Friday, September 21, 2018


Menachot 2

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 Menachot 2. These are some highlights.

If one is reading Shema knowing that he will have to repeat the paragraph, does he need to observe the laws of Shema during the reading?

Shu”t Torah Lishmah (Siman

Coming Home From Camp

Chazal teach us that certain times in the year contain echoes of events that occurred at those times in previous years. Essentially, we move through life in a spiral pattern (some would prefer the term ‘helix’) going around and around the central core of the universe and passing by familiar places in space and time.

Pronunciation of Hashem’s Name in a Sephardic Congregation

Ashkenazic Pronunciation of Shem Hashem

You may have witnessed the following: An Ashkenazic Jew attending a Sephardic synagogue receives an aliyah. Wishing to respect the practice of the congregation, he utters the brachot using Sephardic pronunciation except for one word, the vital of name

Did Moses Have a Speech Impediment?

I wrote about this topic before, but in revising my article for my forthcoming book I came across a scholarly article that made me change my mind. Since we are in the midst of Devarim, this is a timely topic.

Moses tells God that he is “chevad peh” and “chevad lashon” (Exodus 4:10). But

Everyone’s a Teacher

On a recent Sunday afternoon I attended three weddings. Thankfully, they were all within a half hour of each other. Each was special and wonderful, but it was a long and draining day.

The last wedding was held in a shul in Bergenfield. Before I left, I walked into a side beis midrash. At first I

Hashem, the God of Justice

Parshat Shoftim

This week’s haftarah, the fourth in the series of Yeshayahu’s prophecies of consolation (although, this year, due to Rosh Chodesh last Shabbat, we postponed the reading of the third haftarah to next week), returns to a theme that the navi struck in the very first haftarah

Are You Satisfied?

We dream of spring and summer as we plod through inches of snow. We curse the roads department as we slip and slide through neighborhood streets. Boots, mittens and scarves are everywhere, and no one knows better than us that dressing little children in snowsuits takes forever. Most disturbing is, as we remember, finally zipping

Of Baby Bonnets, the Ben Ish Chai and Midnight Blessings

(Courtesy of Kollel Chatzos) It is not a secret that nighttime learning is particularly auspicious for zera shel kayama. The Kollel Chatzos office reports that they constantly receive requests from callers worldwide asking to sponsor Kollel Chatzos’s talmidei chachamim so that they will daven on behalf of couples waiting for children…

Before You Can Find a Spouse, You Must First Understand Yourself

I’m a big fan of your column and I look forward to reading your responses to your various—and oftentimes very complex—questions. My question is not so uncommon but still very important.

My question is the following: I am a frum, single, yeshiva-educated guy in my mid 20s, looking to get

Just a Scratch

Itching can be so irritating. You know?

Especially since most of it takes place on parts of our body that we can’t actually reach, such as our backs. (Note that we’re talking about itching here, not scratching. A lot of people confuse the two, but the two are actually very different things.

Second Session

It’s not often in life that one is given a second chance. But, for those kids at sleepaway camp for the summer, a second chance awaits in the form of Second Session. It is not just the second half of the summer; it is a second chance at everything, for better or for worse. A chance to take advantage of new opportunities or to

A Slice of Life Behind the Counter

When my family and I visited my sister at Camp Shoshanim, we always took a trip to Como Pizza like almost every other family on visiting day. Seeing such a large rush for almost the entire day, I’ve always wondered what it was like to be behind the counter. For the first month of summer, I had