Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Not So Phone-y

Most of my readers picture me as a happy-go-lucky guy who for some reason has recently become obsessed with his back. But beneath it all, I have tzuris. Most of these come over the phone.

Like I got a call from the IRS that said that this is a final notice: They’ve been trying to

Winter Is Coming…Control Your Fireplace on Shabbat

When I replaced our wood-burning fireplace with a gas fireplace, my wife was disappointed. For starters, she missed the distinct smell of real wood burning. I reminded her of how the smell remained in her clothes long after the fire was extinguished. She countered that she missed the soothing crackle of the embers that

Federation’s Miriam Allenson Opens PR Firm, Completes Second Novel

Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone to realize your dreams. For Miriam Allenson, that step came when she read about a woman who watched her child leave Germany on the Kindertransport and didn’t follow because she was afraid of change and what was on the other side. “After I read that article, I handed

Italian Holocaust Hero: Aldo Finzi

One cannot definitively state that Aldo Finzi was murdered by Mussolini. What is certain: the Fascist leader and the state he created did not contribute to Finzi’s health and well-being. Quite the contrary.

Born in Milan in February 4, 1987, Finzi died February 7, 1945, of a heart attack. He

YU ‘Connects’ Sammy Schwartz and Bassy Schwartz

Arthur and Betty Schwartz, Englewood, announced the engagement of their son Sammy to Bassy Schwartz, daughter of Robbie Schwartz of Far Rockaway and Naomi Rothschild of Brooklyn.

Sammy is joining the accounting firm Ernst and Young as a senior associate next month. Previously he was with PricewaterhouseCoopers. He graduated with honors from Queens

Chesed Brings Jacob Finkel and Hannah Wolkenfeld Together

Ricky and Lisa Finkel of Teaneck announced the engagement of their son Jacob to Hannah Wolkenfeld, daughter of Tzippy and Mark Wolkenfeld of West Hempstead, New York.

Jacob is a specialist in heating and air conditioning technology. He learned at Yeshivat Sha’arei Mevaseret Zion in Israel.

We Must Fight Bigotry at Rutgers

When I decided to attend Rutgers University, I made the decision to step out of the “Jewish bubble.” I knew that going to a secular college would introduce me to a variety of viewpoints and opinions that I had never been exposed to before. In my mind, this meant learning about new cultures and new ideas that I hadn’t thought

Shavuot 17 and 18

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 17 and 18. These are some highlights.

Shavuot 17: May I fly

Vayigash: Snatching Victory From the Jaws of Defeat

Bereishit: 45: 26

“Dad, come here, you gotta see this.”

Ron Dworkin tried to ignore his son.

“Dad! Hurry up!”

Ron walked over to the den, where his son Michael

Navigating the Wide World of Moroccan Jewish Minhagim and Halacha

Serving as the rabbi and halachic authority of a heterogeneous Sephardic kehila such as Congregation Shaarei Orah, the Sephardic Congregation of Teaneck, is a most challenging yet enthralling task. Not only must one be thoroughly familiar with the minhag-Yerushalayim-based approach of Rav Ovadia Yosef and his sons (which serves as

Ancient Kings of Israel and Judah in Archaeological Sources

One of the last kings of Judah was Yehoyachin. We know from the books of Jeremiah and Kings that he was exiled by Nebuchadnezzar 11 years before the destruction of the Temple. The exile of Yehoyachin is also mentioned in the book of Esther. (There, the king’s name is given in an alternate form: Yechaniah.) According to II Kings,

Parshas Vayigash: Approaching the True King

Yehuda was struggling with his recent interactions with the viceroy of Egypt (really his brother Yosef). Nothing was adding up. The interrogations, the returned money in their sacks, the silver goblet that was found in Binyamin’s sack. Nothing made sense. Clearly Hashem was orchestrating the whole situation, but for what purpose?