Monday, May 21, 2018


Zevachim 14 and 15

May these words of Torah be a merit le’iluy nishmat Menachem Mendel ben Harav Yoel David Balk, a”h.

This week we learned Zevachim 14 and 15. These are some highlights.

Zevachim 14: Can the gabbai sell the right to open the ark and the right to

Ashkenazic Single Men Without a Tallit at Shaarei Orah

May we permit Ashkenazic single men to sit in Congregation Shaarei Orah, the Sephardic Congregation of Teaneck, without a tallit? Sephardic practice follows straightforward reasoning—a bar mitzvah is responsible for all mitzvot. Thus, why should he wait until marriage in order to wear a tallit during tefillah?

Emor: Down for the Count

Vayikra: 24:15-16

April 9, Day of Omer 9

Dear Diary,

Passover was great. Saw lots of family. Had two wicked Sedarim, although the second ran nasty late. Hung out at the mall with friends. Saw two movies.

Almost Home

When I was a kid (wow, I’ve reached that age...), before Pesach I would bring home a nice Pesach booklet that contained many divrei Torah. Today, each of our children brings home a complete professional-looking Haggadah, which include personalized pictures, numerous explanations and a plethora of divrei Torah.

Sanctity in the Mundane

Parashat Emor that we read this week dedicates its first perek to the laws of kedusha as they apply to the kohanim. The obligation of the kohanim to retain a state of tahara, purity, when serving in the Mikdash, their prohibition to have contact with the dead and the women they are permitted to marry are all included in the first

A View From the Office

In these post-Pesach months, we read Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) on Shabbat afternoon. A number of mishnayot in Pirkei Avot begin with “hu haya omer”—he used to say. “He used to say” carries a different connotation than “he said”; it implies repetition, frequency. This wasn’t just a one-off. It was something

Bergenfield’s Dr. Rebecca Eliason Named Barnstable Academy Head of School

Barnstable Academy, a college-preparatory private school serving students in fifth through twelfth grade, has announced the appointment of Bergenfield’s Dr. Rebecca Eliason as head of school. Eliason, a licensed clinical psychologist, is a graduate of Stern College of Yeshiva University and earned her master’s and

Why Is Everyone Surprised by the Truth?

After Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu divulged publicly the astounding news that Iran has had a nuclear weapons program for years by showing actual proof, we are shocked but not particularly surprised that today the United Nations nuclear agency rejected his claims, stating that there were “no credible indications” to support

My Stories

Part 25 (written 2004)

(Continued from previous week)

Israeli Army

It was in 1982, at the time when PB was decentralizing the traffic department, and before I started working in the steel department, that my

Tante’s Lamps

I may have mentioned that my husband and I are on a decorating journey. As I prepare this column there is a large carton from Smith & Noble in our basement waiting for its mate to be delivered and then we can schedule installation of new window treatments. We are just a couple of small steps away from completion of our living

Beginners’ Marriage

What I find that no one ever tells a chosson and kallah before they get married is that sheva brachos aren’t really fun. And you have to go to seven of them. First you walk in, and everyone says, “You’re late.”

You’re always late. You’re two people who have just started living

Failing Fakery

Keeping kosher means keeping away from a whole host of items including pork, shellfish and anything that mixes milk with meat. As a result, today’s kosher culinary wizards have created fake versions of banned items including fake bacon, fake crab and fake cheese, just to name a few. (Of course, fake mashgiachs are not