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NY NCSY, Partners, Launch ‘Virtual Vigil’ of Torah Study, Prayer for Kidnapped Teens

New York NCSY, the OU, Bnei Akiva and RCA are launching a "virtual vigil" to bring the kidnapped teens home.

Mrs. Mike’s Lasting Lesson

Our daughter would tell us glowing stories about how Mrs. Mike made the pesukim come alive, tricks she taught them to memorize and recall the mitzvot, how each mitzvah perfectly fit women…

What Does It Mean to Be Jewish?

Divine affirmation is the foundation of Judaism. Everything else comes after.

Q & A: The Sandak (Part VI)

Question: I was at a brit where the father and grandfather of the boy argued over who should be sandak. The grandfather had served as sandak once before, but he persisted and, as they say, “might makes right.” I am curious as to your view on this matter. M. Renkin (Via E-Mail)

A Generation In Need Of Rededication

The strength and numbers of Orthodox Jews in America have never been greater, and yet those of us concerned with Judaism’s future must admit we confront a future no less frightening than the future that was evident to Hannah’s noble sons in Modi’in all those centuries ago.

My Response to the Monsey Rabbi

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.

Speaking Only Hebrew?

A leisurely Shabbat stroll around town recently turned a calming experience into a rather upsetting one, as graffiti sprayed on quite a few buildings in my neighborhood defaced the beautiful Jerusalem stone with the words; “Dabru Ivrit/Speak Hebrew”!

Q & A: A Mother’s Mitzvah (Part III)

Question: I am a single mother of young children. Their father has shirked all his responsibilities to them. I do my best for my children, but it isn’t easy. Isn’t their father in serious violation of the Torah by neglecting his children and not making any effort to provide them an education? No Name Please (Via E-Mail)

Q & A: A Mother’s Mitzvah (Part II)

Question: I am a single mother of young children. Their father has shirked all his responsibilities to them. I do my best for my children, but it isn’t easy. Isn’t their father in serious violation of the Torah by neglecting his children and not making any effort to provide them an education? No Name Please (Via E-Mail)

Q & A: A Mother’s Mitzvah (Part I)

Question: I am a single mother of young children. Their father has shirked all his responsibilities to them. I do my best for my children, but it isn’t easy. Isn’t their father in serious violation of the Torah by neglecting his children and not making any effort to provide them an education? No Name Please (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.

Mothers, Fathers, And The Curse Of Family Breakdowns

In my most recent column I wrote about ways of improving family relationships, and raising children who have derech eretz and respect for their parents. I will continue on that same theme here.

Judgment And Reckoning

Question: A basic Jewish belief is that everyone ultimately will be judged. This final judgment is called din v’cheshbon, judgment and reckoning – see Avot 3:1. What is the difference between these two terms? What is din and what is cheshbon?

My Father, Dayan Grunfeld

One cold December evening, I walked into my father’s book-lined study to light the Chanukah candles, which were placed beside the window that overlooked a high street in North London.

Visiting Residents: the Daily Plea of Elul

As the year is coming to an end, with endless days filled with doing the very same commandments, we besiege G-d on each remaining day, asking for one vital ingredient for the one yet to come: May we never get used to our routine.

The Ashkenazi – Sefardi Blend

Sixteen years ago, when I married my husband, I did not give much thought to whether he was Askenazi or Sefardi. Having grown up in what was then a small close-knit Jewish community, it held little importance; my concerns were focused around whether or not my bashert (intended) was Jewish according to halacha, someone who was upstanding in both ideals and actions, and a man solidly committed to a Torah lifestyle.

A Radical Proposal for the Organizers of the Siyum HaShas

With all the well-earned accolades and fanfare that surrounded last week’s monumental Siyum HaShas, one would expect to find numerous direct references in the Torah mandating the study of Torah. It therefore comes as a great surprise that there is not one direct statement in the Torah commanding its study.

Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Seven: ‘Get Thee Forth to the Land’

"Oy Golda, Oy Golda," Tevya moaned. "Is this to be your reward? To be thrown to the fish? To have your bones scattered to the ends of the seas? Without any dry earth to warm you, or a flower to grow over your head? Is this to be your reward for being Tevye's wife for twenty-eight years and for raising his seven daughters?"

Homosexuality and Going OTD

We all sin. But not all of us sin the same way. By being so repulsed by people who have same sex attractions, we end up turning these people away - leaving them with a feeling of abandonment and being hated by their fellow Jews. Jews who are otherwise decent people. When decent society rejects you... how are you supposed to feel?!

The Messiah Ain’t JeZeus, That’s for Sure!

The task of the Mashiach is to save the Jews from its enemies and rebuild the Nation of Israel, yet the followers of Jezeus have slaughtered millions and millions of Jews and done everything in their power to keep Israel lowly and weak.

First Of The Land

There are 613 mitzvoth – we all know that. We also all know it is impossible for one person to perform all 613. Twenty-five mitzvot can only be performed in the Land of Israel, which leaves many Jews out in the cold, shall we say. After all, the people of Israel and the Land of Israel are inextricably intertwined; they are in fact dependent on one another for survival. But Judaism has a solution or as a modern Israeli would say, a “patent.” Mitzvot can be performed by proxy; by taking a part in a mitzvah one merits a share in the whole.

Tzitzit, Tefillin, And Women

Question: Why don’t women wear tzitzit and tefillin?

An Almost Successful Baal Teshuvah

Question: Someone tried to observe Shabbat but could not hold out from violating its laws in the latter part of the day. Does he receive a reward for the amount of Shabbat he observed? Or is reward based on the principle of “all or nothing”? In other words, does Shabbat observance require a total commitment such that partial observance is comparable to not observing Shabbat altogether?

Celebrating A Bar Mitzvah

Question: Why do we celebrate when a boy becomes bar mitzvah?

The Book And The Sword

The forthcoming debate over an updated Tal Law – the parameters for service by haredim in the Israel Defense Forces – is liable to become heated and nasty. Mutual accusations will be hurled, with one group asserting that mandatory military service is part of an ill-disguised war against Torah and the other side seeking an equal sharing of the defense burdens that fall on most other Israelis.

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