Sunday, June 04, 2023


A Laugh at Whose Expense?

Boy, was I glad my son didn’t speak Hebrew! A few years back we were in Israel for a family simcha, and I wanted to bring my son to meet a few of my teachers who were important to me during my time in yeshiva. As we were walking around the yeshiva, I was greeted by one of my old teachers with a warm smile and a handshake. His


Dangerous Achashverosh

Most of us perceive Achashverosh as a character who was manipulated by Haman. This, however, is only one approach to Achashverosh. Chazal (Megilla 12a) argue as to whether Achashverosh was shrewd or a fool. A major question facing readers of Megillat Esther is whether Haman was manipulating Achashverosh or vice versa. Unlike Esther


Yes, We Can Identify Achashverosh and Esther in Secular Sources

I spent many years researching this topic. It is time to keep everyone up to speed.

Until the 19th century, a search in secular sources for a Persian king named Achashverosh would have been an unsuccessful one. Our knowledge of the Persian kings from the Biblical period was coming entirely from


Parshat Zachor—Purim Secrets Revealed

This dvar Torah is dedicated l’iluy nishmat my mother, Miriam Mirel bas Shalom, a”h, whose yahrtzeit is this Shabbos, the 13th of Adar.

Kids absolutely love waking up the day after Purim. It’s a feast in the waiting, with cookies, cakes, candies and other goodies all waiting to be


To the Victor Belong the Spoils

Shabbat Zachor

Parshat Tetzave

This Shabbat before Purim requires us to read of our obligation to destroy Amalek, as the story of Purim came about through the machinations of Haman, a descendant of Agag, the king of Amalek. Although the connection between the


Do You Have a Growth Mindset?

As an educator, I strive to think about the actions I have taken in the past and how they have affected my students, fellow teachers and myself. I previously thought that my talents and abilities were simply fixed traits. If I am talented in a certain area, why do I need to work to improve it? Further, if I do try and


Is Proper Hashkafa Caught or Taught?

Over breakfast in Yerushalayim a few weeks ago, I was talking about the state of American Jewish education with a friend who teaches graduates of American day schools in several seminaries. One of the shortcomings he raised was submitted to the Bar Ilan LookJed listserv and has generated


The Loss of a Giant

On March 1, 2017, the third day of Adar, the world lost a special soul. Mr. Chaim Silber, known to many by his nickname Lobo, was niftar at the age of 70 after a yearlong illness. As we enter the month of Adar, when our simcha is supposed to be multiplied, we find ourselves mourning the loss of a giant of a man who brought


Remembering Rabbi Meyer Korbman, z”l

7 Adar 5777 marked the one-year yahrtzeit of HaRav Meyer Korbman, z”l, the venerable spiritual leader of a small kehila in Union, New Jersey, for 35+ years. Humility was one of Rabbi Korbman’s greatest virtues, yet he impacted so many lives with his poise, compassion and love of every Jew. My family and I will always be indebted to the


Teaching Kindness: Are We Talking About It at Home?

Kindness is the number one value I emphasize at home to my children. I don’t ask them what grade they got on their test. I don’t ask them what they learned today. I don’t navigate their social experiences. I don’t tell them that if they studied they could have done bettter (or at least not at the moment). I ask them if they


Parental Guidelines for New Teenage Drivers

People are attached to their phones, plain and simple! Therefore, putting down one’s phone when driving has become a challenge, even though most people inherently understand that holding a device while driving is not safe.While sitting at a light, it is easy to rationalize that we will just “take a peek” and then


Keeping Everyone Happy (and in Costume) on Purim

Top Tips From Child Development Experts

Purim is an exciting time of year that can also be overwhelming for sensory-sensitive kids. What with the frequent shaking of the gragger, banging when Haman’s name is called, multitudes of people at shul, massive quantities of food and candy

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