Monday, May 21, 2018


If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem

For those of you who have been blessed to walk or sleep or pray in the holy city of Jerusalem, you know her magic. It isn’t a myth or some children’s fable. Jerusalem’s magic is a truth that lingers on the lips of anyone who has breathed her sweet air. It’s a magic that follows you for years—even decades—whispering,

Teaneck’s Meir Finkelstein Among YU Valedictorians

(Courtesy of Yeshiva University) Hundreds of students from Yeshiva University’s undergraduate schools received their degrees at YU’s 87th commencement exercises, held at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, on May 16. Nine of the students were honored with the designation of valedictorian for their outstanding academic

Say Cheese!

This week, in honor of Shavuot, we present fun facts about cheese, brought to you by the American Cheese Society:

  1. 1. Clarification: That’s “American Cheese Society,” not “American-Cheese Society.” This is a real thing. It’s a society devoted to cheese made in America, not a

Carnivorous Classifications

In the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy and her companions find themselves stranded in a scary forest, prompting them to cry out: “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” Well, if you are a carnivore with carnivorous cravings, then on the holiday of Shavuot you might find yourself exclaiming “Latkes and tzimmes and blintzes, oh my!” You would do

Video Chat: Google Hangouts Is Back

A while back, I remember working at Verizon, where there was a dedicated room to have video calls. There was a ton of hardware and a unique setup.

Both parties would need to be in similar rooms with the same expensive equipment. To initiate the call, a conference call device used specifically

Lubavitch on the Palisades Marks Lag B’Omer With Carnival

(Courtesy of Lubavitch on the Palisades) Lubavitch on the Palisades celebrated this Lag B’Omer with an extravaganza for the entire family. Lag B’Omer is a day marked on the Jewish calendar as a day of joy, light and happiness. In conjunction with New Jersey Yachad, an organization

Continuing the Dialogue

On Sunday evening, April 22, my husband and I, along with Amudim (a not-for-profit organization that assists individuals and families struggling with addiction), arranged and hosted an awareness event to focus communal attention on the issues around substance abuse and addiction. We had no idea what to expect. We had asked some

Zevachim 21

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 Zevachim 21. These are some highlights.

Zevachim 21: Can you fulfill your obligation of washing your hands before eating

Why Did My Sephardic Neighbors Wait Until the 34th Day in the Omer to Have Their Hair Cut?

34 versus 33

Why did my Sephardic male neighbors wait until the 34th day in the omer to have their hair cut? It is because Rav Yosef Karo, or Maran, specifically rules (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 493:2) that haircuts are permitted only on the 34th day of the Omer. Rama (op. cit.), on the

The Ramban and Mark Twain

In 1867, Mark Twain visited Palestine in a well-documented journey. As he crisscrossed the barren landscape he offered the following description and observation:

“We traversed some miles of desolate country whose soil is rich enough but is given wholly to weeds—a silent mournful expanse… A

Real Friendship

During the last couple of weeks our kehilla celebrated and mourned what epitomizes the circle of life. On the seventh day of Pesach, Mr. Seymour Kerner, father of our esteemed friend Rabbi Shimon Kerner, was niftar. I officiated at the funeral on isru chag.

Just over a week later, the morning

Mourning and Celebration

Parshiyot Behar-Bechukotai

Today’s reading is an especially difficult one to follow. Although the first parsha of Behar teaches laws that pertain to the sanctity of Eretz Yisrael, laws that promise the settlement of Israel into their own land (i.e., the regulations of the Shmita and Yovel