Saturday, January 20, 2018


Jewish Review of Books Third Annual Conference: A Day of Exceptional Insights

Despite the blistering, single-digit cold, 300 participants gathered at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on Sunday, January 14, to hear presentations from renowned presenters. Hosted by The Jewish Review of Books, a quarterly print publication with an active online presence, the Third Annual

Let’s Talk Turkey: How Much Will Tax Reform Cost Me?

A news story came out in 2013 that a Canadian man named Norman Feller had just emerged from an underground bunker after 14 years. In anticipation of Y2K, and the disaster that would unfold on January 1, 2000, he built a bunker in his backyard. He abandoned his wife because he didn’t want to share the safety of his bunker, and

My Stories

Part 12 (written 2004)

(Continued from last week)

My Army Office Job

I have already identified Major Bong as my Battalion Commander who twice had rejected my request for a transfer out of the infantry

I’m Obviously Chicken

We always say that bigger is better. But if bigger is better, why not make ourselves smaller? Then everything else would be bigger relative to us!

I’m referring here to an idea that has recently been making its rounds that has a unique solution to our planet’s overpopulation and shortage of

Sweet Savage

There are few things more beautiful and precious in this world than a child, except when a child acts like a vilde chaya.

The term “vilde chaya” is Yiddish and literally means “wild animal” but it often is used (somewhat) lovingly to describe a wild child, i.e., an overly rambunctious

It’s 10 pm. Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

The above phrase is said each evening at 10 p.m. on one of the television stations. It is sponsored by the furniture company Raymour and Flanigan. We realized the necessity of the message but never really felt it would apply to the Jewish community we live in. Recently, the many conversations back and forth with regard to how and

Pidyon Rashash: New Person, New Gezar Din and a Powerful Segula

(Courtesy of Kollel Chatzos) Reb Chaim Vital performed this renowned pidyon twice a year for himself. He writes in his sefer Pri Eitz Chaim, “Thousands of times this segula has been tried and proven.”

While the Arizal revealed this powerful pidyon, it was the holy Rashash who instructed us on how to perform it. The Rashash wrote

Where States and Nation Divide and Unite:  A Look at Federal Supremacy and Local Rule

Part 2

For five years, the Federal Enforcement Agency said they would not prosecute in states where legalization has occurred, but now Sessions has put states on notice that even in states with decriminalized marijuana, the government reserves the right to prosecute the dealing, use and

Changing My Mind on School Expulsions

(excerpted and printed with permission)

For some time now, we have heard that many of our youth are in a bad way—drinking, drugs, scandalous behavior—all of which have given rise to problems in schools. There have been conferences and seminars, calls for better education and improved

On Substance Abuse, Parenting Doesn’t End With Open Dialogue

I applaud The Jewish Link for addressing the issue of substance and alcohol abuse in the yeshiva community; an issue of profound and critical importance. As the article and editorial correctly indicate, sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that this is not an issue of concern in our community is naive at best, reckless and

Shavuot 39

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


This week we learned Shavuot 39. These are some highlights.

Must Israeli Moroccan Jews Abandon Moroccan Practices?

Rav Ovadia Yosef has famously called upon all Jews to abandon their unique practices imported to Israel from their exile communities—in favor of adopting the practices of Rav Yosef Karo. Chacham Ovadia claims that Rav Karo is the mara d’atra, halachic authority, of the Land of Israel. Thus, Rav Karo’s