Thursday, May 23, 2019


Hallel in Shul the First Night of Pesach: Ashkenazim Adopt Sephardic Practice

Here is a rarity. The Rama records a widespread Ashkenazic minhag, and yet many if most Ashkenazic batei knesset no longer follow this practice but instead follow the Sephardic practice. This is indeed a rare occurrence, but it has happened and is happening regarding the recital of Hallel in the synagogue on the night of the first

A Tribute to Rabbi and Shevi Yudin

In Parshat Kedoshim, Hashem calls upon Moshe to charge Bnei Yisroel with the mandate of “holiness.” As it states:“Kedoshim tihiyu, ki Kadosh Ani Hashem Elokeichem,You shall be holy for I, the Lord your God, am holy.” Our rabbis offer numerous explanations as to how far-reaching this mandate can be. Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik

Miracles Big and Small

We have all heard countless times where people say they would be a true believer if only they saw a miracle happen right here, right now. Judaism celebrates miracles that took place thousands of years ago. Why don’t we see open miracles in our time as well? We are about to celebrate the plagues and the parting of the sea that

Some Interesting Words From the Seder

Seder: A word with this root appears only one time in Tanach, at Job 10:22 (sedarim). As we would expect, it means “order.”

Karpas: This word appears in the Tanach only one time, at Esther 1:6. There it means “fine fabric, linen.” In the Mishna, Tosefta and Talmud, it has the meaning of

Follow the Middle Path

One of the stories that my father, z”l, used to tell me about his father, my grandfather, Rabbi Eyad Acoca, z”l, was that back in Morocco, at a young age, my grandfather traveled to the city of Sale to learn under the revered Hacham, Rabbi Rafael Enkaua, z”l. In order to get there, he had to cross the Bou Regreg river. Once,

Chullin 139

May these words of Torah serve as a merit le’iluy nishmat Menachem Mendel ben Harav Yoel David Balk, a”h, and Meira Chaya Nechama Beracha, a”h, bat Reb David Mordechai Fishel, sheyichye.

This week we learned Chullin 139. These are some highlights.

The Hypocrisy of Kitniyot

Many recent newspaper articles, blogs and social media posts have been critical of the continuing prohibition of kitniyot among Ashkenazic Jews on Pesach. The kitniyot prohibition bans several dozen foods even though they are not chametz in any way, shape or form. The reason these items are not considered chametz is that they are

In Business, Answering to a Higher Authority

Some businessmen swear by an inspirational course they took in school. Some remember the hard-life lessons they learned in the early days of starting their enterprise. Some commiserate with a mentor and get their input before making a fateful decision.

But Eliezer Gross turns

The Magic of the Haggadah

Every year, as I unpack our Pesach boxes and sort through the various children’s projects, I find myself reminiscing. As I flip through the colorful pages of the Haggadot that mark the journey that my children have taken from nursery to adulthood, I note how their drawings have become more sophisticated, their writing more

Empowering Children Through Choice

Every year as Peach approaches we busy ourselves with endless preparations, not just physically cleaning and cooking, but intellectually and spiritually as well. We stay up late into the night preparing words of wisdom about every nuance of the Haggadah to share at our Seder, all in the hopes of igniting a passion, love and

Ready to Purchase Your First Piece of Art?

A research study revealed that many people find buying art in a gallery to be more intimidating than any other shopping experience, including car shopping! The art world can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Purchasing art for your home is something that can be an enjoyable experience.

Mei’avdut L’Cheirut: Can We Change Our Own Narrative?

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself observing a support group for mothers whose children have a developmental deficit. The facilitator of the group herself has a child with the deficit, and she shared her intense personal experience.

As part of her personal journey and perspective, she shared