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Letters To The Editor

9 Heshvan 5773 – October 24, 2012
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My Machberes

2 Heshvan 5773 – October 17, 2012
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Making Amends

Where I now work, there is a small kitchen where workers can have lunch. We take our lunch breaks at different times, and I usually take mine at the same time as an unassuming young man named Benny Green, a 25-year-old who works in the company’s stockroom.

Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Seventeen: The Milkman’s Daughter

30 Tishri 5773 – October 15, 2012
Tevye decided to stay in Shoshana until the birth of Hodel's baby, which was only a month away. He forbade Bat Sheva to speak...

Rabi Yehudah And Antoninus

29 Tishri 5773 – October 14, 2012
Rabi Yehudah Hanasi (the prince) known as Rebbe had an amazingly warm friendship with the Roman Caesar, Antoni­nus. The friendship began at the birth of the two men and continued until their dying days.

Bereishis: Appreciating The Good

27 Tishri 5773 – October 12, 2012
Adom HaRishon was given one mitzvah: not to eat from the Eitz HaDas. When he transgressed it, Hashem gave him the opportunity to do teshuvah. Not only did Adom not repent, he played the blame game – “It was that woman that You gave to me. You gave her to me as a helpmate and she turned out to be my ruination.”

Pru U’revu

26 Tishri 5773 – October 11, 2012
In this week’s parshah the Torah commands us in the first mitzvah: pru u’revu – be fruitful and multiply. We rule in accordance with Beis Hillel that one fulfills this mitzvah when he has fathered one boy and one girl.

Tishrei Memories

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur have come and gone. It is time to return my beloved Machzor to the bookshelf. Gifted to me by my beloved parents, of blessed memory, for my bat mitzvah, it is one of my most precious possessions.

The Joy of Fulfilling A Mitzvah

20 Tishri 5773 – October 5, 2012
Rav Moshe Sofer (The Chasam Sofer), one of the greatest Gaonim in his generation, always preached and practiced charity and kindness towards his fellow man. His door was always open to the poor and to the needy for help and advice.

Sherri Mandell: The Blessing Of A Broken Heart

How can one fathom the depths of a mother’s pain upon the brutal loss of her child? Sherri Mendell’s first-born son was viciously murdered near their home on May 8, 2001. How does a mother cope with the news that her spirited thirteen-year-old, while hiking in the neighborhood, was bludgeoned to death by rock-yielding Arabs?

Daf Yomi

19 Tishri 5773 – October 4, 2012
Lulav, Shofar, Bris “His Hand Is Not At Rest” (Shabbos 3a)

Q & A: Shemini Atzeret

Question: I seem to see a lack of uniformity regarding the mitzvah of sukkah on Shemini Atzeret. What is the proper procedure to follow? Menachem Via e-mail

An Important Lesson From The World Baseball Classic

Team Israel lost in the finals of the World Baseball Classic qualifiers, but the experience should teach an important lesson to Jewish people throughout the world. The fact that Jewish players and players with Jewish roots who don't actually live in Israel played for Team Israel should send a critical message to Diaspora Jewry: Israel is the homeland for all Jews.

Absolute Joy

17 Tishri 5773 – October 3, 2012
There is a special mitzvah on Sukkot to be “ach samaoch.” Only joyous. It is a happiness not dependent on anything external, beyond definition and words. Just to be absolutely joyous in one’s love and worship of G-d. Rabbi Kook describes the sukkah as a whirlpool of joyous energy which is constantly changing each second, reaching ever-higher levels of joy and attachment to G-d.

An Etrog Tree Doesn’t Grow in Brooklyn

14 Tishri 5773 – September 30, 2012
If it did it would die. Just the way the Diaspora is destined to die. The etrog tree doesn’t belong in Brooklyn. The climate isn’t right for it. It’s the same with the lulav, hadasim, and aravot. The four species which we are commanded to take for ourselves on the Festival of Sukkot are indigenous to Eretz Yisrael, just as the Torah is indigenous to Eretz Yisrael, and the Jewish People are indigenous to Eretz Yisrael. We belong in Eretz Yisrael. All of the holidays are intrinsically connected to Eretz Yisrael. The Torah was designed and fashioned by the Almighty to be observed in Eretz Yisrael.

How To Make Resolutions Into A Habit

13 Tishri 5773 – September 28, 2012
There is a long laundry list of personal goals running through my head that I want to work on. I love taking advantage of a celebratory date to select one of these pressing items and promise myself that this time, I really will begin to do whatever it is that will make my life better. Yet, somehow, after the birthday or New Year passes, my fervent declarations are quickly forgotten and I lapse into my old behavior.

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

Standing And Sitting For Kiddush On Sukkot

Question: Should a person recite kiddush standing or sitting on Sukkot? If he stands, should he sit down after saying the berachah of leshev ba’sukkah or remain standing?

May A Woman Build A Sukkah?

The Gemara in Sukkah says that the sechach that one must use for his sukkah must be detached from the tree in order for it to be fit for use. The Gemara (Sukkah 11a) discusses what a person must do if one put branches on his sukkah before they were cut off from the tree. The Gemara concludes that branches must be detached from the tree and he then must shake them.

Our Holy Visitors

9 Tishri 5773 – September 25, 2012
Sukkos comes to us as a beautifully wrapped gift from Hashem, right when we can use some pampering. Having just completed an exhaustive round of appeals to our Father in heaven to forgive our iniquities and grant us yet another chance to prove ourselves worthy of His beneficence and mercy, we emerge as newborns – clean and pure and free of the stain of sin.

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