Tuesday, February 28, 2017


An Unjust Accusation of Anti-Semitism Against Made Senator Robert Menendez During Friedman Confirmation Hearing

A recent op-ed by Caroline Glick featured in the Jerusalem Post (“Senator Menendez and the Pollard Effect,” February 20, 2017) leveled erroneous accusations of anti-Semitism against Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nomination of David Friedman. These accusatory remarks,

Bava Batra 29

May these words of Torah serve as a merit le’iluy nishmat Menachem Mendel ben Harav Yoel David Balk, a”h.


This week we learned Bava Batra 29. Here are some highlights.

Bava Batra 29: If you do not

Mishpatim: Holes

Shemot: 21:33-34

Once in the town of New Milford, there was a pothole.

Now of course there was probably more than one pothole in New Milford—as northern New Jersey is famous the world over for the quality of its roads—but this particular one was quite

The Potent Power of a Parent’s Prayer

A mother developed a serious illness and the daughter and mother insisted that the mother’s father not be informed. The husband, though, argued that it was best for the father to be informed so that the father would have an opportunity to pray for his daughter. The couple approached Rav Yitzchak Zilberstein to resolve this

Ve-Shinantam Le-Vanecha (Devarim 6:7)

As part of the Shema, we recite: ve-shinantam le-vanecha, ve-dibarta bam. But what exactly does that first word mean? From the context, we would expect something like “teach” or “make known.”

How does Rashi explain our word? First, he writes that ve-shinantam has the meaning of

Why Didn’t You Tell Me?

It was a pretty typical night in our home a few years back. It changed when one of my children asked that I make school lunches again. My wife was surprised. Every family has the household chores divided up among the parties in the home. It was my wife who made the lunches for the kids every night. The night before, however, she

Displaying Disposition

If you spent the day working at a fish factory, wouldn’t you change your clothing before coming to shul? After a sweaty workout at the gym, wouldn’t a shower be in order before meeting the family for dinner at a restaurant? As a general rule, people aim not to share or display their off-putting scents for public consumption,

Chanoch Lanaar: An Alternate Approach

“Potential” is a word that evokes a wide range of responses. Potential can inspire, opening the mind’s eye to endless possibilities. Potential can partner with remorse, producing feelings of regret and memories of lost opportunity. Potential can also produce strong anxiety within an individual; how does one choose a life path

A Community of Chesed

I few weeks ago I visited the settlement of Gevaot in the Gush Etzion area, not far from Jerusalem. The settlement of Gevaot was founded in 1984 as a Nachal army outpost in the hills descending from Gush Etzion. In 2012 with the support and assistance of the Gush Etzion Regional Council

One Question That Will Change Your World

The stories we tell ourselves about the world and our place in it lock us into a single way of thinking: Experts are never wrong. Gifted students excel and embrace new opportunities. At-risk students are always on the precipice looking down. Slower students face constant challenges. Great educators teach the best classes. And

Rebbetzin Tap Launches Kol Isha, for Women and Girls Only

Kol Isha is a Facebook group started in December 2016 by Kerry Bar-Cohn, known as the Jewish performer “Rebbetzin Tap.” The goal is simple—to provide a safe, kosher place for Jewish women and girls to post themselves singing, dancing and sharing creative expression, and for other women and girls to watch and enjoy!

The ‘Bittersweet’ Story

Shabbat Shekalim

Parshat Mishpatim

The Shabbat of, or before, Rosh Chodesh Adar (the Adar that precedes Pesach) is designated by the Gemara in Megilla as the first of the “special” parshiot that herald the arrival of Pesach and require a special reading