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Saturday, October 31, 2020
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Divrei Torah

The App That is Your Worst Nightmare - SimSimi

Isaac Asimov was right. The dangers of artificial intelligence that he foreshadowed in his collection of short stories, I, Robot, are coming true today, most likely in the halls of your kids’ school.

You may have heard of the app that’s causing me to lose sleep: SimSimi (pronounced Shim Shimmy). The developer in Korea, who actually designed the

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Making the Grade

As I finish up the last of my report cards, I can’t help but thinking about the value of grades. Do the letters on the spreadsheet really tell the story? How can one or two characters explain growth, struggle, apathy, or determination? The classic grading system seems to assume that the answer to this question in the affirmative. We give numbers for test

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A Unique Shelter Offers Salvation to Religious Women

Jerusalem—It has been eight years since “Sarah” has been able to sleep soundly. Since she was married at the age of 20, she had moved eight times, had five children and endured nonstop emotional and physical abuse at the hands of her husband.”I was barely living. There was no life for me. I was trapped in the small bubble that my husband had created and it was

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Chaim’s Bar Mitzvah.

Two months ago, “Chaim,” the bar mitzvah boy came with his mother and young brothers and sisters to our shelter.  It is terribly sad that his father didn›t participate in his son’s bar mitzvah, but due to confidentiality issues, I cannot explain why Chaim could not have him there with him.  Despite the gaping absence of the father, I do want to share

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Fixing the Failure or Learning from it?

While in the world of schools students work to avoid receiving an “F” on an assignment, they often work just as hard to convince the teacher that they actually deserve a higher grade. In the business world as well, most professionals attempt to avoid mistakes and try, as quickly as possible, to cover up or correct their failure. When was the last time you

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The Many Songs of Leadership

Everyone has his or her own voice. Some express it loudly and clearly; some just mumble or whisper. There are those who let their voices be heard only in their professional lives and are silent and withdrawn at home. Others use their voices only within their families and stifle their voices in the outside world.

Our voices can be expressed in a variety of ways:

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Beha’aloscha

“And the man Moshe was exceedingly humble, more so than any person on the face of the earth” (Bamidbar 12:3)

A close look at this unusual editorial comment by the Torah can yield important lessons about Moshe Rabbeinu as well as the midda of anava (humility). What does the Torah mean that Moshe was more humble than anyone

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Modern Mud

Rabbi Dr. Noam Weinberg, in an article posted on JewishIdeas.org, speaks of the need for today’s Jewish educators to be able to relate to their students. While some in the education community argue that it’s best for these teachers to model a lifestyle free from the impure influences of modern, secular society, Rabbi Weinberg disagrees. He suggests that, in the

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If at First You Don’t Succeed

Almost anyone who’s ever gone out on a date has some sort of “date story” about the nightmares they encountered when meeting someone for the purpose of spending their lives together. You’ll find dates who got arrested, ones who fell asleep, and everything in between. Perhaps my favorite date story is one that didn’t happen to me.

A friend who lived in

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The Twentieth of Sivan

The 20th of day of the month of Sivan (chof Sivan) has been designated by sages to be a day of fasting and commemoration of tragedies that befell the Jews of Western and Eastern Europe in different eras.

In 1171, tragedy struck the Jewish community of Blois France. A horrific blood libel accusation which had been leveled on several occasions in England

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Don’t Say “Lashon Hara”

When you ask someone to stop gossiping it can get awkward. On one hand, you don’t like what the other person is doing. On the other hand, you don’t want to act as if you are better than your friend. So, you can say something, you can try and ignore what is being said, or you can run away screaming “My neshama! My neshama!” Assuming you want to

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Chinuch Roundtable

In a continuing effort to get to know our wonderful mechanchim and hear their opinions about important issues and concerns facing our school-aged children, the following question was asked of our panel:

Is it the responsibility of the rebbe or teacher to mechanech (educate) his students beyond the time of the classroom? Furthermore,

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