Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Building Self-Esteem the Torah Way

In my tenure as chairperson of a middle school child study team, I watched the pendulum swing back and forth in the arenas of parenting and education. At one extreme, parents and educators argue over the need to protect students from failure, or even minimal challenges, at all costs; at the other end of the continuum they refuse to

‘Od Lo Avda Tikvateinu’

Parshat Vayigash

One of the best-known prophecies in all of Tanach is “The Vision of the Dry Bones” delivered by the navi Yechezkel. In it, the prophet describes a valley filled with lifeless dry bones that come to life, as sinew and flesh are placed upon them and breath is blown into them

The ‘New King’ Who Enslaved Us

Parshat Shemot sets the stage for the Exodus by recounting how the Israelites became enslaved (Exod. 1:7-14). First, we are told that a “new king” arose. This Pharaoh took note of the Israelites’ growth in population and power and accused them of being what we used to call a “fifth column”: a group that undermines society from

Mundane Holiness

This week, one of the non-Jewish teachers in yeshiva related that he is surprised that there were regular general studies classes during Chanukah. He noted that generally during Jewish holidays there is no school at all and all Jewish businesses are closed. So why would Chanukah be different?

Tech Apps for ‘Snail’ Duties

After about 30 years of safe driving, I got a ticket. I loathe driving in New York City, but like any father your children bat their eyes or give you the, “It’s okay Tatty, I will just take the train,” you have this vision of your children braving the cold, lugging their heavy bags through mud.

Jewish Ethics and Morality Like You’ve Never Seen Them

Reviewing: “Illustrated Pirkei Avot,” by Jessica Deutsch. 2017. ISBN-10: 0990515559.

Pirkei Avot is a greatest hits of Jewish wisdom. Even if you think you don’t know its ethical scholarship, you probably do. The Mishnaic compilation’s

It Can’t Happen to Me. Oh Yes, It Can!

It was a new route for Amtrak. The 86 passengers on board were excited to be a part of this new venture. Obviously, none of them had the slightest inkling of what was to come. The Cascades 501 was on its inaugural trip between Seattle and Portland when it derailed, killing many and injuring others.

The Partition Plan, November 29, 1947: Nothing Has Changed

Part II

“Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing. The sun needs no inscription to distinguish him from darkness.” Thomas Paine, “The Rights of Man,” part 2, 1791

Examining the Arab

Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism and Linda Sarsour

I attended the November 28 panel discussion, “Anti-Semitism and the Struggle for Justice,” with Linda Sarsour and several members of the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), including Rebecca Vilkomerson. The moderator was Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, an award-winning new program broadcast on NPR, public access and college and

Hashkafically Hesitant

Dear Shoshy,

Recently, I have begun to re-evaluate exactly the type of boy I am looking for hashkafically. This has not stemmed from any personal confusion or evolution of my own hashkafic beliefs. Rather, after dating a few boys who have had various different hashkafot and backgrounds I

Resume Refusal: A Sign of Stubbornness or Independence?

Dear Navidaters, our daughter has always been an independent spirit who has to do things her own way. She has a problem “following the pack,” and almost needs to make a statement very often to prove her independence. Growing up, if all her friends had long hair, she insisted on cutting hers short. If everyone was attending

My Stories

Part 8 (written 2004)

(Continued from last week)

The clothing we had brought from Germany made us stand out from others like a sore thumb.

Therefore, one of our first outings was to the Lower East Side to be outfitted