Monday, February 18, 2019


Our Recital of a Verse Backward in Kiddush Levana

We do something very unusual in Kiddush Levana. After reciting the first half of Exodus 15:16 three times, “tipol aleihem eimatah va-fachad, bigdol zeroacha yidmu ka-aven,” we recite these same words backward, three times: “ka-aven yidmu…aleihem tipol.” We are never else instructed to recite a verse or section of a verse

An Eye-Opening Episode on the Way to the Tel Aviv Beit Din

It was an idyllic five days I spent during yeshiva week in Israel with my son Binyamin. Learning with Binyamin, who is spending his second year of learning at Yeshivat Shaalvim, was heavenly. It was especially gratifying to join the shiur of Binyamin’s rebbe at Shaalvim, Rav Yehuda Turetsky, who was my Talmid at TABC from

From Slavery to Freedom

Although the 12th perek of Shemot is regarded as the beginning of the “real” Torah, i.e., the mitzvah section (see Rashi’s first comment in Sefer Bereishit), it is this parsha of Mishpatim that truly begins the detailed litany of the taryag (613) mitzvot charged to us at Har Sinai. On most years, this parsha is read on

The Flip Side of Na’aseh V’nishma: A Key Ingredient in Successful Relationships

We sometimes forget that the Jews accepted the Torah 50 days after their exodus from Mitzrayim. Yet, even though they were at the infancy stage of spiritual development, they were deemed as worthy recipients. This was due to their extraordinary show of emunah when they unconditionally accepted the Torah with the words “Na’aseh

Love the Game

Joe McCannon was a husband, father, grandfather, neighbor, activist and philanthropist. But above all he was legendary as an absolutely diehard New York Giants fan. They said he bled (big) blue. He was obsessed with everything football and his schedule surrounded the NFL schedule.

Joe’s father

Excerpt: Portraits of Prayer

הוֹדו לַה’ קִרְאו בִשְׁמוֹ, הוֹדִֽיעו בָעַמִּים עֲלִילתָֹיו....יִשְׂמַח לֵב מְבַקְשֵׁי ה’

Why do we say “Let the hearts of those who search for Hashem rejoice”? Shouldn’t the pasuk instead say “Let the hearts of

Common-Sense School Calendars: Yeshiva Break

The Millers work full-time jobs. They enjoy spending time together as a family, but struggle to do so with their crazed schedules. The Millers take vacation time over yeshiva break and treasure this week with their children. They are familiar with the research that shows the value of spending quality time with family. Benefits

CIJE Tank Showcases Students’ Ingenuity

(Courtesy of CIJE) It wasn’t business as usual at Malion Holding on Sunday morning, January 13; it was jammed packed with people vying to see what young engineers were concocting. Feeling more like a movie set than a typical business office, students showed off their Arduino microprocessor-based innovation in

Teaching About the Environment

In the past we have discussed the need to bring current events into the classroom in general as well as from a Jewish perspective. Environmental issues are very much in the forefront today and Judaism has much to say on this topic. Our students need to be aware of the Jewish position on ecology and the environment. Not only because

Do You Know Who Your Relatives Are?

As we write this during the week of Holocaust Remembrance Day, we wonder how many people have given thought to how, many generations ago, family members struggled to get us where we are today. There are those who are fortunate to have not had any family members directly affected by the horrors of the Shoah. However, at some point,

How to Get Your Mojo Back

As a coach, it is relatively common to be contacted by individuals who feel stuck. Often, these people are mid-late career and struggle in their current position.

Their challenges often include, but are not limited to:

  • Long, grueling

Polish Synagogues and the Italian Architects Who Designed Them

Part 1: Zamosc, a Sephardic settlement in Poland.

Poland, the place where the majority of the world’s Jewish population could be found by the eve of the First World War, was, of course, a land once dotted with thousands of Jewish houses of worship. Many of the original