Friday, September 21, 2018


On Pain and Its Purposes

So many times we see a friend after a painful experience and the person somehow seems different. People might say, “that experience really changed them.” I’ve never really understood that. I’m one of those who tend to believe that people don’t really change.

Most of us have probably

Innovative Yeshiva for Serious College Students Breaks the Mold

(Courtesy of YTH) Interview with Rabbi Yechiel Ben-Ari, menahel of Yeshiva Toras Halacha in KGH:

1. Welcome, Rabbi Ben-Ari. Please tell us a little about your yeshiva, Yeshivas Toras Halacha (YTH).

Thanks, it’s great to be here. With Hashem’s help,

I Believe

School is starting. New faces, new school supplies and hopefully some new ideas. That is not to say that all old ideas need to be jettisoned. However, since we are in the season of cheshbon hanefesh, an introspective examination of our behaviors, it behooves parents, teachers and administrators to evaluate what works, what

Criticism of the Council

Part VI

This anemic response to the plight of European Jewry elicited criticism. If the partners to this union were indeed bound by a “common destiny,” said Louis Lipsky, a prominent Zionist leader associated with the American Jewish Congress, cooperation between them had “clearly shown

We Must Expand Intercommunity Bridges

If we were all to practice what we preached, we could accomplish true greatness. One individual who has truly lived a life based on his ideals and standing up for what he feels is right is Walter Mosley.

Narratives and perceptions are a product of one’s own home and environment. Growing up in the

My Stories

Part 39 (written 2014)

(Continued from previous week)

Thursday was going to be an eventful day. While the group paid a visit to the Jewish Community Center (with kosher coffee table, and kosher cake furnished by Sohar, whose kitchen and dining

Anim Zemirot: A Higher Level Meaning of a Metaphoric Piyut

Reviewing “Tzvi Tifarah: Biurim V’haarot L’piyut Anim Zemirot” (Hebrew) by Rabbi Elchanan Adler. Self-published, 2018.

It’s said that familiarity breeds contempt. While many people may be familiar with the Shir HaKavod, also known as Anim Zemirot, its depth and extensive use of

Free to Speak, Not Free of Consequences: Beware the Costs of Free Expression

Free speech. The right to express oneself under American jurisprudence is one of the most misunderstood principles in constitutional law. The First Amendment guarantees the right of American citizens to engage in free expression—but free expression does not mean free of consequences. It means, like any constitutional provision,

What Your Kids Really Need in School

As someone who’s been a student, a parent and a teacher, I think we should do something to change these school-supplies lists. The school sends home massive lists that haven’t really been changed since the first year the school was in operation, and then after you buy everything on it, the teacher walks in on the first day of

Synagogue Snacking

One of the most chaotic activities in Judaism is the synagogue kiddush. In theory, a kiddush is simply supposed to be social snack-time to reward those who trudged to shul and to tide them over until lunch. Indeed, without the incentive of a post-service kiddush, overall synagogue attendance likely would decrease but, then again,

Kids of Courage Takes Vegas

I recently joined Kids of Courage on their annual summer trip. What an adventure it was! Spending eight days with 350 people who are as close as family is a unique experience that words cannot describe. There are smiles everywhere and the joy is contagious.

This year’s destination was

Sadly, No Matter the Year in Gaza, The Story Stays All Too Familiar

“Israel has a right to self-defense in the face of indiscriminate violence and vicious attacks against civilian populations,” said New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez. “It is an appalling but often-used tactic by Hamas to launch rockets indiscriminately at Israeli population centers. Nobody should be surprised that a terrorist