Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Taxes on Personal Injury Awards

America—land of the free, home of the brave and headquarters of the frivolous lawsuit. We Americans will literally sue for anything and everything. Don’t believe me? Take Anton Purisima of Manhattan, for example. In 2014, he filed a lawsuit naming New York City, an Au Bon Pain bakery, two local hospitals, Kmart and a dog owner as the defendants. He sought

Eye Contact, Part I: Getting and Holding Someone’s Attention

A number of years ago, I was trying hard to get support for an undertaking at work, and so when I finally got a meeting with a key stakeholder I was determined to make the best of it. When the big day came I arrived at the senior VP’s office prepared to capture and hold her attention. We sat at a coffee table in the corridor of

Project Ezrah’s Interest-Free Loan Initiative

A one-time, unexpected expense could seriously damage a family’s carefully planned budget. Though fiscally appropriate and stringent in adhering to their financial plan, a family could face a tough dilemma when challenged with an unexpected happening…leading to an unexpected but necessary payment.

Shomrei Torah Celebrates Publication of Rabbi Yudin’s Second Book

Reviewing: “Gateways to Greatness,” by Rabbi Benjamin Yudin. Mosaica Press/Feldheim. Hardcover, 221 pages, 2017. ISBN-10: 1946351032.

The Naftali Aron Torah Enrichment Program of Shomrei Torah in Fair Lawn hosted a dinner honoring Rabbi Benjamin Yudin on the

Bava Batra 137 and 139

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 137 and 139. These are some highlights.

Bava Batra 137: An

Shelach: Truly Seeing What You See

While living in Eretz Yisrael, I was delayed many times due to a chefetz chashud—a suspicious package—but I never got to witness the procedure up close. A friend of mine did. The bomb squad pulled up in a special van. After the area was cordoned off, the back door of the van opened and a special robot was wheeled out.

Which Siddur to Use When Visiting a Sephardic Kehilla

The excitement is palpable. Eitan Shushan’s bar mitzvah will be held this coming Shabbat, im yirtzeh Hashem, at Congregation Shaarei Orah, the Sephardic Congregation of Teaneck! A large crowd is expected, including many Ashkenazic guests. A typical dilemma faced by Ashkenazic guests is which siddur to use for the

Spies vs. Spies

Parshat Shelach

This week’s haftarah is taken from the second perek in Sefer Yehoshua, which actually relates events that took place even before those found in the first chapter. The first chapter includes the commands that Yehoshua gave to Bnai Yisrael to prepare for entering Eretz Canaan within three

Was That a Fork in the Road?

It was one of those moments that are priceless as a parent. When one of our children was about 7 years old, he woke up one morning in a very cranky mood. Everything was an issue and a kvetch, to the point that my wife commented to me that this child really woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Apparently, the child had overheard

Toward Full Hebrew Proficiency

What would you do if, with one change, your Jewish day school or yeshiva could:

  • Advance students two years beyond their grade level in Hebrew proficiency?
  • Make students three times as likely to be comfortable chatting in Hebrew, speaking Hebrew in class and reading Israeli news

Striving for Greatness: Reflections on Four Years at MTA

A recent article in The Jewish Link, “Learning Goes Beyond the Classroom: Reflections on Four Years at TABC,” by Meir Jacobs, made me want to reflect on my high school experience as well. I recall four years ago when the daunting decision was upon me and my parents, and how intense the process was. We had heard various

‘Chai Riders’: Celebrating Israel and Motorcycling

When we think of motorcycle riders, the typical stereotyped image that enters our minds is that of an rough-looking, Hell’s Angel-type, tattooed gang member riding on a Harley Davidson. While a motorcycle, as an instrument, can certainly be used in that manner, in the hands of the right person it can also be used to