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Lost And Found

11 Iyyar 5772 – May 2, 2012
My son lost his backpack when traveling back to his base. He had put it in the hold of the bus in which he was traveling. He would need to replace his wallet, tefillin, clothes, books, phone charger and all of his documentation. Of course the tefillin was the most important item of all. It was a bar mitzvah gift from his grandparents and specially written for him, and we all know how expensive tefillin are. But obviously the sentimental value was irreplaceable.

Hashgachah Pratis: Readers Respond (Continued from Last Week)

21 Nisan 5772 – April 12, 2012
For the past several weeks I have been focusing on hashgachah pratis – personal, individual and national guidance that comes from heaven. Sadly, in our secular, high pressured, very often decadent society, many voices assail us and we have difficulty hearing the still small voice of G-d leading and prodding us.

Making Sense Of The Sin Offering

29 Adar 5772 – March 22, 2012
We think of a sin as something we did intentionally, yielding to temptation perhaps, or in a moment of rebellion. That is what Jewish law calls b’zadon in biblical Hebrew or b’mezid in rabbinic Hebrew. That is the kind of act we would have thought calls for a sin offering. But actually such an act cannot be atoned for by an offering at all. So how do we make sense of the sin offering?

Where Are The Gedolim Today?

21 Adar 5772 – March 14, 2012
Parshas Pikudei begins with a detailed accounting of all of the gold and silver that was collected for the Mishkan. A cursory reading would lead us to assume that while of course a man as great as Moshe was above question, he must have asked for this calculation because public leaders must remove any suspicion no matter how farfetched.

Purim Afterthoughts

Purim is the one Yom Tov all Jews can celebrate. Special knowledge is not required and the demands of its observance are easy enough.

Adar And Beyond

Just last week we experienced the crowning point of the month of Adar by commemorating the extraordinary events that unfolded in the ancient Persian Empire. We read the scroll of Esther, enjoyed a hearty feast, and traded gifts of goodies with each other.

Thinking Outside The Tzeddakah Box

16 Adar 5772 – March 9, 2012
The whole idea of an artful pushka (tzeddakah or charity box) is almost a tease, if not an outright mockery. Isn’t there something pretty backward about investing time and money in an ornate container to hold alms for the poor?

Reb Elimelech M’Lizhensk (Part V)

23 Shevat 5772 – February 15, 2012
Baruch, from the village of Radovitz, was a sharecropper who barely eked out a living. His income was at the mercy of the infamously cruel Poritz, who owned the Radovitz environs.

Obsession With Tuition Hurts Jewish Education

There is constant talk of a tuition crisis, of the growing number of yeshiva and day school parents – and potential parents – who say that full tuition or anything close to it is beyond their financial reach.

Why Was Avraham Allowed To Perform Hachnasas Orchim?

16 Heshvan 5772 – November 12, 2011
At the beginning of this week’s parshah the Torah writes extensively about Avraham Avinu’s act of hachnasas orchim for the three men who were passing by his tent.

Big Bang On Glenbrook

5 Heshvan 5772 – November 2, 2011
For 10 years our front door was 35 feet from the busiest road leading in and out of Morristown, New Jersey. Zoom, zoom, zoom…one car after another going 40-50 miles per hour, not only during the morning and afternoon rush hours, but all week long. Even when we stood by our front door, we had to yell at the top of our lungs to call to our children who were playing in our tiny front yard.

Reb Elimelech M’Lizhensk (Part I)

21 Tishri 5772 – October 19, 2011
Just when it seemed that the Jews could never recover from the ruinous events of the 17th and 18th centuries, their plight was worsened yet, by even heavier taxes imposed by the Polish government.

A Taste Of Eternity

8 Tishri 5772 – October 5, 2011
Yom Kippur is the most solemn day of the Jewish year and it is also the strangest - because it seems to negate all that makes us human.

A Chuppah Tale

9 Elul 5771 – September 7, 2011
Are there any coincidences? I don't believe so. Everything that happens is preordained by Hashem.

Meeting The Lubavitcher Rebbe

2 Elul 5771 – August 31, 2011
It was a beautiful morning in May 1985 when I decided to take my tzedakah box to Lubavitch headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway. I did not know much about Chabad, and had to ask for directions.

Chassidishe Kollel’s Annual Dinner

6 Tammuz 5771 – July 8, 2011
The Los Angeles Kollel Yechiel Yehuda recently held its annual dinner honoring Mr. and Mrs. Berel Weiss. Reb Elie Ryzman spoke of his meeting with the previous Modzitzer Rebbe, who, during their conversation, said, "You should know that Reb Berel Weiss is a gaon b'chesed, and we should all learn from him."

Safta’s Diaries: The Real Thing

12 Adar I 5771 – February 16, 2011
The picture on the front cover of Safta's Diaries (translated and edited by Shera Aranoff Tuchman, published by Ktav) is of a beautiful, strong woman. The photographer caught her in a quiet moment: she is sitting on a tall horse; the reins are in her right hand, the pommel of the saddle under her left hand; she appears ready to lead the charge against any challenge that might come.

Husband Spending Too Much Time With Business Partner Of The Opposite Sex

8 Tevet 5771 – December 15, 2010
Question: I trust my husband implicitly. He has never given me reason to suspect him of wrongdoing. So, why am I writing? Three years ago he began a new job. He works very closely with a frum woman. They make a very good team – she is the salesperson and crucial to the business. A few months ago they started to train together to run in a half marathon for tzedakah. Then I found out that she and her husband had separated. I did not hear this from my husband – it was a friend who told me. When I asked my husband why he didn’t tell me, he said that she asked him not to tell anyone and he respected her privacy. Then I found out that they skipped a workout because of the rain and instead had lunch together. This I heard from a friend who saw them together. Please understand I don't want to think he's doing anything wrong. Surely he wouldn't be in a restaurant for all to see if he was up to no good. He says I'm being overly sensitive. Is he right?

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