Tuesday, August 14, 2018


Have We Lost Cory Booker?

In May of 2015, Senator Cory Booker was the keynote speaker at a Bergen County yeshiva’s annual scholarship reception here in New Jersey. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach introduced him, as was their shtick at the time. The rabbi and the senator; they had a little act.

There was no doubt the senator was

Zevachim 114

May these words of Torah serve as a merit le’iluy nishmat Menachem Mendel ben Harav Yoel David Balk, a”h.

This week we learned Zevachim 114. These are some highlights.

Can a developer build a multi-story apartment building and put a shul on the

The Special Spiritual Energy at Sephardic Tefillah

Many Ashkenazic Jews who visit Sephardic congregations comment that they are struck by the vitality and energy of Sephardic tefillah. There is no doubt that the Sephardic practice for one member to read every word aloud has a major impact on creating this special feeling. The special interactive nature of Sephardic prayer also

What Is the Meaning of Love?

In the spirit of the recent 15th of Av holiday, I offer the following column.

Surely you realize that I am not going to write some deep psychological article here. (In my generation there was that strange definition: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”) Rather, I am going to

Striking a Balance

I wonder if others have had this experience too.

Before Tisha B’Av I was listening to a lecture about the importance of being nosei b’ol im chaveiro (sharing the burden with one’s friend). Essentially, it refers to our obligation to empathize with the plight of others. In some instances it

Renewed and Refreshed

Shabbat Rosh Chodesh

Parshat Re’eh

This Shabbat is Rosh Chodesh as well, and as a result we take a “break” from the series of “consolation” haftarot (sheva d’nechemta) to read the final perek in Sefer Yeshayahu, a selection

The Flickering Breath of Life

Most times when women light the Shabbat candles before reciting the bracha and adding any further tefillot that they wish to say, they generally do not have the time to stand and watch the beauty of the flame. Instead most are looking after their children, running to get dressed for when their husband arrives home from shul,

Get Ready, Get Set, Intern!

Working with kids for five summers in a row, I was a little dubious about choosing office work for my summer activity, isolated from sun and civilization. My understanding of multiple hours at a desk meant sitting reserved for September through June. Notwithstanding the “coolness factor” in interning for The Jewish Link of New

Six Tips to Stop Procrastinating and Get Things Done

I’m embarrassed it took me so long. And what a difference it made when I finally did it.

Ever since I upgraded to Windows 10, my aging PC really slowed down. It also often froze, and even my podcast recordings were becoming compromised.

I knew I needed a

My Stories

Part 37 (written 2014)

(Continued from previous week)

The Stadt informed me subsequently that they could not again allow the cash for miscellaneous expenses nor pay the airfare. Everything else they would cover. Not allotting me the cash was all right

Harpist Leah Miller: A 10-Year-Old David Hamelech?

Leah Miller is as refined as her instrument, and plans to immortalize the angelic art of harp playing, her father explained. “She is inspired by David, who played the harp, and today so few people have the skill that she doesn’t want it to be forgotten from the Jewish people. It is so ancient and

Thoughts From a Dummy

Hatzolah rescued me about three or four times today, so overall, I’d consider it a productive day. Though I thought I’d be rescued way more than that.

Don’t worry, I’m okay. Last week, my wife found out that Hatzolah was seeking volunteers to pretend to be patients at a training session. So I signed up. I figured, “What’s the worst that