Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Reward and Punishment

Parshat Va’era

The bulk of Parshat Va’era revolves around the first seven plagues visited upon the Egyptians, including the warnings given to Pharaoh and his stubborn refusal to free the slaves. We would, however, be mistaken if we see these afflictions simply as a prelude to the redemption

Va’era: A Path to Modern-Day Redemption

I met up with a Passaic friend recently who said he had “no life” for the past three years. Indeed, it was a while since I had seen him. He was commuting daily from New Jersey to Brooklyn and then to the Bronx, with days starting early and ending late. He was overjoyed now to be changing jobs with a closer commute and better

Blessed Blessings

On Wednesday, in March 2008, our family moved to our current home at 3 Landau Lane. That Shabbos, two of our close friends—the Kraus and Schulgasser families, came to visit us and welcome us to our new home.

Until then we had been living in apartments. For the first few months of our marriage

Rabbi Hayyim Angel’s 13th Book Is Compilation of Tanach-Related Topics

Reviewing: Keys to the Palace” by Rabbi Hayyim Angel. Kodesh Press, 308 pages. 2017. ISBN-10: 1947857029.

In my youth, I was greatly influenced by the Daat Mikra edition of Tanach, published by Mossad HaRav Kook. One of its main contributions was to take

‘Were It Not for Your Torah, My Delight…’ (Tehillim 119)

There is a well-known halacha that as we mourn on Tisha B’Av we may not learn Torah because the statutes of Hashem bring joy to the heart (Gemara Ta’anit daf 30a). The learning of Torah is celebrated as an extremely enjoyable activity, a delight (Tehillim 119:24,77,92,143,174). Over the years I have heard the question raised

What Makes a School Good?

What makes a school good? What does it take to develop the kind of reputation that causes parents to sign up their toddlers before they can even walk or talk? What is the magic formula to create the perfect school? The truth is that there is no perfect school. Some schools are better for some students than others. Schools have

We Won the ‘Powerball’

We would have settled for the Mega Million, which produced a winning ticket of $450 million, but instead we were the winners of the Powerball. How could it be, you might ask yourself, as it has been noted on the news that the Powerball was sold in Merrimack, New Hampshire. We could have been in Merrimack while driving

My Stories

Part 11 (written 2004)

(Continued from last week)

One time, when I was on guard duty at the ammunition depot together with a few others, a bunch of jeeps together with a sedan drove up, and out stepped General Eisenhower for an “inspection.”

‘Resolving’  Not to Try So Hard

When the first of January rolls around each year, I can’t help myself but wonder who ever thought the dead of winter lends itself as the time of renewal and a time to set resolutions. I’m sure I’m not the only one who saw the memes referencing that the new year for Jews already occured months ago when we actually made our

Undermining Israel Through Myths and Lies

“One need not destroy one’s enemy. One need only destroy his willingness to engage.” —Sun Tzu

No one could reasonably be expected to know everything about the Palestinian Arab/Israeli conflict, yet there are recurring canards that one should be prepared to address with some

Whatsisname’s Yarmulka

Today’s topic is: Name yarmulkas—good idea or bad idea?

To be honest, it’s a weird idea. My kids aren’t allowed to come to yeshiva wearing any clothes with writing on them, but yarmulkas are okay.

A lot of people like name yarmulkas because they’ve

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

Part 1

In December of 1860, the state of South Carolina announced its secession from the United States; in the seven months thereafter, 10 other states followed suit to form the Confederate States of America. The secession of the south was the precursor to the Civil War, which lasted the four