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It’s Not Just About The Internet… We’re Creating Apathetic Robots

6 Kislev 5773 – November 19, 2012
The Orthodox Jewish world continues to seesaw back and forth about the pros and cons of the Asifa on Technology at Citifield in New York. Debates abound about on the best Internet filters, blocks and technological band-aids to which will surely repair the dangerous environmental influences of the outside world. Let’s ban or block the Internet and suddenly our children will be less distracted, our communities more heimish and our learning and davening more for the sake of Heaven instead of rote blabbering to get it over with.

Rockets on Gush Etzion – A Personal Story

4 Kislev 5773 – November 17, 2012
We were walking to shul on Friday night when the siren went off. I had to quickly decide which was closer, running to shul, or running home...

Golan Heights Wind Farm

27 Heshvan 5773 – November 12, 2012
The Golan Heights Wind Farm is located 3,150 ft. above sea level on Mount Bnei Rasan, three miles south of Quneitra in the Golan...

Rains of Blessing

10 Heshvan 5773 – October 26, 2012
It's not an easy translation, the Mishna's notion of "gishmei bracha." Midrash Rabah (Vayikra 35:10) suggests that the blessing of "I will send you...

Highland Lakes Jewish Center/Chabad Chayil’s Classes And Programs

9 Heshvan 5773 – October 24, 2012
The Highland Lakes Center/Chabad Chayil, located at 2601 N.E. 211 Terrace in North Miami Beach, is again holding “Secrets of the Hebrew Alphabet.” The popular class will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday nights.

Modern Orthodox Dropouts

There has been a lot of discussion about young people abandoning Mitzvah observance (going off the derech) over the past few years. A lot of that discussion took place here. Indeed it has been declared a crisis by some. The focus of this issue in the religious media has been primarily in the Charedi world. Many theories have emerged as to why children go OTD. Among them: being sexually abused and the negative reactions to it by family and community, dysfunctional family situations, faulty educational environments, teachers unprepared to deal with questions of faith, or being overly sheltered from the world so that rebellion occurs when they are exposed to it unprepared.

It’s A Boy’s World, You Know

3 Heshvan 5773 – October 19, 2012
You've gotta settle, stop being so choosy, it's a boy's world after all And you're just one of the millions who think their worth something, have the gall. You've got to start looking better, so that you'll be noticed when you walk through town And perhaps you can lose a few pounds too, so we can pull your resume dress size down.

Suspected!

2 Heshvan 5773 – October 17, 2012
"I arranged with Simon Cooper, the plumber, to clear the blockage in the kitchen sink this morning," Mr. Laks told his wife. "Oh, great!" she replied. "I'll clean the kitchen before he comes."

Hoshana Rabbah Rocks

21 Tishri 5773 – October 7, 2012
Sukkot is by far the most mystical holiday in the Jewish holiday cycle, with the four species and the sukkah and the daily hakafot...

Road to Recovery

19 Tishri 5773 – October 5, 2012
Dear Brocha,... Today, I am a father of six bochurim b”ah. While I love and appreciate all of my children, unfortunately the Yomim Tovim aren’t filled with the good memories as in the days of yore. You see, one of my sons got involved with the wrong crowd, and at 16 he looks forward to Shabbos and Yom Tov as simply another opportunity to drink. Now that Sukkos is almost upon us, instead of joyfully anticipating, I am cautiously fearful about what Simchas Torah will bring.

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...

Driveway Sukkah

19 Tishri 5773 – October 4, 2012
Sam Berger and Moti Farber shared a two family house, with a joint driveway in front. The Farbers had an extensive family, whereas Sam was relatively young and just recently had his fourth child.

Teddy Bears

13 Tishri 5773 – September 28, 2012
Shimon looked up at me with a serious look in his bright green eyes as he earnestly told me, “I’m going to measure which one is heavier, my mitzvos or my avayros.” I couldn’t help but smile at his five year old virtues and watched as he took down the toy scale and took little teddy bears, moving them from side to side, looking for the correct balance.

Gulliver’s Sukkah

A Toldos Aharon child is playing with the frum equivalent of a doll house in Jerusalem. And, as you can see from the dangling...

I Lashed a Guy

11 Tishri 5773 – September 27, 2012
Here's a Lelov chassid in Bet Shemesh, outside Jerusalem, getting 39 lashes on the eve of Yom Kippur. It's part of the process of...

My Machberes

10 Tishri 5773 – September 25, 2012
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‘I Inspire Myself’

We first met Shlomie (name and some details have been changed) over 20 years ago. He davens in our shul, and he and my husband share a love of photography. Over time, we got to know each other well.

Combat Boots

6 Tishri 5773 – September 21, 2012
They called the colt Unbridled Song. His father's name was Unbridled, his mother's Trolley Song. The colt loved to run, with an energy and spirit that stretched into an endless melody of wind and pounding hooves and the freedom of the open track. They hoped he would become a champion.

All In The Mind

5 Tishri 5773 – September 20, 2012
It was Yom Kippur eve. The shul began filling rapidly as the time approached for Kol Nidrei. Herzl Machlis sat in his seat, cloaked in his tallis and kittel, quietly reciting Tefillah Zakkah, composed by the Chayei Adam 150 years ago.

My Personal Shofar Blower

Rosh Hashanah memories take us to our shuls, homes and families. They remind us of promises made about how we would change our lives and rearrange our priorities. There may also be memories of the delicacies we ate when we were children – the chicken soup, gefilte fish and great desserts. And one sound, the sound of the shofar blasting away with its shrill notes of tekiah, shevarim... and finally the long, very last sound – the tekiah gedolah.

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