Saturday, December 04, 2021


Yaakov: Not Efrayim

Parshat Vayetzei

Sefer Hoshea, from which this week’s haftarah is taken, is not only the first book of the Trei Asar but it is also one of the most challenging to understand, often demanding of us to review the text and the commentaries a few times in order to understand some of its prophecies. We


Helping Our Children Dream

“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.”

– Douglas H. Everett

This week’s parsha opens with Yaakov Avinu’s dramatic dream—a grand vision of a ladder connecting heaven


Get Up and Come

I recently mentioned to a neighbor that I am returning to being a therapist in private practice, part-time. Instead of wishing me hatzlacha, he launched into an unsolicited lecture that included all his opinions and grievances about therapy and therapists. That included complaining that therapists are always asking how something makes you


The Multiple Meanings of the Root ‘HLL’

The root H-L-L in Hebrew has three different meanings. We all know the meaning “to praise.” There is another meaning “to shine.” This meaning only appears a handful of times, in both Job and Isaiah. See, e.g., Isa. 13:10. Finally, there is another meaning: “to act foolishly.” This meaning appears in various books of


Shofar Blasts and Feature Creep: Rosh Hashanah 34

It happens every Rosh Hashanah. Right before the shofar blowing, the gabbai klops on the bima and announces: “The halacha is that you shouldn’t interrupt by speaking from the blessing on the shofar until the very last shofar blasts at the end of davening.” As a parent of small children, this was burdensome: What if my kid persistently


Lessons From the Campaign Trail: Key Takeaways About Our Democratic Process

“Politico” is not a job I have included on my LinkedIn profile—yet. But having recently served as campaign manager for a local city council election, I certainly earned the stripes. While I’m not ready to pen the book “Everything I Need to Know, I Learned on the Campaign Trail,” I am surprised by how applicable the takeaways are


My Religious Growth Through Tragedy

When I was eight years old, my father passed away from cancer. From ages 4-8, I was constantly visiting my dad in hospitals. Once I turned seven, my dad’s regular bed turned into a hospital bed, and then, as I turned eight, my dad moved into hospice. As a young child, I had no clue what was going on. I did not know what cancer was, nor


Kushner Second Graders Spearhead Clothing Drive

(Courtesy of JKHA/RKYHS) The second graders at the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy (JKHA) are currently reading the book “The Hundred Dresses,” which is a story about a young girl who wears the same faded blue dress to school every day. During a class discussion on the book, many students were bothered by the fact that


Do You Know Someone Studying in Israel?

It’s that time again! We are looking for current yeshiva and seminary students who are willing to be interviewed via email, phone or WhatsApp for our famous Israel Spotlight column. If you know of someone, please forward their name, name of their yeshiva or seminary, and email address or phone number to


Bi-Cultural’s New Chesed Coordinator Launches Tikkun Olam Program

Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy (BCHA) has been involved in chesed programs all around the Stamford community for many years. During this time, Bi-Cultural students have participated in programs and activities with a multitude of different nonprofit organizations. Recently, BCHA has implemented a new program into their


In Memoriam: Rav Moshe Ashen, z”l

Anyone who has davened at the 2:30 p.m. Mincha in Yeshiva University’s Glueck Beis Midrash over the past few weeks has noticed the chazan reciting a chapter of Tehillim afterward. Unfortunately, the person for whom those Tehillim were said has now passed away. YU has lost Rav Moshe Ashen, z”l, long-time mashgiach of the YU


Rabbi Meir Shapiro, zt”l, Chicago’s Quintessential Educator and Principal

Rabbi Meir Shapiro, zt”l, leaves behind a towering legacy for the Chicago Jewish community. A legacy of gentle kindness fused with legendary firmness in personal and professional relationships with students, faculty, parents and community leaders were the hallmarks of Rabbi Shapiro’s 40-year tenure as principal of Arie Crown

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