Wednesday, November 20, 2019


‘Ani Ve-Ho’: What Is the Meaning of This Cryptic Phrase?

As part of the Sukkot hoshanot we recite the request “Ani Ve-Ho Hoshiah Nah.” This phrase originates in a statement by R. Judah at Mishnah Sukkah 4:5. But what is the meaning of the word Ve-Ho (vav, hei, vav) and the entire cryptic phrase?

Rashi (Sukkah 45a) suggests that Ani and Ve-Ho (vav,

Six Differences Between Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews Regarding the Na’anu’im

Are there situations when Ashkenazic Jews follow the ruling of Rav Yosef Karo as recorded in the Shulchan Aruch and Sephardic Jews do not? The answer is yes, in a few instances, na’anu’im being one of them. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 651:9) rules that the na’anu’im begin in front and then wind around the right and

Plantar Fasciitis and The Sukkah That Wasn’t Meant to Be Built

So you wake up and are about to get out of bed. You’re thinking of the million Sukkot preparations you have to do today. Ready to spend a few hours standing on you feet while putting the sukkah together. But wait…as you step out of bed, you feel a shooting pain in your heel and you realize you will not be putting this sukkah up

One Shoe Off, One Shoe On

Simchat Torah

Chazal’s selection of the first chapter in Sefer Yehoshua as the haftarah for Simchat Torah is certainly understandable, as it flows quite naturally from the final verses of the Torah that are read on this chag. Additionally, one can sense how the memory of Moshe, who had

Curious, Compassionate and Connected School Community

“What a phenomenon!” exclaims Binyamin, an eager sixth grade math student, connecting his new language of science to math. Truly, his words reverberate as RPRY begins a new year of excellence. Real-world phenomena frame not only the next generation science standards but fundamentally reset the approach to all learning.

A Gentle Knock on the Door

Anyone who has visited our home in the past year is aware of the sign next to our doorbell which indicates that it is not working. Please knock, it says.

On Sunday, as we were doing chores around the house, there was a gentle knock on our door. With a big smile on his face stood Isaiah, our

World Jewish Relief Shares Kindertransport Records

More than 70 years after fleeing Nazi-occupied Germany on the Kindertransport, the survivors who are still living are entitled to benefits. Their families are now able to retrieve records of their ancestors who were part of the famed rescue effort.

The Garnethill Synagogue in

My Amazon Epiphany

OK, let’s clear up the title right away. This is not going to be a story about how I was in South America and found “God” at the banks of the mighty Amazon River. I’m sure there are plenty of people who could tell you that one, but not me.

I’m not going to write about a large female

‘Jewishprudence’: Thoughts on Jewish Law and Beit Din Jurisprudence

The Beth Din of America recently launched “Jewishprudence,” a blog dedicated to contemporary beit din jurisprudence with a special focus on the intersection of Jewish law and modern commercial practice. In the space below, we present our first two “Jewishprudence” posts. The first post provides a general introduction to the

Miracle of Miracles

I have experienced miracles in my life. Many of them. Some of them are too private to ever talk about. Others I do want to share. However, before I start, there is one problem. When I talk about these miracles to (always Jewish) people, they often look at me strangely and become very silent. I figure these are the reasons: Those

Do PBA Cards Really Work?

“PBA” stands for the Police Benevolent Association and nearly every police officer in the United States is a member. Friends and family members of police officers are sometimes given a PBA Courtesy Card. A PBA card will usually have printed on it, “The bearer of this card is a supporter of the PBA and you should try to extend

Your Summer Internship: What Are You Waiting For?

It happens every spring immediately after Pesach. The call. It comes from a stressed college student or a concerned parent asking for help finding an internship for the summer. As a parent of teenagers myself, I empathize with both parents and students balancing busy schedules, workloads and aspirations. The fact that time can get away from