Saturday, April 20, 2019


What Is the Meaning of ‘Va-Yinafash’? (Ex. 31:17)

In our Kiddush every Shabbat morning we recite the following phrase from Ex. 31:17: “For six days God created the heaven and the earth and on the seventh day shavat va-yanifash.” We know the meaning of “shavat.” But what is the meaning of that last word?

At the outset, I have to point

Chullin 122

May these words of Torah serve as a merit le’iluy nishmat Menachem Mendel ben Harav Yoel David Balk, a”h, and Meira Chaya Nechama Beracha, a”h, bat Reb David Mordechai, sheyichyeh.

This week we learned Chullin 122. These are some highlights.

To Refresh and Reawaken

Shabbat HaChodesh

Parshat Tazria

As we have mentioned in these pages before, the closing chapters of Sefer Yechezkel focus upon the laws and practices that would be observed in the permanent Beit Hamikdash of the final

At Prizmah, Getting Comfortable With Discomfort

It was, as the kids say, a very cringy moment.

About 30 of us from the Prizmah Day School Conference were sitting in a classroom in the Ron Clark Academy, watching the Ron Clark give a math lesson to a group of fifth grade students. The Ron Clark Academy is a revolutionary school in Atlanta,

Exhilaration Beats Jet Lag

We are both on a high from our amazing Israel trip. It was more than we ever could have imagined. No, we do not take going to Eretz Yisrael for granted. It has not been an everyday occurrence in our lives and perhaps that is why our feelings are so over the top. For years as a travel agent Nina would implore her clients going to

Soaring on an AIPAC High

Those who have visited or have spent extended time in Israel know what a marvelous, almost out-of-body experience it can be. Washington, D.C. is hardly Israel, but AIPAC’s annual policy conference, held in DC, comes close. It’s a feeling of being surrounded by family and friends, including those who are not Jewish but love and

Cousin Sam’s Lost and Eternal Life

As I write this he’s on his way to Israel. Unfortunately, he’s headed there for his burial. In Adar, the neis, the miracle, is that he lived more than 80 years after the rest of his family was murdered, and through years when attempts to remove him from among the living took place every day and night. The pity is that this is his first

In Loving Memory of David Krakow, z”l

David Krakow, z”l, was born in 1926 to Rose Feurstein and Benny Krakow. He grew up on the lower east side of Manhattan, speaking only Yiddish until he started school. From his teen years until the time of his death at the age of 92 on January 23, David was devoted to the Jewish people and to our homeland, Israel.

The Risk of Staying in the Safe Lane

For a recent family road trip, my wife and I went with our children for two days of sightseeing in nearby cities. In total we spent around 10 hours in the car, mostly on three-lane highways and predominantly at night, with little roadside scenery to take in. This gave me, the sole driver, plenty of time to observe my

The First of Nisan, the Forgotten Jewish New Year

Part 1

It is early April and the weather is still cold. The sounds of Arabic music and exuberant conversation emanate from an elegant ballroom in Brooklyn, New York. No, it’s not a wedding or a bar mitzvah. A Torah scroll is unfurled and the cantor begins to read from Exodus

Jewish Federation iCAN Teens Learn About Hasbara

(Courtesy of Jewish Federation of Northern NJ) The Jewish Federation’s iCAN Teen Leadership program is an elite group of high school students who come together to gain knowledge and confidence to tackle anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment in the world today.

The highlight of the evening

Bare Witness: Stories of Survival and Inspiration

(Courtesy of TABC) Cary Reichardt is the chairperson of the history department and coordinator of Holocaust Studies at Torah Academy of Bergen County, but the title which she attributes most to herself is that of what’s known as a 2G, a second generation Holocaust survivor. She considers her most important mission to bear witness