Monday, June 05, 2023


Miscellaneous Twains

In these parlous times in which we live it has become necessary to reach back in time to seek the guidance of the great minds of the past, those hoary men and women who helped solve the crises of yesteryear that our American ancestors lived through, as we do today, praying to see the dawn of peace. If, as was the case in


Ganchrows Take Israel—Third and Final (For Now)

I have no favorite children. I love each of them equally and in abundance. Though I always thought I would have at least four children, God had other plans for me and with that, I have a favorite oldest, middle and youngest. It worked out perfectly. When I was growing up, even though I was the middle of three, I was the least


Yet Another Misguided Jewish Voice

The election of Donald J. Trump has thrust a number of self-righteous Jews on the left into a state of apoplexy. They lash out at his family, policies and anyone who associates with him.

Jared Kushner, his wife and extended family are relentlessly maligned. Other Jews connected or involved in


From the Desk of a  18-Year-Old Yeshiva Student: A Heartbroken Mother and a Overnight Charedi

In my first article for The Jewish Link, “From the Desk of a 17-Year-Old Yeshiva Applicant” ( http://jewishlinknj.com/features/11095-from-the-desk-of-a-17-year-old-yeshiva-applicant), I shared a personal epiphany: The tendency of many Modern


Bava Batra 12

May these words of Torah serve as a merit le’iluy nishmat Menachem Mendel ben Harav Yoel David Balk, a”h.

 This week we learned Bava Batra 12. Here are some highlights.

Bava Batra 12: Does a sandbagged doorway need a mezuzah?


Beshalach: A Stiff-Necked Woman and Her Car

Shemot:15:22-27, 16:1-36, 17:1-7

Eli Ashkeloni would have been lying if he said he was happy to see Mrs. Schwartz’s Buick LeSabre pull into his service station that afternoon. Mrs. Schwartz had been a thorn in his side for months, coming in at least once a week and always complaining


The Special Relationship of Sephardic Jews to the Bracha of HaNoten La’yaef Koach

An Ashkenazic rabbinic colleague of mine told his students that Sephardic Jews do not recite the bracha of HaNoten La’yaef Koach (blessing Hashem for giving strength to the weak). His assumption was based on the fact that Maran (Rav Yosef Karo, the preeminent Sephardic halachic authority) in the Shulchan Aruch states that this


The Multiple Meanings of the Word Shana

The root shin-nun-heh has two meanings in Tanach. On the one hand, it means “to repeat.” (Of course, the word sheni,second, comes from this meaning.) On the other hand, it means “to change.” A fundamental question is whether these seemingly opposite meanings, “repeat” and “change,” originated from the same


Embracing Independence

In Masechet Rosh Hashanah, Tu B’Shevat marks the beginning of the year for trees, assigning a starting point along a cycle of the natural world. What is this initial stage that, according to chazal, occurs in Eretz Yisrael at about the 15th of Shevat? It is the point at which trees cease to absorb water from the ground for their


The Prophet and the Prophetess

Upon reading this morning’s haftarah, one finds the connection to our parsha quite obvious. Just as the Torah reading included the Israelites’ great song of praise after the victory over the Egyptians, the haftarah relates the Israelites’ song of praise after their victory over the oppressive Canaanites. But there is far more


The Conversation in the Hallway

I will never forget the conversation in the hallway. It came at one of the most traumatic moments of my life. Only a few minutes after speaking with my father, z”l, he went into cardiac arrest after going through a risky test and left this world. It was about a half hour after his passing that my parents’ longtime cardiologist


When Values Collide: Women’s Rabbinic Ordination

RCA and OU

In October 2015, the Rabbinical Council of America issued a resolution (that I sponsored), setting that its members may not ordain women into the Orthodox rabbinate nor hire a woman rabbi, regardless of title. This past Thursday, after a long process of communal

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