Wednesday, November 20, 2019


Dangerous Simchas

One of the privileges of serving in rabbanus is the tremendous volume of simchas I am fortunate to attend. To be able to watch children grow and achieve milestones and watch families flourish is a very special zechus.

It also gives me insight into communal trends that are common at simchas, some

Q&A With Teaneck Board of Ed Candidates

This November we will be electing three new members to the Teaneck BOE. There are five candidates running, the last three of whom are incumbents: Linda Burns, Yassine Elkarayani, Martin Ramirez, Sebastian Rodriguez and Denise Sanders.

The Facebook group Teaneck Newsroom has sent out

A Superior Explanation to Rashi? I Don’t Think So

A very troubling statement indeed! It was this past Chol Hamoed when my sons and I visited an out-of-town synagogue for Mincha/Arvit. A congregant between Mincha and Arvit addressed the topic of the Simchat Beit Hashoeva held at the Beit Hamikdash on Chol Hamoed Sukkot. The brief talk started on a conventional note, citing

Redemption Through Compassion

Parshat Noach

The haftarah of Parshat Noach, a selection taken from 54th and 55th perakim of Yishayahu, is a familiar reading as it includes two of the post-Tisha B’Av haftarot of consolation, which we read less than two months ago. However, the purpose of these readings are different from

Using Community for the Good

In 1887, a British member of Parliament, Lord Acton, wrote, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” These words may well describe what drove the builders of the Tower of Babylon.

According to one Rashi, they wanted to wage war against Hashem! Rav Hirsch explains it

The ‘Language Conflict’ in Israel in 1914

Herzl had not envisioned Hebrew as the language of the Jewish state. In 1896 he wrote: “Who amongst us has a sufficient acquaintance with Hebrew to ask for a railway ticket in that language?” His plan was that everyone in Palestine would continue to speak the language of their home country. He pointed to Switzerland as a

The Weight of Noah’s Ark

One may easily estimate the weight of Noah’s Ark fully loaded by using Archimedes’ Principle and some information in Rashi to B’reishit 8:4. Rashi declared that the Ark floated with 11 amot of its hull submerged under water. He gets this from the text. The waters reached a peak above land of 15 amot (7:20) on the first of

Creating a Culture of Respect

“Character is higher than intellect.” This quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson captures a critical goal of all educational institutions, especially yeshivot, namely values-based education. At the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy (MTA/YUHSB), our goal this year is “creating a community of respect.” While character may seem fundamental and something we often

Ring in the New Year, Part Two

Last time, we began the review of the Ring Smart Doorbell. We discussed installation, placement and the potential lock-in to the Amazon smart home ecosystem (or should I say “EchoSystem”). We also discussed the Ring Neighborhood App that allows user to share alerts and video with each other as well as with law

NCSY Camp Maor: The Opportunity Orthodox Jewish Girls Have Been Waiting For

Miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and nestled in the trees of Lakewood, Pennsylvania, lies a magical place called NCSY Camp Maor. It is an Orthodox performing arts sleepaway camp for Jewish girls ages 9-15 that builds artistic technique, confidence and lifelong friendships. After loving our time there as


Part 2

(Continued from last week)

One day the treasurer of the committee approached me and asked whether I would take over that responsibility from him since he found it “too difficult to write out checks for expenses, when money was instead needed by

Pay It Forward

Several weeks ago we addressed the need for us as consumers to be kinder to employees in the stores we patronize and also recognize the outstanding service that is shown to many of us in certain stores. We asked at that time for people to tell us their stories of unusual customer service. At this time we wish to pass on to you one