Friday, August 18, 2017


Wheeled Into Surgery

When I was 8 years old, I needed to have an operation to correct a hernia. I remember davening at home with my father in the wee hours of the morning and then heading to the hospital. When we arrived at the hospital, the receptionist looked at me and exclaimed, “This is the infant?” Apparently, they had written down that I was

An Insight Into Kriyat Shema Al Ha-Mita

This prayer begins with a statement that God places “chevlei sheina” on our eyes. But what exactly does this term mean? In our printed siddurim, and in the text of the Talmud that is the source of this prayer (Berachot 60b), “chevlei” is spelled with a chet.

A few months ago, I discussed

Words of Comfort—Really!

Parshat Va’etchanan

Shabbat Nachamu

The glorious opening words of this week’s haftarah, “Nachamu, nachamu ami,” are often misunderstood as being a cry to the people to be comforted. But the word “nachamu” means “comfort” and not “be

Va’eschanan: True Refinement

Recently, I experienced the misfortune of driving behind a garbage truck on a two-lane road for over a mile. It was a very long mile. I admit, my patience was tested. Finally, it veered off to a side street and I was free. Nonetheless, driving down the highway miles away, I could still smell the stench of the garbage.

An Eastward Flight From Poland in 1941

Part 7 (Continued from last week)

The sun was shining brightly through the only window in the wall. The room was very large and bare. A clay floor, a round opening in the corner with a big pot on it, served as a stove, but we had a roof over our heads, and we

I’m Busy, Too

For many years my corporate career took me into Manhattan five days a week. I spent countless hours on the 7:00 a.m. Community Coach bus, many times getting home as late as 8:30 p.m. My day started at 4:45 a.m. as I crawled out of bed to jump on the treadmill (ok, let’s be honest, crawl on the treadmill) to get a decent

The Sentence Should Have Been Life

After having attended the sentencing of Anthony Graziano and Aakash Dalal on Friday, we spent much of the weekend discussing the horror of what we saw and heard. (Apologies to those who practically heard nothing because the judge did not use the microphone.) As Nina sat just feet away from the door that the prisoners used to enter

A Dream Realized

Editor’s note: The following is the text of a speech that was delivered at Congregation Shaare Tefila at the special seudah shlishit honoring four shul families who will be making aliyah on August 14.

True story. I was in Home Depot last week purchasing another set of Rubbermaid

Triumphant Tour de Simcha Cycles Into Camp Simcha

The road from Vernon, New Jersey, to Glen Spey, New York, was dotted with pink last week when 219 women cycled their way from the Minerals Spa and Resort to Camp Simcha Special as part of the 2017 Tour de Simcha. Among those riding from Bergen County were Freeda Muller, Tova Gerson, Bibi Pavel and Eva Rothberg.

Out of the Mouths of Babes I Learn Continuity Is Real

My wife, Lisa, and I came up to Sharon, Massachusetts, during the summers to spend two weeks with our daughter DeDe, son-in-law Yaakov and our three grandsons, Nani, Itai and Uriel.

Sharon has a beautiful Jewish community just south of Boston.

Two years ago,

A Little Too Emojional

I’m not generally big on texting. I basically just text my wife across the house when I don’t want to yell the same thing up the stairs 10 times or have the kids know what I’m saying. When I was growing up, my parents didn’t actually have texting, so I’m not sure how they had important conversations without us hearing

Knish Conundrum

In the English language, nearly all words that begin with the letters “kn” start with a “k” that is silent. This is common knowledge, especially among knuckleheads, knights, knaves, knackers, knockouts and New York Knickerbockers with knobby knees. Technically, the “kn” combo is referred to as a phonogram, i.e., a