Thursday, March 30, 2023

Divrei Torah - JewishLink

Planning for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah

If you type the words “bar bat mitzvah planning” into Google, you will get more than 2,000,000 hits. The websites that come up include almost everything you can think of, from trope software to teach your kids how to sing the service, to trips to Israel with private guides, party planners who will put you on a cruise ship, and people who will take millions


Budget Weddings

There’s no greater simchathan making a wedding for your child. And when I say, “no greater simcha,” I am obviously talking about price. With bar mitzvahs, you only have to invite onefamily, and with brissim, half your relatives are going to oversleep anyway. So, simcha-wise, a wedding is definitely the largest one


A Deeper Lesson in the Dor Haflaga – The Perils of Unity

Towards the end of Parshas Noach, we are introduced to the Dor Haflaga, those who build the Tower of Bavel.  As children we are taught to believe these were terrible rebellious people.  However, when one looks carefully at the story, their actions don’t seem all that horrible.

We are told everyone spoke the same language.  They also get along, thinking in


Filling in the Blanks

The Torah is replete with inspiring stories of its heroes. The lives of Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and David, to name just a few, are narrated at great length and in vivid detail. Their noble acts and admirable accomplishments are described, and even their occasional faults or failures are not hidden from us.

It is, therefore, especially frustrating when the story


Noach: Brick

Bereishit 11: 1-9

Jack and Celia had wanted to renovate their house on Magnolia Lane for years, but they kept putting it off. First they had to pay off their student loans. Then yeshiva tuition and summer camp for the kids put a dent in their savings. Then college came along. But now the kids were out of the house, and Jack had made a killing selling his


Don’t Just Dot Your ‘I’s: Also Cross Your ‘T’!

A few weeks ago, parents helped their children with “Move-In Day” at colleges throughout the country. Many of these institutions of higher learning are among the most prestigious private and public universities in the country. A good number of them have earned their reputations as having exceptional Liberal Arts curricula. Factoring in costs for tuition, room and


Kol Hadassa: Helping Girls Find their Inner Voices

On the surface, Rebecca Aminoff had a stable and untroubled adolescence. But despite the great parents, good schools and academic success that she was blessed with, Rebecca was inwardly miserable. “If I had everything going for me but found it hard to navigate the teenage years, how hard must it be for girls grappling with real issues?” wondered Aminoff. This


An Analysis of Two Essential Sukkah Stories

The message of a Mishnah that relates a story is often more powerful and memorable than a Mishnah that teaches only pure halakha. The Mishnah’s story is even more powerful when the characters are great sages whose words we regularly study and now have the opportunity to learn from their actions in addition to their words. In this essay we shall analyze two stories


Exploring the Meaning of Naanuim

Naanuim—waving the four species on Sukkot—are an essential, if somewhat mysterious, part of the holiday. While the Torah commands “taking” the species—technically, merely lifting them fulfills the mitzvah—early rabbinic sources require waving. But what is the meaning of naanuimand how is it related to the overall experience of


My New Reality Show

I’ve got an idea for a new reality show. I call it Three-Day Yontiff.

Three families, living under one roof, compete over preparations for a three-day yontiff,let’s say, Sukkot. One bathtub, one shower, for 12 to 20 people. Each family is given a different budget. Within that budget, they must decorate a standard 10” x 12” canvas


Sukkot Vacation?

I was known as a “good girl.” My seat was always right in front of the teacher and my hand always shot up enthusiastically in answer to her questions. My neatly written assignments were handed in right on time. So I was caught totally unprepared that morning, so many years ago, to hear my sixth grade teacher Miss Lewin’s public admonishment.



Sukkot Site-Hopping In Israel

Jerusalem—Three times in a year shall all of the [Jewish] people appear before G-d in the place that God will choose (Jerusalem)” (Deuteronomy 16:16)

Since biblical times, hundreds of thousands of Jews made their way to the holy city three times a year, with festivities and activities taking place during the seven days of Pesach and Sukkot, and

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