Tuesday, January 23, 2018


OHEL Brightens and Warms Up a Cold Chanukah for Hundreds This Winter

(Courtesy of OHEL) For OHEL individuals, Chanukah at OHEL is a warm, inviting and festive time of the year.

From toy drives and Chanukah parties to cookies for public service workers, OHEL staff and individuals of all backgrounds and abilities come together during the Festival

Sheva Brachot B’Yachad

His voice becomes increasingly more confident as he reads the words of Sheva Brachot from the bencher. Naftali Stubin finishes the bracha and sits up straight, looking toward me and Netanel in awe, seemingly surprised at himself.

His eyes open wide and his lips curl into a grin

My Friend’s Tragic Death in Costa Rica

I went to camp with Ari Weiss. My friends and I can’t believe he’s gone.

This morning I woke up and found out that a friend of mine was tragically killed. Ari Weiss was with his family vacationing when their small plane crashed in Costa Rica. Ari, 16, was killed along with his parents,

Summer 2018 Camp Kaylie Expansion Plans Meet Needs of Increased Enrollment

(Courtesy of Camp Kaylie) As Rabbi Eli Brazil, Camp Kaylie director, explained, “For a camp that already offers premium facilities and a beautiful camp environment, the Camp Kaylie expansions and upgrades are a testimony to our mission to continue building upon our success, improving both the

Reflections on a Bike Ride

On October 29, I [Mel David] was at the starting line of what I expected would be another memorable five-day bike ride. The ride, benefitting the children of ALYN Hospital in Jerusalem, would be this octogenarian’s 11th. ALYN Hospital treats children with congenital and acquired conditions, and

Yachad Raises Over $1 Million on Second Annual Day of Giving

(Courtesy of Yachad) Yachad, the National Jewish Council for Disabilities, raised $1,371,942 in just 24 hours during its 2nd Annual Giving Day 2017, which began at 3 p.m. EST on Monday, December 11. The organization used the crowdfunding site www.charidy.com for the effort.

Shavuot 27

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 Shavuot 27. These are some highlights.

Shavuot 27: He swore not to have a band at his wedding. Did the oath

Three Secrets of Moroccan Psak Halacha

The gates shuttering the world of Moroccan Halacha have been opened wide with the recent publication of “Darke Abotenou: the Laws and Customs of the Jews of Morocco,” as we discussed in last week’s column. The introduction to this magnificent work sheds light on an otherwise enigmatic enterprise, the inner workings of

Did You Talk to God Today?

Did you talk to God today? No, I don’t mean did you daven, did you say your morning prayers. I mean, did you talk to Him? Did you really talk to God? Did you tell Him what’s on your mind? Did you tell Him what’s bothering you, what hurts you, what your desires are, what your needs are?

The Origin of the Word ‘Brit’ (Covenant)

The word “brit” is a fundamental word in Tanach. But where does this word come from? Nouns do not just appear out of nowhere in Hebrew. Rather, they are normally derived from a three-letter verb. Of course, there is no verb B-R-T in Hebrew. But perhaps we can look at roots like B-R-H or B-R-R and find the origin of the word

True Superheroes

As I was preparing the wicks and oil for the menorah during one of the mornings of Chanukah, our 4-year-old son, Dovid, commented that he would like to light with oil too. I replied that when he becomes an Abba he’ll light with oil. He replied emphatically, “I don’t want to be an Abba; I want to be a superhero!” I asked him

A True Blessing

Parshat Vayechi

The first section of the second chapter in Melachim Aleph, the haftarah selection for today, relates the final message given by David Hamelech to his successor, Shlomo. Like the parsha in which Yaakov Avinu blesses his sons and hands the torch down from one generation to another,