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Opening Hearts And Winning Over A New Generation: A Profile Of...

27 Elul 5772 – September 13, 2012
Netanel Hershtik wears many hats but perhaps the one he is best known for is a soft, puffy headpiece known as a mitre, traditionally worn by chazzanim.

Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter 13: Tzeitl’s Last Wish

"What are we going to eat?" Shmuelik asked Tevye as they changed into their Sabbath clothing. Tevye did not understand the question. "What do you...

What No Parent Wants to Watch

15 Elul 5772 – September 2, 2012
I clicked on the link and came to a YouTube video called "Dignified Transfer." I watched every second of it. Tears began to fall just as the plane came into view the first time.

The Perfect Formula

12 Elul 5772 – August 29, 2012
Over the past several weeks I have featured tragic stories of family disintegration. Some of you might protest that “tragic” is a rather extreme word and that “sad” or “painful” would be more appropriate, but once again I emphasize tragic.

2016: Effective, Well Done, a Caveat or Two

9 Elul 5772 – August 27, 2012
Dinesh D’Souza’s film, 2016: Obama’s America, is very good at putting the viewer in the milieu of Jakarta or Nairobi, which continue to feel “different” enough to engage the American viewer’s sense of distance and wonder. Conveying the difference of Barack Obama’s childhood and his idea of cultural roots – the difference from American life – is the movie’s most effective accomplishment.

What Can Prevent Marriage

6 Elul 5772 – August 23, 2012
Dear Dr. Respler: I notice a certain unfortunate trend. People who lose a parent at a young age often stay single for a long time – or, unfortunately, do not marry at all. This was first pointed out to me at a sheva berachos in the fall of 2011. My internal thought was that the person who lost his father when he (the son) was just 28 – which, in my opinion, is an age when one should be able to function on one’s own – was simply looking for an excuse to rationalize why he had not yet gotten married.

Eidim Zomimim: Conspiring Witnesses

In this week’s parshah the Torah discusses the halachos of eidim zomimim. The Gemara in Makkos 2a explains that eidim zomimim is when one set of two or more witnesses testifies against someone, and another set of witnesses testifies that the first set of witnesses was with them and therefore could not have known their testimony. The Torah says that the later set of witnesses is believed and the testimony of the first set of witnesses is disqualified.

Torah Scrolls Returned to Polish Village

Two Torah scrolls, one complete and one incomplete, were found in Poland's Sokolow Podlaski district. The Torah scrolls found Aug. 20 are believed to have...

More On Family Breakdowns

5 Elul 5772 – August 22, 2012
For the past several weeks this column has featured letters from parents who have experienced rejection and hatred from their children – as well as my suggestions on how to cope with such situations. This week I would like to share a letter that adds another dimension to the breakdown of so many families in our community. In this instance it’s not the children who have rejected the parents but a parent who has rejected her child.

FF Syndrome: Frequent = Forgotten

3 Elul 5772 – August 21, 2012
I'd like to submit that anything Frequent in our life tends be Forgotten! Something we see every day does not rank high on our list of concerns, and therefore, we just naturally forget about it.

Whose SImcha Is It Really?

The focus of a wedding and its source of simcha changes as one ages.

Title: Explaining Life: The Wisdom of Modern Jewish Poetry, 1960-2010

30 Av 5772 – August 17, 2012
The poems in this collection, Explaining Life: The Wisdom of Modern Jewish Poetry, 1960-2010 – some written originally in Yiddish and Hebrew – do “pierce the heart,” and educate it as well. These are poems about major issues in daily life – love, loss, alienation, family relationships, the after-effects of war, death and renewal – which help us reflect on how we are living and suggest possible ways to cope with and to improve our lives.

The Blessing

28 Av 5772 – August 15, 2012
I was preparing a shiur to honor the memory of my father, Paul Magill, a”h, on the 20th anniversary of his passing, and I was looking at that week’s sedrah, Parshas Re’eh. I was struck by the words, “See, I present before you today a blessing and a curse. The blessing: that you hearken to the commandments of Hashem, your God, that I command you today. And the curse: if you do not hearken to the commandments of Hashem, your God, and you stray from the path that I command you today, to follow gods of others, that you did not know.”

Family Breakdown (Part Two)

The response to my columns regarding family breakdowns has been explosive.

Help Save the World!

27 Av 5772 – August 14, 2012
About a month ago, I received an email from a 16 year-old girl from Europe, saying that she was on the way to the airport to fly to Israel. She said that her mother read my blogs at The Jewish Press and hoped that maybe I could help her, not knowing where else to turn. She wants to finish high school in Israel, make aliyah, and go into the army. Her present high school is all gentile and Moslem and very anti-Semitic. Could I help her, she asked?

Muslim Forced Marriages in Spain

The issue of forced marriage is especially acute in Catalonia, where the Muslim population has skyrocketed in recent years. Catalonia, a region with 7.5 million inhabitants, is now home to an estimated 400,000 Muslims, up from 30,000 in the 1980s.

Look Out

23 Av 5772 – August 10, 2012
I just finished trying on all my pre-nine day clothes. You know the drill: Wash your clothing but leave enough time to parade around in what will be worn for the next nine days. This way, it will not be freshly laundered. What amazes me is that each year I am sure it will be a very easy activity, since I have nothing to wear! Yet, somehow I find it very time-consuming.

Everything You Wanted to Know about the Mitzvah Tantz

Hundreds of Hasidic Jews on Thursday attended the wedding of the grandson of the Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok Rebbe in Bnei Brak, where this mitzvah...

After 8 Years, Body Was Relocated for Spiritual Reasons with R....

19 Av 5772 – August 7, 2012
Senior Jerusalem rabbis permitted a late-night removal of the body of a Haredi rabbi from its grave, on the night between Thursday and Friday last week, because family members, who are Breslov Hasidim, claimed the "spiritual level" of the nearby dead was insufficient, causing what could be considered the desecration of the dead.

Another Family Torn Asunder

14 Av 5772 – August 1, 2012
My previous two columns focused on the fragmentation that has affected one frum family. Many readers may consider the story described to be a rare occurrence. I wish this would be the case. To be sure, each family crisis is its own unique tragedy, but the common thread of hatred is always there.

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