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‘Frumer’ than God?

12 Tammuz 5772 – July 2, 2012
I am deeply concerned that a new religion, though close to Judaism but not part of it, is being formed based on a so-called "frumkeit" not defined as a mere "Chumra" [stringency], but rather actually violating clear laws and regulations set down by God for the Jewish people to follow

Title: Rav HaKolel, A Biography Of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef

8 Tammuz 5772 – June 27, 2012
In the 1880s, a substantial immigration of Jews poured into New York from all parts of Europe, Russia, and Galicia. They were eager to escape the hard life of poverty and lack of peace back home, but the reality in America was not as they had expected it to be. It was hard to find work; it was a struggle for mere existence.

‘My Joy In Judaism Has Disappeared’

Raised in a secular family, she followed the usual pattern of the last couple of generations, placing marriage on the back burner in favor of relationships.

How Refusing To Be Ruth-less Led To Moshiach

2 Tammuz 5772 – June 21, 2012
By now just about all of us are in summer mode, and Yom Tov cheesecake and blintzes are out of our minds - though not necessarily off our bodies. Nonetheless, the topic I am addressing is tied to the festival of Shavuot, as I wrote it just after the holiday had ended. (This time warp often occurs when addressing deadlines ahead of time, a necessity when I know that visiting a near minyan of pre-school grandchildren in three cities will make writing a coherent column rather challenging).

Neighborly Chesed: Above And Beyond

1 Tammuz 5772 – June 20, 2012
My husband and I are living in our house for over 30 years. We have wonderful neighbors on both sides. The one on the right, a non-frum Jewish couple, lived in their house longer than we’ve resided in ours. We always got along very well with them, as they are unusually kind, friendly and helpful people.

Storming The Gates Of Heaven For A Miracle

24 Sivan 5772 – June 13, 2012
On January 31, my family’s world was turned upside down. I received a phone call from my mother early in the morning. “Go to Baltimore, your sister is sick. Daddy and I are flying up today [from Florida]. Her organs are shutting down. It’s bad.”

Installing My Internet Filter

Tonight I installed an Internet filter. I have always disliked filters as they slow down my computer and have been an annoyance. But the asifa at Citi Field focused my attention and an extra safeguard is worth infinitely more than the discomfort it engenders.

Letters To The Editor

16 Sivan 5772 – June 6, 2012
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My Machberes

3 Sivan 5772 – May 23, 2012
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Being Gay and Orthodox Gets Really Complicated

22 Iyyar 5772 – May 14, 2012
Our recent discussions in the Jewish media of gay marriages and the conflict between being a faithful Jew and being gay reminded me of...

Boundless Miracles Available For The Taking

18 Iyyar 5772 – May 10, 2012
Dear Dr. Respler: The holidays are a great time to learn about ourselves – the good, the bad and the ugly – and then try to make lemonade from the lemons, turn the positive into building blocks, and generally create good things from the lessons learned. The Yamim Tovim are saturated with kedushah, leading to beautifully crafted creations from what one learned and experienced during these holy, spiritual days.

Was There A Coincidence In The Air?

17 Iyyar 5772 – May 9, 2012
My daughter, son-in-law and three children had reason to move to Buffalo, NY from Brooklyn this past summer. As we watched our grandchildren’s cute little faces peeled and waving through the back window, we knew we were in for a huge adjustment. We knew we would obviously miss them but we also were aware that we gave our children wings to do as they saw necessary (and they saw it necessary to drive seven hours away to their new home).

Acting Respectfully Always Pays Off

13 Iyyar 5772 – May 4, 2012
Dear Dr. Yael: Although I agree with your advice to A Passive Reader (Showing Respect Gets Results, 4-20) about how to deal with difficult people, I emphatically disagree with your decision to take the blame for the impatient frum guy who was honking his horn. If you saw him run someone over with his car, would you take the blame for that too? If you had gotten a ticket, would you have paid it? If the officer had arrested you, would you have gone to jail? I am not a rabbi, but I would be surprised if not informing means taking the blame as well.

My Machberes

12 Iyyar 5772 – May 3, 2012
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Extreme Makeover: Orthodox Edition 2012

11 Iyyar 5772 – May 2, 2012
By now everyone has heard of Deborah Feldman’s Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots. The book received much more attention than it should have.

Showing Respect Gets Results

28 Nisan 5772 – April 19, 2012
Dear Dr. Respler: At the recent wedding of my best friend’s son, I arrived for the chuppah early so as to secure a seat close to the front and by the aisle. I didn’t want to miss anything.

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

27 Nisan 5772 – April 18, 2012
Reflection, Rebuke and Reverberations…An open letter to Deborah Feldman

Coming To Shul To Think

21 Nisan 5772 – April 12, 2012
Question: If a person has a number of personal concerns that need to be thought out and analyzed, can he go to shul to do this?

Kerovim Or Rechokim: Where Should Our Kiruv Priorities Lie?

As rav of the Brooklyn Jewish Experience, a local kiruv organization devoted to reaching out to Brooklyn’s almost 70 percent non-observant Jewish population, I also teach and counsel young adults (18-33 years old) from the frum community. These students are often indistinguishable from their frum peers. Outwardly they may appear frum, but inwardly they’re disenchanted, jaded, and alienated. Their exterior appearance is largely a façade and their feeling of disenfranchisement from frumkeit is frighteningly real. There are others that are part of our program who, tragically, already took the next step and are no longer observant.

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