Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Shaina Stiefel Weds Alter Gross

Shaina Stiefel, daughter of Marvin and Miriam Stiefel of Englewood, was married July 9 to Alter Gross, a son of Vivian and Avrumi Gross of Teaneck. The wedding took place at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor, New York.

The bride is a graduate of Rutgers University and the Frisch School. The

The ‘Why’ of Faith

Reviewing: “Reason to Believe: Rational Explanations of Orthodox Jewish Faith,” by Rabbi Chaim Jachter. Menorah Books, an imprint of Koren Publishers Jerusalem. Hardcover, 249 pages, 2017. ISBN-13: 978-1-940516-71-4.

In Rabbi Chaim Jachter’s recently released and meticulously

Bava Batra 176 and Sanhedrin 2

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


This week we completed the study of Bava Batra and began Sanhedrin. These are some highlights.

Accounting for a Minyan

Recently, Orthodox Jews in Lakewood, New Jersey, were arrested for allegedly deceiving the government in order to obtain benefits illegally. While we assume that people are innocent until proven guilty, we can explore the implications of this alleged crime. Specifically, I would like to discuss whether we can count for a minyan a

Clarifying My Very Pro TVAC Stance

Sometimes the most important emails slip by. Emails from the RCBC leadership requesting my signature on the pro-TVAC (Teaneck Volunteer Ambulance Corps) letter were missed. I have been engrossed this summer in helping communities throughout the country with their eruvin. In the past four weeks, I have traveled to Chicago,

A Simple Question?

As most shul rabbis can attest, we are rarely back home the moment minyan is over. People often have quick questions or comments to share after davening, so my family knows to be flexible about when to expect me after shul. If I’m involved in an extended exchange on a weekday, I try my best to text my wife to let her know I’ll

What Is the Origin of the Words ‘Chatan’ and ‘Kallah’?

My daughter’s recent engagement led me to thinking about these words.

The biblical word chatan means both son-in-law and bridegroom. But most scholars believe that the initial meaning was only son-in-law, and that bridegroom was a later development.

Apart but Not Alone, Part I

Man is “wired to connect,” and when life’s circumstances prevent one from making satisfying connections, this can lead to a host of emotional and even physical consequences. Yet, psychological research and practice, as well as our Torah, reveal the positive aspects of “apartness” and distinguish between

Matos-Masei: A Matter of Priorities

It’s not surprising to find our parsha reflecting the period we find ourselves in now, the Three Weeks, as we are contemplating our 2,000-year exile and why it’s taking so long to end. Let’s examine the parsha closer to glean a few insights into our path to geulah!

The tribes of Reuven and

A Call or a Cry?

This week’s haftarah, the second of the “t’lat d’pur’anuta,” three haftarot of punishment that precede Tisha B’Av, is a direct continuation of the selection we read last Shabbat from the first chapter of Sefer Yirmiyahu. Given this truth, it is somewhat difficult to understand how the prophet could open the

Four Podcasts for the Nine Days

Perhaps you are an avid listener, like me, whose podcast app is stockpiled with 16 different channels, constantly updating with new content to grace your ears. Perhaps you’ve only just heard of the fad that is taking the world by storm, as major publications and radio stations shift their content to the new medium. Or perhaps

Rabbi Zlotowitz of ArtScroll: Rebbe and Chaver to Thousands

As we are about to mark the Shloshim of Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz z”l, the founder of ArtScroll, who was born in New York City in 1943 and passed away on June 24, 2017, at age 73, it is appropriate to consider how much ArtScroll has impacted our community and to note some of its history.

Imagine a