Thursday, June 04, 2020


Congregation Shaarei Orah—Where the Rambam Lives (Especially on Purim)!

Many Kehillot in Teaneck pride themselves in their devotion to study of the Rambam. This author even witnessed one Beit Kenesset in which the Rambam’s Mishneh Torah was placed in the Heichal (Aron Kodesh) on Simhat Torah when all of the Sefarim (Sifrei Torah) were removed.

Congregation Shaarei Orah,


Korach: One Potato, Two Potato

Bamidbar: 16:30

The synagogue board meeting was scheduled to begin at 8 o’clock. All the chairs were lined up at the majestic oak table in the old board room, with a typed agenda arranged before every place by Mel Landau, the shul secretary. Most of the synagogue had been renovated in 2005, but the


Making a Deal With The Devil

The announcement that the Palestine Liberation Organization, which essentially is the parent organization of the Palestinian Authority, had entered into a unity agreement with Hamas might have been the last straw.

As the United States was working feverishly to extend the April 29 deadline for the peace talks between the Israelis and


Website Aids in Torah Memorization: The Students Become the Teachers

Josh Herzberg may not be a rabbi or even a teacher, but with Noah Santacruz, who grew up in Teaneck, he has helped many people memorize sections of the Torah and Gemara more easily. These two Cooper Union college students created the website TorahSummary.com, which contains summaries of the Gemarah, Chumash, and Navi.

On this website, the Gemara is


Happy 50th

I spend my afternoons in the warm environs of Mesivta Ohr Naftoli in New Windsor, NY, where I am the principal of the secular studies department. Once a week the students of each grade have the good fortune to have me as their teacher for one period. With the 11th grade I give a course in public speaking.


Dairy/Meat Equipment—Not a Sephardic Concern!

The Gemara (Hullin 111b) records a dispute between Rav and Shmuel regarding the following case: Hot fish was placed on a meat plate (a plate that had hot meat placed on it, thereby causing “meat taste particles” to be absorbed into the plate). These Amoraim debate whether it is permissible to subsequently eat the fish with dairy. Rav


Save Face Or Save The World?

As the diplomatic efforts of the United States and other world powers continue to evolve, Iran’s ability to achieve nuclear weapons capabilities endures.

Following the execution of the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) in January 2014, the clock began ticking on an interim deal that theoretically would impair Iran’s capacity to produce nuclear weaponry. In return,


Learning About Smartphones and More

The Apple Tech Show Opens Sept. 9

I gave up my beloved iPhone for a Galaxy s5 Gold because of what I do for a living. Now that I am using Waze (Israeli designed crowd sourced GPS app) my battery, even while charging was totally depleted in under one hour. My Droid phone allows me to swap a


Identifying Achashverosh and Esther in Secular Sources

Until the 19th century, a search in secular sources for a Persian king named Achashverosh would not have been a successful one. Our knowledge of the Persian kings from the Biblical period was coming entirely from the writings of Greek historians, and none of the names that they recorded were close to Achashverosh. The Greek


Do Hebrew Words Sometimes Have Two Opposite Meanings?

Some scholars have suggested that Hebrew words sometimes have two opposite meanings. I would like to closely examine this claim in the context of Biblical Hebrew.

An example often given is barech. In Job 9:2, it is used to mean “curse” (“curse God and die”). But this is not a true


A Christie-en Slip

Many of us are familiar with the old adage “there is a time and a place.” For Chris Christie, the Republican Jewish Coalition’s spring event was neither the time nor the place to utter the reviled term “occupied territories.”

The RJC’s Las Vegas event was an opportunity for the GOP presidential hopefuls to speak to die-hard Jewish Republicans about


Chromecast Roku or Apple TV?

Something I am asked frequently, though I am IT, is which video streaming device I would recommend. If you’re looking to buy a streaming device, it’s likely you’ll end up choosing between three products: Chromecast, Roku, and Apple TV. Amazon Fire is also jumping into the streaming market

Streaming units have crossed over as entertainment devices and are