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Monday, September 23, 2019

Features

Sounding the Erev Shabbat Shofar in Teaneck

Teaneck’s got a new town crier and Lenny Fuld is his name. Fuld, a longtime resident who is well known for his friendly demeanor, roaring motorcycle and trademark moustache, has been an active member of the community for 40 years. In recent weeks, he has assumed the role of community shofar blower, sounding blasts on

When the Walls Fell

Except for the day of 9/11, I have never felt as broken as an SAR teacher as I did this week. But I have never felt prouder either.

I have been teaching Judaic studies at SAR Academy for over 20 years. I remember the atmosphere on the day the Twin Towers came down, when we were staggering

Open Your Eyes

Parshat Ki Tavo

“B’shuv Hashem et shivat Tziyon, hayinu k’cholmim.” David HaMelech penned these words at the beginning of the 126th psalm describing Israel’s reaction to the arrival of the geula. “Hayinu k’cholmim,” he says, “we will be like dreamers.” The long-awaited

Preserve Your Traditions

As Jews, we are very proud of our history.

History connects us to our past and gives us guidelines on how to live our lives.

By remembering our ancestors, it fills us with hope and encouragement for our present and future.

Was Nineveh That Big?

Is this true? Yonah 3:3 describes Nineveh as an exceedingly great city, a three days’ journey. The Gemara (Pesachim 94b) states that an average person can walk ten parsah, the equivalent of 40 kilometers in one day. This seems to indicate that Nineveh was 120 kilometers wide.

The problem is,

What Is the Meaning of ‘Hitpalel’?

This is a good time to discuss this all-important word. There are two issues involved: 1) What is the meaning of the root PLL? 2) What is the import of the hitpael form, one that we usually assume implies doing something to yourself?

With regard to the root PLL, this is admittedly a difficult

Accepting Responsibility

This week’s parsha, Ki Tavo, ends with the declaration, “Yet, to this day, the Lord has not given you a heart/mind to understand, or eyes to see or ears to hear.”

Our commentators, however, considered this verse to be more of a question: “You saw all that God did for you when you were in

What Happened to the Thank You Note?

Is this another category of “things” that we will be told are old-fashioned and no longer necessary? Maybe it is just us. Yet, we wonder what others do when they give a gift other than a check as a wedding present and have no way of knowing whether or not the happy couple ever received it. Yes, it is true that many couples are

Give Me the Good Old Days

One of my mother’s favorite declarations was, “Give me the good old days.” I never really took it to heart. Not, that is, until I was “stuck” sitting between two men on a domestic flight. Even with the “convenience” of computers, my husband was seated between two strangers about four rows behind me.

Peculiar and Unusual Naming Customs Among Medieval Ashkenazic Jews

Why did these given names from Medieval Ashkenaz and Anglia (England) fall out of favor among later Ashkenazim?

Saadiah

Gamaliel

Yosi (as in the Galilean diminutive of the Hebrew name

Frankfurt Minhagim and Me

Part 1

A few weeks ago I wrote about a minhag I had been used to since childhood. It was the minhag of washing the hands before Kiddush, whereas the common minhag was washing after Kiddush. I explained in that article how I resolved the problem in a practical manner.

High Holiday Challenge for College Kids: Finding Their (Spiritual) Home Away From Home

Most schools offer opportunities for young adults to celebrate together. Those who provide these services don’t take the responsibility lightly.

Spending the High Holidays away from home can be a lonely experience. And, sadly, without the family around, many a Jewish college student