Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Parshas Vayechi: Eliminating Generation Gaps

Last week, Rabbi Stechler asked me to bring a few young men from Yeshiva Heichal HaTorah (where I give a morning shiur) to form a minyan for a burial. I came with nine yeshiva boys and asked to be introduced to the relatives. The funeral director responded that this was a direct burial—he was a single man, never married and had

Dedicated Educators

Why do generations of Jewish parents sacrifice to provide their children with a Jewish education? They do so because they view it as a key element in their parental role. Parents know they must daven for their children and place their children in an environment that nurtures their values. The most recently ended holiday of

More Recess Leads to Increased Learning

Day school students, their parents and their teachers are very well aware of the toll taken by the long school day. Often, at this time of year, youngsters get on the bus while it is still dark, and return in the dark as well. By the time the last period or two comes around, yawns and zoning out are not

Abuse Claims: What Should We Do?

There are situations in life that are more complicated than others. Some of us only become aware of them many years after the fact, and often decisions have been made to sweep things under the carpet or hide them in the recesses of our minds.

Few of us are unaware of the cases of harassment,

Parshat Va’Era: The Nine Plagues and the Exodus Syndemic

The first seven plagues are recounted in this week’s parsha, and the last three in Parshat Bo. Today’s column looks at all the plagues together. Our Sages and secular commentators explain the sequence and nature of the plagues in a variety of ways. For example, the first nine plagues can be viewed as sets of three that demonstrated

Reports of the Demise of BDS are ‘Greatly Exaggerated’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent success in signing a multi-billion-dollar memorandum of understanding with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) for its Power Africa program to connect millions of homes in Africa to the electric grid, Israel’s expanding economic ties in Asia and its pioneering outreach

A Rabbi’s Take on the New Museum of the Bible

Should Orthodox families and yeshiva day schools visit this museum, which opened just before Thanksgiving in Washington, D.C.? It was founded, and to a large extent paid for, by the Evangelical Christian family who are the owners of the 600-store Hobby Lobby chain, who successfully challenged Obamacare’s mandate to pay for

My Stories

Part 9 (written 

By Norbert Strauss


As a little boy, I had always been interested in automobiles, pushing match boxes along the frames of the Persian carpet in the living room, in a make-believe street scene. This interest did not change as I grew up, and

The Business of Jewish Books

Book publishers haven’t had it easy lately, and Orthodox publishing houses certainly share in the fate of their secular counterparts, given the limited market that has only become more constricted over the years. Theories abound as to the cause of the shrinking market, even overlooking the reading-on-the-screen factor with many

Bringing an End to Galus Edom

Over the last number of years, as klal Yisrael’s calendar page turns to Parshas Vayechi, communities throughout the country dedicate this Shabbos to the topic of kavod hameis.

Numerous articles have been written on this topic, many from this author, about the significance of the

Clara Goodman: ‘Never Give Up on Your Child’

Following Ari Goodman’s first stem cell therapy last year, to treat what doctors called severe low-functioning autism, The Jewish Link reported on his progress and his family’s hope that they would be able to help him continue his journey towards recovery.

Ari was first diagnosed

Hebrew Hockey

Hockey is a sport that many Jews play, either on ice, on a floor or in the street. It is a sport that does not require height, brawn or footspeed. A hockey player can be successful relying on skating ability, stick handling and an overall feel for the game. Hockey, however, has its own unique terminology which can be very confusing