Friday, September 21, 2018


Be Jealous, Not Zealous

Anyone familiar with the Ten Commandments knows that we are not supposed to be jealous of what others have. How, then, can I suggest that we be jealous of others? The answer, of course, is that it depends how you are jealous.

A rabbi once gave a sermon about how every attribute could be used for

Menachot 22

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 22. These are some highlights.

A community got back its parochet, which had been used by a gentile during the war. May

The Multiple Meanings of the Word ‘Shanah’

The root Sh-N-H has two meanings in Tanach. On the one hand, it means “to repeat.” (Of course, the word sheni, second, comes from this meaning.) On the other hand, it means “to change.” A fundamental question is whether these seemingly opposite meanings, “repeat” and “change,” originated from the same Sh-N-H root. A

Avinu Malkeinu

Parshat Nitzavim

This week’s haftarah, the final one of the sheva d’nechemta, the seven haftarot of consolation, does not only close the post-Tisha B’Av period of consolation, repairing our relationship with God and, thereby, preparing us for teshuva, it also responds to the predicted

Reading Chanah Through Other Eyes

Every year we read on Rosh Hashanah about the pain and struggle of infertile women; Sarah faced her challenges and was eventually rewarded with a son, and Chanah had a tremendous journey before having her son. We have all read these stories numerous times and I have written before that they are an opportunity for us to be sensitive

Rosh Hashanah Lessons

After spending several hours late at night in the emergency room of Lenox Hill Hospital this week, it seemed obvious to us that our message for Rosh Hashanah would be one we have tried over the years to imbue in our writings.

As we watched the discomfort of patients, the professionalism of the

New Year, New Commitment to Preserve Life

This year, 2018, National Suicide Prevention Week is the same week as Rosh Hashanah, and World Suicide Prevention Day is the first day of Rosh Hashanah, September 10.

How appropriate that as we begin a new Jewish year, we think about how to preserve life—both in our Tefillot (our prayers) and

Yonah’s Depth

Reviewing “Depths of Yonah: Unleashing the Power of Your Yom Kippur” by Rabbi Chaim Jachter and Binyomin Jachter. 182 pages, ISBN: 9780464990123, 2018.

The biblical book of Yonah has such a good story, which raises so many interesting ideas, that most people don’t look beyond the summary

Rosh Hashanah Is More Than Apples and Honey This Year

Reviewing “The Lonely Ayil,” by Rochell Weisfogel, 2017. Page Publishing, Inc. 29 pages. ISBN (paperback): 978-1-64027-287-3.

A Columbus, Ohio, kindergarten morah, Rochell Weisfogel transfigured her love for children into the newly published children’s book “The Lonely Ayil”

The Trouble With Life Is That It Doesn’t Come With a Soundtrack

An old friend once called me the day before Rosh Hashanah and left me with a fascinating thought. “You know,” he remarked cryptically, “the trouble with life is that it doesn’t come with a soundtrack.” He then proceeded to explicate his gripe to me, and I’d like to share his thoughts with you.

Hitting the Reset Button

Sometimes I am working so swiftly on my computer, that things get all locked up. I may have too many sites open along with Outlook, Excel and Word. The keyboard locking up or the screen freezing can be a recipe for disaster. Before I call my local help desk or worse, wait on hold for Dell’s help desk, I always try the stalwart

Before the Parade Passes By

Summer 2018 was hot, sticky, humid and rainy, yet most of us are very sorry that it is over. One of the many enjoyable things that I had a chance to do this summer was to see the Broadway production of Hello Dolly starring Bette Midler. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the play, it takes place in New York City some time at