Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Summer Tips: Gift Cards and Helping Your Teens Manage Their Money

Before I get into some ways for our teenagers to manage their money via credit or prepaid cards, I want to note that there are some great websites that sell gift cards. Gift cards and points have become a separate currency, if you will, like bitcoin.

Websites like Raise or Cardbear

Let’s Talk About This Over Drinks

Now that it’s summer, it’s important to stay hydrated. It’s always important to stay hydrated, but it’s a lot easier during the winter, when, if you don’t want to dehydrate, all you have to do is come up with excuses not to move around. In the summer, you can dehydrate by sitting still, until you’re like those

Tough Tasks

The circus will not be coming to town, at least not the world’s most famous circus. That’s because Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus recently folded up its tent, literally and figuratively. No more elephants, no more high-wire acts and, worst of all, no more clowns.


Never Satisfied

Last week, there were few who weren’t complaining about the unseasonal weather. It’s too cold, it’s too damp and, as so many repeated, “when is summer going to be here?” Cashiers checking out customers at local grocery stores bemoaned the weather; chance meetings with friends began with them lamenting the weather, and all

Do We Really Understand the Plight of the Immigrant?

As an immigration lawyer, recently I have been asked, a lot: “Boy, President Trump must be really great for your business, right?” Actually, no. Without any changes in the law, all I have is an increase in nervous potential clients on the phone, and you can’t charge for “nobody knows what the law will be, so please stay in

The Future of DACA

Since taking office, President Donald Trump has issued several executive orders (EOs) that have affected the country’s immigration policies, and regardless of one’s political leanings, many can agree that these EOs have resulted in a significant impact on our communities. One area of immigration that President Trump has spoken

Bava Batra 130

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 130. These are some highlights.

Can a father who is a chazan

Celebrating ‘Yovel Yerushalayim’ Like a Local

Jerusalem—At the end of the yeshiva or seminary year in Israel, one often looks back on their experiences and tries to choose a highlight, a life-changing event that moved them and transformed them forever. For some in my Shana Alef at Lev HaTorah, it was the uplifting tefilot

A Column About Nothing: What Is the Root of the Word Hefker?

The title of this column alludes to a famous TV show. (For the handful of you who don’t understand it, it is not worth explaining.) In any event, my intent here is to write a serious column about the root of the word hefker (ownerless property). I got interested in this topic when Mollie Fisch pointed out to me that in

Why Were Shaarei Orah Members Returning Home Early Shavuot Eve?

Ashkenazic Jews are accustomed to seeing Sephardic Jews return late on Shabbat and Yom Tov evenings. It is well known that Sephardim read each word aloud (except for the silent Amidah) and that Sephardic tefillah takes longer than the Ashkenazic version. However, Ashkenazic Jews often react with shock when seeing their

Beha’aloscha: Looking Outward

This dvar Torah is dedicated l’iluy nishmas my grandfather, Mr. Sidney Blechner, Shalom ben Mordechai, z”l, upon his 10th yahrtzeit on 11 Sivan.

Whether we admit it or not, we all have a tendency to be self-absorbed. Not the best trait to have, most certainly. But Hashem did give us

The Back of the Line

As if being the youngest in my family wasn’t enough, my last name didn’t do me any favors. I have a very warm place in my heart for the fourth grade teacher who said she was going to go backward in the alphabet when it came to getting a special opportunity in class. In all of my school years, such an occasion took place only a