Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Divrei Torah

Double Standard

Consider the following conversation between a Rabbi and a Ba’al Teshuva:

Rabbi: So what can I do for you?

BT: I’ve been struggling lately with tefillah, and I’d like your advice.

Rabbi: Go ahead, I’m listening.

BT: Well, the first issue is the length of davening. I tend to lose momentum way before the


Parshat Vayeira: Nachshon Wachsman A”H

I remember the Te­hil­lim assemblies quite vividly. It was almost exactly 19 years ago, I was a senior in high school and our principal called all of us to the Beit Knesset to describe what had just occurred in Israel; a young Israeli soldier, Nachshon Wachsman, had just been captured by Hamas and they were demanding the release of several hundred prisoners in


“An Inn and an Orchard”

I read the story quite some time ago. It was told by a young woman who boarded an airplane early one winter Friday morning. She was on her way to Chicago from New York to spend a weekend there with friends.

She made herself comfortable in her seat, prepared some reading material, and was confident that the plane would take off more or less on time and that she


Modest Proposals

Paramus—I have lived in Bergen County for 42 years and I have been active in my synagogue, community affairs, UJA and several day schools. One of my earliest jobs was in 1961 as the first youth director of the nascent B’nai Yeshurun in a small house on West Englewood Avenue.

I have observed this community for a long time. I have been a day school principal,


Simcha at School – The Class Birthday Party

Last May, a New Hampshire school board voted to encourage teachers to celebrate only one “group” birthday a month. The motivation behind the decision was the board’s concern over children consuming unhealthy, sugary foods during school hours. The district’s consultant dietician explained, “If there were three birthdays in a week, a student could have cupcakes


Greatness, not Perfection

Since 1996, nobody knew it more than the New York Yankees: “You gotta’ go to Mo!”

The Yankees knew that if they could hold a lead until the eighth inning they could bring in the Sand-Man to throw his wily cutter and shut down the opposition and score another victory.

After announcing that this would be his final season, Mariano, a deeply religious


Connecting BPY to a Vastly Connected World

Paramus—“How can we help our students stay connected?” That was a critical curricular question that Rav Tomer Ronen, Rosh HaYeshiva of Ben Porat Yosef, and his staff pondered last summer while preparing for this school year. They hired a director of educational technology, a one-to-one iPad program had been implemented, and there were Smartboards in all



Esther checked her reflection in the rear view mirror as she and Len drove away from the Broadway Central Hotel. The makeup that had been applied so carefully just a few hours before the wedding had faded and her carefully arranged hair looked limp, but she didn’t care. She had enjoyed the wedding of her dreams. Finally, after two years of dating, she and Len were


Those Were the Days!

The announcement of Marvin Glick of Malden, Massachusetts and Nina Stroock of Jericho, Long Island’s wedding was printed in the New York Times on Monday, April 5th, 1965. It was the day after the wedding took place.

Upon looking back at the simcha and the days (years) preceding it, we wonder at how something which was once


Craft Up Your Wedding and Save Some Bucks

Is money is flying out your pocket with your wedding plans?  Despair not. With a glue gun and crafty tools, glamorize your wedding with a personal touch while saving money.

Pick a theme and color scheme and get to work. Invitations you can print at home are available in different formats and paper colors. Decorate them with appliqués and stamp art embellished


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 simcha than 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 one family, and with brissim, half your relatives are going to oversleep anyway. So, simcha-wise, a wedding is definitely the largest one