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Happy Thanksgiving – 2012

12 Kislev 5773 – November 25, 2012
I see nothing wrong with our participating with all American citizens in observing Thanksgiving.

Goodbye Dairy: Hello Tofutti!

2 Kislev 5773 – November 15, 2012
Tofu. For most of us, the word conjures up images of a spongy white unpalatable mass that is best left on the shelf of our local health food emporium. But for New Jersey resident David Mintz, tofu is a magical substance that holds endless possibilities, particularly for the kosher consumer.

A Kaliver Example for the Torah World

29 Heshvan 5773 – November 14, 2012
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if instead of Hashkafic politics we could all be interested teaching Torah L’shma to anyone, anywhere without any Hashkafic pre-conditions?

Who is Alex Clare? And Why Do I care?

28 Heshvan 5773 – November 12, 2012
Who is Alex Clare? He is a British pop singer with a top ten single entitled Too Close. He is the ex-boyfriend of Amy Winehouse. And he is an observant Jew. How - one might ask - does an Orthodox Jew hook up with someone like Amy Whitehouse, a mega popular Grammy award winning Jewish singer who was anything but observant? And who had a history of drug addiction and alcohol abuse that eventually caused her death?

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.

Now, This Is a Lulav

Here's an image of the Lubavitcher Rebbe benching his lulav and etrog.   Nancy commented, when she saw this image, how his eyes always look directly...

Rabi Akiva Clarifies

28 Elul 5772 – September 14, 2012
The Strength Of Suffering Man does not have it easy in this world. Sufferings are often visited upon him tempting him to curse his fate...

In The King’s Presence

27 Elul 5772 – September 13, 2012
We all know that there are some synagogues that, unfortunately, only reach full capacity several days a year. There is something about these days that arouses even many unaffiliated Jews to attend High Holiday Services. In fact, each one of us also feels the holiness, and it helps us to be on our best behavior. We make sure to come on time to davening and we daven slower than usual. We are extra careful in our observance of halacha and how we treat the members of our family.

Not The Correct Charity

24 Elul 5772 – September 10, 2012
The Gaon, Reb Nachum devoted all his time, day and night, to collecting money for charity and helping the poor. The vast majority of the people thought so highly of Reb Nachum that they would deduct a fixed amount of their income every week and give it to him to distribute it to the poor. But there was always the exception, some people just tried to avoid contributing.

Can a ‘Lefty’ Rabbi Save Yeshivat Chovevei Torah?

12 Elul 5772 – August 29, 2012
Rabbi Asher Lopatin, who will succeed Rabbi Avi Weiss as head of YCT, is most definitely on the left side of the Orthodox spectrum. Nevertheless he can keep YCT from sliding too far to the left and cross the line of Orthodoxy. YCT founder Rabbi Avi Weiss candidly admitted that he has parted ways with his Rebbe on the approach to these issues. And he has incorporated it into the philosophy of his Yeshiva.

My Big Fat Jewish Wedding

10 Elul 5772 – August 28, 2012
[vimeo 7441722 w=250 h=187] צאנז 111 from bhol on Vimeo. Not being a Chasid of his (or Chasid of any kind) I don’t really know much...

The Three Weeks – Realizing What We Are Missing

24 Tammuz 5772 – July 13, 2012
The story is told of a Chassidic Rebbe who stayed one night in the attic of a simple farmer. Promptly at chatzos (midnight) the Rebbe sat on the floor and began saying Tikkun Chatzos (a prayer said most nights by pious individuals, mourning the destruction of the Bais Hamikdash.) Immediately, a fountain of tears began to flow from his eyes, as he unabashedly mourned our great loss. Soon, his crying became so loud that it aroused the farmer and his wife from their sleep. The concerned farmer quickly knocked on the door and asked if everything is okay. The Rebbe answered that he is simply mourning the Bais Hamikdash.

The Evolution Of American Orthodoxy: An Interview with Yeshiva University Librarian...

22 Tammuz 5772 – July 11, 2012
Books. Some people love them; others claim they can do without them. For Zalman Alpert, they are essentially his life. For the past 35 years, Alpert has served as a reference librarian at Yeshiva University (YU). Educated at Columbia University’s School of Library Services and New York University’s School of Education, where he attained a master’s degree in Modern Jewish History, Alpert is one of those individuals who knows a little (sometimes a lot) about everything. Over the years, he has contributed articles to such works as Encyclopedia of Hasidim; Jewish American History and Culture: An Encyclopedia; Encyclopedia of Jewish American Popular Culture; Midstream; and The Jewish Press.

Ashlag Rebbe: Secular Youths Should Be Conscripted into Torah Study

20 Tammuz 5772 – July 10, 2012
During his weekly talk, the Ashlag Rebbe, Rabbi Simcha Avraham Halevy, challenged politicians who promote the notion of an equal burden, describing them as imbeciles. He proposed a solution to the inequality: "Let every secular boy be forced to bear the burden of defending the homeland of Israel and fulfill his national duty to study Torah and keep the mitzvot." He also said, "The nation of Israel did not survive our brutal history by the deterrence of the IDF, nor by the might of the State of Israel, but by the merit of the study of Torah."

‘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

Stigma: A Barrier To Rewarding Relationships

26 Iyyar 5772 – May 17, 2012
Frailty and differences in other people often scare us. Why? They scare us because we see a reflection of what we fear in ourselves or because we just don’t know how to respond. Since we can’t live with this discomfort for too long, we make assumptions about and apply labels to those we fear.

Our Calling Card: ‘Baruch Hashem’

17 Iyyar 5772 – May 9, 2012
B’ezrat Hashem I will continue to share with you my challenging days spent at Scripps Memorial Hospital in San Diego. Whenever difficult days befell me, my revered father would always say “Hashem sends us tests so that we might know how to help others when they have to confront their trials.”

My Machberes

5 Iyyar 5772 – April 26, 2012
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These I Shall Remember

15 Nisan 5772 – April 6, 2012
It was Moishele, and Itche, and me. We did everything together. We even made our own language, which only we understood. In shul they jokingly called us “the troika,” after the three bishops whose authority extended across Poland.

Parshas Vayikra: ‘The Call Of Humility’

1 Nisan 5772 – March 23, 2012
“At the time that my wife and I made aliyah, the Ministry of Interior required certification through the chief rabbinate that any new immigrants were Jews in order to qualify for citizenship and immigrant benefits. After an hour-long wait at the ministry to be interviewed, my wife and I sat before a hard-faced clerk. I did not have a letter from a rabbi certifying to my Jewishness, but I felt confident that since I was on the chief rabbinate's list of approved rabbis whose letter would be accepted to verify the Jewishness of others, I would suffer no problem.

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