Monday, June 17, 2019


Kaddish Considerations

In the average synagogue, there are only a few instances during Shabbat morning services in which most or all congregants stop chatting. It usually happens during the musaf repetition, rabbi’s sermon and weekly announcements. It also happens during the Mourner’s Kaddish.

Showing respect

Ally Smilow Will Customize Your Cake to Benefit Tomchei Shabbos

Ally Smilow has had a passion for baking for as long as she can remember. From a young age, Smilow has been baking, decorating and customizing cakes; drawing inspiration from every YouTube baking video and Kids Baking Championship that she can find. Last year, when her brother turned six, she decided to make him a

Chesed Without Judgment

In Parshat Behar this week we learn about the mitzvah of Shmita. Shmita requires land owners in Eretz Yisrael to leave their land open for anyone (hopefully those who are poor) to take from. Why give tzedaka in this way? Why don’t we just see who needs and decide for ourselves whom to give?

Words With the Same Three-Letter Roots: Must They Be Related?

When words have the same three-root letters, our initial assumption should be that the words are related and our task should be discover the relationship. A straightforward example is shin-caf-mem. This word means “shoulder” (e.g., Gen. 9:23).These three letters are also the root of the word “va-yashkem.” “Va-yashkem”

Responding to a Misguided Museum Guide

A Magnificent Exhibit

It was a most magnificent exhibit at New York’s grand Metropolitan Museum of Art in the fall of 2014. Entitled “From Iberia to Assyria,” the exhibit featured an all-star cast of leading artifacts from the ancient Middle East assembled from artifacts from leading

The Kedusha of Today

Parshat Emor

Parshat Emor, which we read this week, continues the theme of sanctity that marked last week’s parsha of Kedoshim and dedicates its first perek to the laws of kedusha as they apply to the kohanim. The haftarah, a reading selected from Sefer Yechezkel, does the same, describing

Striving for Perfection


וּסְפַרְתֶּם לָכֶם מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת מִיּוֹם הֲבִיאֲכֶם אֶת-עֹמֶר הַתְּנוּפָה שֶׁבַע שַׁבָּתוֹת

תְּמִימֹת תִּהְיֶינָה

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

This proverbial saying originated as an old African proverb. It has been used in various situations, but as we write this we want to share the birth of a child who is now 28 years old. In fact, this past Shabbat he celebrated his bar mitzvah in a slightly different manner than the usual 13-year-old adolescent. We are speaking of

‘Eva.Stories’ Comes to Instagram

Reviewing: “eva.stories” available via Instagram, 2019.

Instagram users may have seen advertisements that read, “What if a girl in the Holocaust had instagram?” “Eva.Stories” is a series of 70 brief clips documenting the life of Eva Heyman, a 13-year-old girl murdered in

Hundreds Attend Bnei Akiva Tekes Ma’avar

(Courtesy of Bnei Akiva) On the evening of May 8, over 700 people joined together for the annual “Tekes Ma’avar” transitioning from Yom Hazikaron to Yom Ha’atzmaut run by Bnei Akiva and its young professionals’ program BAbayit at the West Side Institutional Synagogue in New York City.

Q&A With Israeli Artist Edward ben Avram, Featured at Project Ezrah Art Show

Project Ezrah is hosting an art show featuring well known Israeli artist Edward Ben Avram. Meet the artist at the show, which will take place on Sunday, May 19, from 7 - 9 p.m., at the home of Becky and Avi Katz. A portion of the proceeds will go to Project Ezrah.

I had the opportunity

Nesya Bayewitz Celebrates Bat Mitzvah With Simcha and Chesed

As a young girl’s bat mitzvah approaches, she often dreams of the party she will have. DJs, dancing, singing, trampolines, sports complexes and photo booths all typically make the list of potential party venues and activities. Coupled with the fun, of course, is the significance of this life-cycle event: a girl