, mysterious and severely disabling condition. But in recent years, due at least in part to a broadening of its medical definition, the incidence of the diagnosis of autism and related disorders has risen to about 1 in every 150 babies born in this country.

Lucky Seniors: Special Genes Allow Some To Smoke, Drink, Eat Junk And Still...

Old age is terrifying. When people grow old they frequently lose their memories, their ability to move, to take care of themselves, and then they die. Some people are lucky and do not fit this mold; they will live a very long time, not getting sick, living independently, and die peacefully in their 100's. This is all determined by their genes.

The Greatest Act of Tzedaka – A Lifesaving Kidney Donation

What was the biggest single donation to Tzedaka (charity) or greatest act of Chesed (personal kindness) in your life? How much of a difference did it really make? Did it change a life? Did it save a life? How do you know for sure?

Bilhah Abigail Franks: Early American Jewish Matriarch

In general, little is known about Jewish women who resided in America during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Two exceptions are Rebecca Machado Phillips[i] and Rebecca Gratz[ii]. Another is Bilhah Abigail (Levy) Franks.

Addressing the ‘Beef’

Dear Readers, From time to time, members of The Jewish Press community take the time and trouble to write or e-mail me sharing their feelings regarding something I wrote. Most of the comments are supportive and encouraging - and some are not. Either way, I appreciate all reader input, negative or positive, as it lets me know that my thoughts and observations are having an impact.

Putting A Stumbling Block Before the Blind (Conclusion)

In my previous column, I noted that the typical response to a tragedy in the heimishe community is a call forteshuvah. Almost always, the two "culprits" singled out for the cause of our misfortunes and in most need of repair are shmiras halashon and a lack of tznuit. I stated my belief that these are just two of the many components of a more insidious behavior that is pandemic in our community - that being the wanton, often deliberate action of misleading and fooling people into doing things that ultimately are detrimental and even ruinous to them.

Placing A Stumbling Block Before The Blind (Part I)

It seems that whenever there is a tragedy in the heimishe olam, almost always the horrific, premature loss of life due to a car crash, a drowning, a freak accident or mindless violence/terrorism, it immediately is followed by a chorus of anguished voices screaming out the need to do teshuva.

The Founding Of Mount Sinai Hospital

The Jews of New York City were rather late in establishing Jewish institutions such as poorhouses, homes for orphans and the aged, and hospitals. Several attempts were made in the years prior to 1850, but they failed due to the small size of the New Jewish community, which in 1836 numbered only about 2,000 and increased to about 7,000 in 1840.

Modeh Ani – A Prayer of Thanks

Dear Readers: Everywhere you turn, it seems that people are beset with so many problems and worries; some are financial in nature, some revolve around social issues like shidduchim and marriage, some involve setbacks and losses, and the non-actualization of the vision we had of how the days of our lives would play out.

Looking For The Perfect Match

Fair Lawn, New Jersey's Ezra Fineman is looking for his perfect match. He is smart, has brown hair, and a great smile. Ezra is also two years old and is looking for a bone marrow donor. After contracting a severe case of pneumonia at five months old, Ezra was diagnosed with Hyper IgM syndrome, a rare primary immune deficiency. Affecting only one in every one-two million people, the syndrome keeps his body from producing antibodies, leaving him with a heightened susceptibility to infection.

Verbal Tzedakah

Dear Readers, Charity should not just be about putting money in a pushkaor writing a check. I strongly feel that taking the initiative and offering positive and comforting words, which will in some measure alleviatie another person's pain or burden, should count as tzedakahas well. As we approach Tisha B'Av, followed by Shabbat Nachamu, we should take the lesson of the collective need for ahavat Yisrael that we are so painfully aware of.

Sampson Simson, Eccentric Orthodox Philanthropist

Sampson Simson was born on June 30, 1781 in Danbury, Connecticut and died January 7, 1857 in New York. Sampson's father, Solomon Simson, was also American born. Solomon was partners with his brother Sampson Simson, whom we shall refer to as Sampson the elder.

A Small Voice

This article was originally published in The Jewish Press on May 20, 1960.

Bergson Group Activists Recognized At Yad Vashem-Wyman Conference

The "Bergson Boys" have finally come home.With an international conference at Yad Vashem, a reinterment ceremony in Israel, and the publication of a new book, the controversial Holocaust rescue activists last week took a major step forward in gaining the public recognition they were long denied.

The Single Aunt

She gets out of the taxi at her little sister's place, As she approaches the front door she slows down her pace. She takes a deep breath and forces a smile on her face, Though sadness and anxiety make her heart race.

Smoking – The ‘Kosher’ Way To Kill Yourself

Several weeks ago, a young husband and father wrote a letter to Dr. Yael Respler, columnist for The Jewish Press and a psychotherapist, asking for advice on how to stop smoking. He mentioned that his father, a heavy smoker had died of lung cancer. The young man wrote that he loved his wife and children and hoped he'd be zoche to have a long life with them. His problem, "I am also a chain smoker since my time in yeshiva as a bochur."

Rabbi Abraham Joseph Ash: Strengthening Orthodoxy In Nineteenth-Century America

Readers of this column are aware that it was not until 1840 that the first ordained Orthodox rabbi, Rabbi Abraham Rice,1 settled in America. Other rabbonim soon began to settle in America. One of them was Rabbi Abraham Joseph Ash.

The Wheel of Change

Dear Readers: The Torah revolves around one simple concept - treating others in the way you would want to be treated. The following poem gives a glimpse as to why.

Men And Books

This article was originally published May 13, 1960

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