Most of the active mesadrei gittin (get administrators) in the United States gathered in Manhattan last week for a day-long conference. It was a fantastic event. We had the privilege and opportunity to hear from leading halachic authorities such as Rav Nota Greenblatt, Rav Hershel Schachter, Rav Mordechai Willig
There is a well-known Talmudic directive to attempt to dissuade a prospective convert through informing him or her of the vast obligations and responsibilities of a Jew (see Yevamot 47) and ascertaining his or her sincerity. A message derived from this week’s Torah portion (Vayishlach) provides an important complementary perspective. The
At the beginning of this week’s parshah, the word malachim is used. The singular is malach (mem, lamed, aleph, caf). But how precisely should we translate this word? Anyone with a basic knowledge of Hebrew can intuit that the root of this noun is lamed, aleph, caf. (The initial mem is what turns the verb into a noun.) But what does the
There is an ongoing raging debate whether our contemporary educational system is adequately preparing our children for life. Many of the skills necessary for success in school are simply not so important in life, and vice versa. The question thus becomes how we can best utilize our children’s formative years to give them practical tools
Rav Shlomo Chaim Aviner is the French-born head of Yeshivat Ateret Yerushalayim in the Old City of Jerusalem. Rav Shmuel Eliyahu, son of the famed Rishon Lezion (Israeli Sefardi chief rabbi) Rav Mordechai Eliyahu zt”l, is the chief Sefardi rabbi of Tzefat. Together they answer about 400 questions every day about
“...The evil man shall not be unpunished; but the seed of the righteous shall escape.” —Mishlei (Proverbs) 11:21 (translation from Mechon-Mamre)
As I write this, I’m thinking back to this past week. It was probably one of the tougher weeks I’ve had in a long time. And
What are you most afraid of? Some people are afraid of spiders; some people are afraid of the dark. When I was little, my brother and I would run upstairs from the basement for fear that someone was chasing us. No one was ever chasing us, but we were convinced someone was down there with us. When sons #1 and 2 would want to torture son #3,
If you’re like me, you’ve been feeling very tired lately, and you don’t know why that is.
Sure, you can guess. You’ve been busy. So much so that if you ever make a mistake, and it’s before noon, you can just tell the other person, “I haven’t woken up yet.”
As we are drawn into the excitement of Thanksgiving, we remind ourselves that this same holiday is celebrated in Montreal on a Monday in October. Frequently it would coincide with either Sukkot or Simchat Torah and if not, other than giving people a free day, few would celebrate it.
There has been much discussion lately about blended learning and its potential promise for day schools. Chana German, who directs the Lookstein Center’s Virtual Jewish Academy and Russel Neiss, director of educational technology at G-dcast, a website that disseminates educational Torah materials, are at the forefront of
One of the most famous arguments between Bais Shammai and Bais Hillel relates to Chanukah. The debate centers on the sequence of the menorah lighting, as in whether it should be “top-down” (light a full eight lights on the first evening and then one fewer candle each successive night, the opinion of Bais Shammai) or “bottom-up” (the
The Rambam, in his commentary on the Torah, repeatedly references the well-known truism, “Ma’aseh avot siman lebanim—The actions of our forefathers are signposts for their children to follow.” Indeed, the lessons I learned from our Avot and Imahot, trailblazers in charting a