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Can We Learn From Laban? Our Galut In The Secular World

16 Kislev 5777 – December 16, 2016
Is there anything we can learn from Laban? The very thought of it seems absurd! Yet, for many in our community, there are lessons – important lessons – that we can learn from him.

The Admor who Sits in Bavel and Sees a Carcass in...

5 Tammuz 5774 – July 3, 2014
Rav Aviner answers the Admor of Satmar, who dwells in the Exile, and claimed the murder of the boys was punishment for the teens learning in the "Settlements" and blames the parents for sending them to learn there.

We’ll Be Back Saturday Night

23 Tishri 5774 – September 27, 2013
For those of us in Israel, it's Isru Chag (the day after the holidays, when we pack up our Succahs, and finally get to...

Why Should I Move to Israel?

8 Tevet 5773 – December 21, 2012
Each individual Jew should put his life in line with the goal of Clal Israel and not just live a private, ritual Judaism, practicing personal precepts, stripped of our national essence.

We Ain’t Got a Soul in America

7 Tevet 5773 – December 19, 2012
Jewish life changes when we are in Galut. Not only does our Clalli soul disappear, but every detail of our life is affected.

Graveyard, New York

6 Tevet 5773 – December 18, 2012
Thriving and prospering, materially and even spiritually in galut, with an abundance of Torah learning and observance, is nevertheless defined by the Torah, our Prophets and Sages, as death.

My Chanukah Message: Imagine There’s No Galut (Video)

28 Kislev 5773 – December 11, 2012
My rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine."

My Response to the Monsey Rabbi

29 Heshvan 5773 – November 13, 2012
An American orthodox rabbi in Monsey recently wrote a response on Facebook to a post about the importance of living in the Land of Israel. His response was as follows: "You're in exile, too. Last I checked, there is still a mosque on the temple mount, with Arabs shooting rockets [at you].” This is my response to him and to every orthodox Jew who shares that mistaken view.

Title: Land of My Past, Land of My Future

12 Tishri 5773 – September 27, 2012
Title: Land of My Past, Land of My Future Author: Michael Kaufman Publisher: Targum Press, 2012

Kashrut – More Than Just A Symbol On A Box

24 Elul 5772 – September 10, 2012
When I walk in to the grocery store it is second nature for me to just check to make sure that that bag of chips or that cookie has an OU or other kosher symbol on it. To many Jews, it is just something that they do, and it usually is like that for me. But when this question was asked, I thought deeper. I began to think about how this label gives me a sense of community; and as I made that connection, I thought of our rich heritage, and once that relationship was made I thought about our homeland – Israel.

The Israel Defense Forces is a Mitzvah from the Torah!!

5 Tammuz 5772 – June 25, 2012
When Moshe led the war against Amalek, he didn’t just pray on the mountain – he sent Yehoshua to lead the soldiers of the Molech Israelite Army to fight down below on the battlefield. Yehoshua didn’t merely blow shofars in conquering the Land, he cut off the heads of the enemy. And who was a greater scholar than Rabbi Akiva? To defend the Land of Israel from the Romans, he closed his Gemorah, rushed to the battlefield, and accompanied Bar Kochba into battle!!

Why Help Build America When We Can Help Build the Land...

20 Iyyar 5772 – May 11, 2012
It is no secret that American Jewry is being decimated by assimilation. The longer the Jewish community remains in America the more the assimilation will grow. So I ask – what’s the point in working to strengthen something that is destined to dwindle out and end? The exile is a curse which is not supposed to continue forever.

Above And Beyond The Court System

5 Iyyar 5772 – April 26, 2012
After my recent article about the difficult trials divorcing couples face within the court system (Family Issues 1-13-2012), especially when there are children involved, I received a heartfelt e-mail from a grandfather in tremendous pain over the demise of his son’s marriage and the subsequent custody battle over his beloved grandchild.

How Can Orthodox Jews Deny The Miracle Of Israel?

4 Iyyar 5772 – April 25, 2012
For me, Israel is personal. I was born as Israel’s War of Independence raged, just weeks after the state’s miraculous birth. As I lay in the hospital room with my mother, the windows shattered with the relentless attacks of those who sought, once again, to destroy us – this time not on their bloodstained soil but on our own sacred land. Once again, by God’s hand, we prevailed. The few against the many. The weak against the so-called strong.

Chad Gadya – Pesach & the Order of Things

13 Nisan 5772 – April 4, 2012
As the Seder night ebbs away – long after the Four Questions have been asked and answered, after the festive meal has been eaten and the post-feast drowsiness descends, after the evening’s mitzvot have been observed and the fourth cup of wine emptied – we raise our voices in a curious, delightful, seemingly whimsical song at the end of the Haggadah.

Yaakov’s Three Lives

11 Tevet 5772 – January 5, 2012
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, zt”l, notes that Yaakov Avinu’s years can be divided into three periods.

Journey Of An Academic Pariah

20 Heshvan 5772 – November 17, 2011
In the good old days, Forest Hills, New York - where I grew up between 1939 and 1951 - was a shtetl for assimilated American Jews. Like my parents, all our neighbors were American-born offspring of Eastern European immigrants. A generation removed from their identity conflicts, we children knew that Forest Hills, liberated from Judaism, was our promised land.

Give Me A Troika: The Hillel Sandwich

25 Nisan 5771 – April 28, 2011
When fulfilling the commandments God has given us, I often think of dedicated high school athletes who, when their coaches say "Jump!" do not seek an excuse to do less but rather focus on doing what the coach said, and then some.

Making A Difference

14 Nisan 5767 – April 2, 2007
Just days ago, the question, "How is this night different from all others?" was asked at Pesach tables around the world.

Life In Fragments

29 Adar 5766 – March 29, 2006
I'm relaxing on the sofa watching Shira, my 11-year-old, patiently teaching baby Sara Leah how to build a tower with her blocks, when the tranquil peace is suddenly shattered.

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