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Monday, January 23, 2017

Features

Beloved Rebbetzin Ruth Schonfeld’s Petira Saddens Many Communities

Asara B’Tevet, marked this year on Sunday, January 8, commemorated a national disaster for klal Yisrael when the Babylonians first surrounded the Beit Hamikdash with towers for two and a half years and instilled fear in Yerushalayim’s inhabitants. One day later, on January 9, communities within the United States as well as

The Perfect Snack

Some people are in search of the perfect pair of shoes, the perfect outfit, the perfect spouse, the perfect job. My goals aren’t as lofty. I am in search of the perfect snack. And this snack is not for me, it is for the men/boys in my house. Since we all go through different stages of life, there has got to be the

Kollel Chatzos Announces New Branch in Boro Park

It’s a celebration for the entire klal Yisrael—and especially for Boro Park. A new Kollel Chatzos is opening in Boro Park, bringing along with it the special siyata Dishmaya and bracha that the kollelim have already brought to communities across the globe. We express hoda’a to Hashem for orchestrating this long-awaited

Bava Metzia 112

These words of Torah are dedicated to the aliyah of the neshamah of our dear friend and role model, Menachem Mendel Ben Harav Yoel David Balk a”h, on the occasion of his first Yahrtzeit.

 

This week we learned Bava Metzia 112. Here are some

Give It a Try

We were away for Shabbos a few years back and I went to shul for Mincha a bit early on Shabbos afternoon. One of my sons decided to accompany me as he has a very punctual personality, and being early is part of his DNA. When we came to the shul I opened a sefer and sat down to learn for a few minutes, but my attention was quickly

Have the Six Hours Elapsed? A Difference Between Sephardim and Ashkenazim, Part II

It is a typical question faced by observant Jews: I am unsure if the waiting period between meat and milk elapsed—may I eat milk products now or must I wait until I am sure the customary time has passed? Not surprisingly, poskim have devoted considerable discussion of this frequently asked question. This week we shall

Thanksgiving From a Torah Perspective, Part II

At some time or another, in the process of parenting, most of us have heard the dreaded words: “You are a bad mommy/daddy…” or “I hate you….” from our beloved children. This is because young children, and even adolescents or emerging young adults, during transitional stages have difficulty dealing with the opposing

Studying Talmud: The Good, the Not-So-Good and How to Make Talmud More Accessible

Part II: How Talmudic Study Grew

In Part I of this three-part series, we looked at what is the essence of the Talmud and some of the many who have studied it. While some have rejected Talmud study, various factors have caused it to be studied more today than ever. Here, in Part II, we look

Horrors or Hope?

Parshat Shemot

At first glance, it is difficult to find a connection between the haftarah this week (according to Ashkenazic tradition), made up of selections from three perakim of Yishayahu, and the parsha itself. The parsha focuses on the enslavement of Israel and the suffering they underwent

The Plague of Arov: A New Understanding

When I started the research for this article, I intended to survey the various traditional understandings of the plague. Along the way, I discovered a completely new and intriguing understanding that may be the plain sense. But I am going to hold you in suspense and not reveal it until the end.

How to Be a Better Parent and a More Effective Teacher

Over the past 40 years working with parents, teachers, administrators and children, I have developed some ideas and theories about parenting, and approaches to dealing with children. I want to thank my friend and colleague Rivy Poupko Kletenik, Head of School at the Seattle Hebrew Academy, for sharing her insights with me, as well

Churchill Was  Anti-Semitic! Really?

Part I of III

On Pesach 2015, I addressed a group of guests at a hotel and spoke about a very controversial subject, entitled “Should/Could We Have Bombed Auschwitz?” (Serialized in The Jewish Link editions of December 8, 15 and 22, 2016).

At the