Monday, May 21, 2018


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

When Do We Have Emuna Moments?

Every day for me is a battle for emuna. Every day, the evil inclination (E.I.) is trying to make me forget Hashem—to forget He exists, forget He runs the world and forget He does everything for the very best. One of the most helpful weapons in my arsenal against the E.I. is recalling my emuna moments. Emuna moments are the

There Are No Endings, Only New Beginnings

It’s May. It’s finally, finally sunny and warm. Lag B’Omer didn’t get rained out, Shavuot is around the corner, and our thoughts now turn toward graduations, summer vacations and camp. Everyone is ready for the recharging that sunshine and summer break provides.

And yet, as educators,

Good, Better, Best

The comedian Robert Klein does some very funny routines about what it was like to be in school in the ’50s. What teachers demanded, how they dressed, how students behaved, standup recitations and air raid drills provide much material for his act. I can relate. Every Friday afternoon just prior to dismissal, my

The Prayer Crisis: Legacy 613 Responds

From the moment young children excitedly receive their very first siddur, as parents look on with pride and joy, prayer is a permanent part of their life. Yet somewhere between that first siddur and the routine recitation of daily prayers, the passion for praying can wane. A recent, eye-opening survey conducted by Nishma

Honoring the Memory of a Special Man: Joseph Appel, z”l

Join an Evening of Inspiration this Monday at CBY.

There are those who command a good deal of attention when they enter a room. In some cases, their voices speak above others; some walk to the front of the room, immediately assuming that by walking through the crowd they will be