Sunday, May 28, 2017


Tel Aviv’s Religious Reawakening

I have always valued Tel Aviv’s importance as Israel’s largest economic hub and as a leading center for medicine and education. I also appreciate its wonderful museums, parks, and performing arts venues. As Tel Aviv is known for its hip atmosphere and famous 24-hour culture, I never expected the city to become a destination for

Parshat Vayakhel: “Culture, Counter-Culture, and Creativity”

It was quite a few years ago that I spent almost every Sunday afternoon in one of the great museums of the city in which my family then lived. I no longer remember what first stimulated my interest in art, and specifically in the type of art known as Impressionism. But I know that I relished those Sunday afternoons, as did my youngest daughter, then no more than six or

Teaching Tolerance

In case you didn’t hear, an Orthodox high school in New York permitted two girls to wear tefillin at school (this also happens to be the school where I teach). The firestorm following this decision focused on a few major issues, with both participants and observers alike compelled to take a side.

Although debating right and wrong is important (if

Mystery and Magic

Jewish biblical exegesis operates on multiple levels. Rashi, who nearly a millennium later remains the most influential exegete, employed two methods of interpretation: Peshat, which is concerned with the plain sense of Scripture, and derash, which adds narrative or normative content to the written Torah from the midrashim of the Sages. Both

Vayakhel: Offerings from the Heart

Rabbi Chezky Markovitz knew that second grade was not where he was meant to be. True, he had just finished his semichah program and had been ordained as a rabbi only two months earlier and under the circumstances he was glad to find any teaching job on such short notice (Rabbi Blass had left with diverticulitis—indefinite leave), but he wanted more. He

Nancy or Tonya?

There are many types of people in this world. There are nice ones, not nice ones, and ones that pretend to be nice, but really aren’t. There are people who do good for others because their hearts are pure and there are people who do good for others so they can tell people they did good for others. We have charitable people, cheap people, nasty people, cranky

A Special Bat- Mitzvah in Israel

A celebration was hosted at Emunah’s Bet Elezraki Children’s Home for At-Risk Children in Netanya in honor of our daughter, Racheli Schachter’s bat mitzvah. Racheli and five bat-mitzvah age girls from the Home went to a salon together and then for ice cream by the shore. The girls were so friendly and warm; they all got along so well and had a lot of

Ruchama King Feuerman Speaks at Ahavath Torah 3/5

Englewood—Ruchama King Feuerman, author of the new novel, In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist, published by New York Review of Books, will be the featured speaker at a luncheon co-sponsored by Englewood’s  Congregation Ahavath Torah’s Dor LeDor division and Congregation Shomrei Emunah on Wednesday, March 5th at noon at Congregation

Psychological Insights from the Torah: On Building Relationships

As a mental health professional, I often find myself helping couples, family members, and individuals heal the ruptured relationships in their lives. Over the past ten years, I have discovered the Torah as a valuable resource and am in awe at the extent to which current psychological theory and practice draws from Torah truths. The relationships our holy descendants

The Vexing Question: So, Why Aren’t You Married?

I doubt if a married person can pose a more vexing question to a marriage-minded Jewish single than the oft repeated quote, “So how come you’re not married?” Other forms of the question include, “My God, are you still single?” usually exclaimed with great surprise after meeting someone by chance some 20 years after the questioner originally

Marriage Flight

Imagine you are sitting comfortably on a jet that just took off. You were upgraded to business class because of a problem on your last flight and are sitting in the first row, quite close to the pilot and co-pilot’s cabin so you can hear a bit of the talk behind the closed cabin door. While you can’t hear exactly what is being discussed, it is clear from the tone

Rebecca Teplow: A Voice Worth Hearing at the JCC

Teaneck—Rebecca Teplow, 49, wife and mother of three children, is a singer, composer, performer, and former student of internationally renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman, but not someone who one might think would keep her light under a rug. Light seems to be a motif for her as she speaks of her feelings for the art of performance and composition and which she