Friday, December 14, 2018


The Hypocrisy of Chanukah? Yes!

Want to clickbait a rabbi? Easy. Write an article in the Times, title it “The Hypocrisy of Hanukkah” and you’re done.

Indeed, as soon as I saw the title I was already annoyed. Who dares to criticize Chanukah? Luckily I didn’t run out of my free articles for this month (it’s only the

Keep Up the Pressure on Airbnb

Since Airbnb, an online marketplace for vacation rentals, announced its decision last month to remove listings of “Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank” (i.e., Jewish-owned properties in Judea and Samaria), there have been three basic responses in the Jewish world.

The self-loathing

Birkat Kohanim and the Chanukah Torah Reading

Fascinating! Sephardic Jews begin the first day of Chanukah Torah reading with Birkat Kohanim! Equally fascinating is the fact that Ashkenazim do not include Birkat Kohanim in the Chanukah Torah reading. This discrepancy in practice seems to reflect a fundamental difference in approach to the role of the kohanim in the Chanukah

Chullin 11

May these words of Torah serve as a merit le’iluy nishmat Menachem Mendel ben Harav Yoel David, a”h, and Meirah Chayah Nechamah Berachah, a”h, bas Reb David Mordechai, shlit”a.

This week we learned Chullin 11. These are some highlights.

Can a

What Is the Meaning of ‘Kadosh’ and ‘Kedusha’?

Surely you have been wondering about these words and concepts for years, since they are such an integral part of our religion. (The root appears about 900 times in Tanach!) Fortunately, someone has just authored a book with everything you need to know on this topic! The author is Alec Goldstein. The title: “A Theology of

Returning and Reuniting

Parshat Vayigash

This week’s haftarah is a selection taken from the latter part of perek 37 in the Book of Yechezkel. This chapter opens with the well-known prophetic vision of the valley of the dry bones, while our haftarah makes up the continuation of that chapter. But whereas the first

Yosef HaTzadik: The Tevet Jew

Dedicated in loving memory of Baila bat Mordechai v’Rachel, Dr. Beth Cunin, by Sharona and Baruch Benoff

Let us review where we have visited the past few months in our journey through the Jewish calendar. In Elul and Tishrei we bonded with God in the holiest of ways: in the synagogue and at

Torah Umesorah Announces Second Event With Rabbi Wein

(Courtesy of Torah Umesorah) On Sunday, November 18, Torah Umesorah sponsored a “Conversation with Rabbi Berel Wein” at the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach in Woodmere. The topic of the interactive workshop was “Reaching the Hearts and Minds of Our Students: The Battle Against Today’s Culture and Values.”

Girsa d’Yankuta

Although the holiday of Chanukah is now behind us, there is a crucial lesson that the Gemara teaches in one of the sugyot that applies far beyond the details of how to observe that holiday. In discussing the halacha of whether or not one has to relight a candle that has blown out, the Gemara (Shabbos 21b) concludes: “Kavta eino

SINAI at Ma’ayanot Students Get Active and Involved in Veterans Day 5K

When Ilana Picker, one of the head teachers at SINAI’s Karasick Shalem High School at Ma’ayanot, heard about the upcoming Veterans Day Hero 5K Run at Bergen Community College, she knew immediately that the experience would be perfect for her SINAI students. SINAI at Ma’ayanot offers a

What’s Old Is New Again, Except for Ptcha

Foods that are known to be traditionally “Jewish” have changed throughout the years. We know that we will probably get ourselves into trouble by remembering some of the dishes on which the Jewish world has thrived.

Today we are learning from our grandchildren that what we once thought was

Lessons From My Brother’s Life

My brother, Rabbi Yehoshua Dovid Kreindler, fondly called Shia Dovid by our family, passed away almost six years ago. With his Yahrzeit approaching in a couple of weeks, I thought I would share some lessons from his life that may inspire you as they have inspired me.

My brother lived with his