Tuesday, February 25, 2020


Operation Benjamin

Part 3

(Continued from last week)

Once the new headstone had been erected, Rabbi Schacter welcomed all who attended in a very emotional address relating the background of how he and his associates in this undertaking had come to this point.

Subsequently, Scott Desjardins, superintendent of the Normandy American

Next Monday in History

Good news! This coming Monday is Presidents’ Day, which is hands down the oldest American Holiday that everyone forgets about until the week before. It’s a happy accident on the calendar. It’s like finding money in your sofa.

“I found a quarter!... Oh, that’s right. George

Nutritious Noshing

When it comes to rules and regulations, Jewish law is in no short supply. The Torah and Talmud contain a cornucopia of commandments and a plethora of prohibitions on a wide variety of topics and in varying degrees of details. Often the discussions dive deep into bottomless cups of minutiae so ingenious in their complexity that they leave

Seeing the Big Picture

“Jonathan, please find your seat,” asked Rav Fisch for what felt like the 20th time this week. “Found it. There it is!” replied Jonathan as he pointed across the room. Rav Fisch held back a frown. “Jonathan, please be more respectful.” Jonathan held back a smile. “But you told me to find my seat, and I did!” You see,

The Maggid of Manalapan

They call me the Maggid of Manalapan, but it’s getting tough to be a maggid these days. Everyone is used to getting their stories free from the internet. What’s more, this guy known as the Maggid of Bergenfield muscled into my turf a while back, and he’s been getting more popular than a chatan at tachanun time.

Borei Pri Ha’etz vs. Shehechiyanu: Which Comes First?

For many of us, when we will be eating a pomegranate, fig or date this coming Tu B’Shevat, we will be reciting a Shehechiyanu in addition to borei pri ha’etz on the fruit. The question becomes which should we recite first: Ha’etz or Shehechiyanu?

Not surprisingly, there is considerable debate about

Moshe Rabbeinu and Devorah HaNeviah

Over the past years, we have emphasized the close connection between the story of kriyat Yam Suf, the splitting of the Sea of Reeds that we read in the parsha, to the story of Devorah and Barak that we read in the haftarah this week. In both readings, Israel defeats her enemy and follows the victory with a song of praise to Hashem. In both

Berachos 36

May these words of Torah serve as a merit le’iluy nishmat Meira Chaya Nechama Bracha a”h bat David Mordechai sh’eyichyeh.

 A diabetic is eating cake, does he recite any berachos?

A Jew is not to benefit from this world without first reciting a

The Morning Blessing ‘Ha-Noten La-Yaef Koach’

At the beginning of our daily prayers there is a section with fourteen blessings, beginning with the “sechvi” blessing. Where do these blessings come from?

Ten appear at Berachot 60b. The three identity blessings, which we insert as numbers 2, 3, and 4, appear at Menachot 43b (and elsewhere). But

Reflections on Sefer Bereishit, Part I: Appreciating the ‘Bitter’ and the ‘Sweet’

One of my favorite Hebrew songs, written and popularized by Naomi Shemer, and sometimes referred to as “A Prayer and a Promise,” speaks to the idea that the taste of the “bitter” enhances the “sweet.” This, I believe, is also a prevalent theme reflected in the story of the Jewish nation, told by our Torah. Each year as we

A Response to ‘The Ashke-Sefard Dilemma’

In a recent article in The Jewish Link by Dr. Wallace Greene titled “The Ashke-Sefard Dilemma,” (November 27, 2019), the writer writes about the “Sephardic Hebrew” adopted by Modern Orthodox Jews. The truth is that what’s being taught today in most MO schools is hardly Sephardic Hebrew, but rather Modern Israeli Hebrew. Other than

Governor Signs Law Broadening Terrorism Definition

In the wake of an alarming rise in bias incidents and terrorism directed at the Jewish community and others, Governor Phil Murphy on January 15 signed into law a bill that broadens and adds teeth to the current terrorism laws.

The bill, A-3087, which was passed two days earlier by the