Friday, March 31, 2023


Nitzavim: Of Lemonade and Wormwood

Devarim: 29:17

Three New Jersey rabbis sat together at the Delectable Nosherei Emporium of North Bergen (formerly the Delancey and Eldridge Market) having brunch on an unusually warm Sunday morning in September. They sat outside under a large, red umbrella with a beautiful view of Kennedy


The Greatest Tragedy of the Jewish People

Is it the threat to Israel? No. Is it worldwide anti-Semitism? No. The great tragedy destroying the Jewish people is assimilation. Some scholars believe we have lost more Jews to assimilation than to all the Holocausts, Crusades, pogroms and Inquisitions combined.

But you ask, why is it


Shofar Blowing at Shaarei Orah—The Shechina Experienced!

It is the moment we come closest to Hashem of the entire year, the rabbi reminds the kehilla. Every year I remind our congregants of the Gemara that appears in the third perek of Masechet Rosh Hashanah, that the experience of tekiat shofar is comparable to the kohen gadol entering the Kodesh HaKodashim on Yom Kippur.


The Power of Memory

The two different haftarot that we read on the two separate days of Rosh Hashanah focus upon two different themes of the chag. The first haftarah, taken from the opening perek of Sefer Shmuel, tells the story of Chana, the barren wife of Elkana, whose prayers for a son were answered with the birth of Shmuel, destined to be the


Debilitating Words

Rav Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman, zt”l, the legendary rosh yeshiva of the Ponevezh Yeshiva, once spoke about the greatness of Rav Moshe Chaim Yehuda Schneider, zt”l, who was the rosh yeshiva of the yeshiva Toras Emes in London. Rav Kahaneman explained that the words “I can’t” were never heard out of the mouth of Rav Schneider.


Erev Rosh Hashanah Thoughts

The sounds of the shofar pierce the early-morning hours in shuls around the world this month. It is a clarion call to action. A wake-up call, in the lexicon of the Rambam, to those who slumber blissfully unaware of the hard work necessary to prepare for the awesome Days of Awe.

It is


Standing in the Kodesh Hakodashim

( weeklytefilahfocus.com)We recite Aleinu daily, many of us three times a day; perhaps because we have grown so accustomed to saying it, many of us unfortunately do not appreciate the significance and importance of this tefillah. In fact, we are often mentally on our way


Maximizing Our Spiritual ROI

ROI (return on investment) is something that we think about routinely. Investors want to know what type of return they can expect to receive on their money. Students want to know the benefit of pursuing specialized education. People in challenged relationships seek to understand what they can expect to gain from their investment of


Jewish Women and the Obligation to Hear the Shofar

The shofar has always been a pivotal part of my Rosh Hashanah experience. Even when I was very young, and spent most of the day in groups eating pretzels, the group leaders would bring all the children into shul to hear the shofar being blown. Those moments I spent listening, wide-eyed and silent, to the piercing shofar blasts,


Kollel Chatzos Prepares for Rosh Hashanah

The Yemei Rachamim v’Ratzon is fast approaching, and all of klal Yisrael seek to garner as many zechusim as possible. The office of Kollel Chatzos is abuzz with activity. Yidden from all over the world are calling, asking to have the holy Chatzos talmidei chachamim daven for them during the auspicious hours after chatzos halayla, when the


Thinking About Fire Safety on the Yomim Noraim

Chief Anthony Verley has been with the Teaneck Fire Department for 29 years. This translates into 29 years of overseeing the four fire stations and six square miles that constitute our Teaneck community. Over the span of these years, he has responded to many holiday-related calls resulting from our use of special cooking apparatus


Lone But Not Lonely

There are over 6,300 lone soldiers currently serving in the IDF—6,300. I can’t begin to wrap my head around that staggering statistic. It is already so challenging to serve in the army. Lone soldiers, however, have the additional stresses of not having a family to come home to, not having a hot meal waiting

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