Wednesday, July 28, 2021


Tzama Nafshi

Parshiyot Matot-Masei

This haftarah, the second of the three pre-Tisha B’Av readings (tlat d’puranuta”), begins in the middle of the second perek of Sefer Yirmiyahu. This should not surprise us since we read the first three verses of this perek as the closing pesukim of last week’s haftarah. As


Rav Chaviva the Redactor: Sukkah 4

This week we explore how biographical knowledge can help us with punctuation.

Sukkah 4b informs us that several Sages taught the same proof that a sukkah must exceed 10 handbreadths. Namely, we can calculate based on biblical verses that the Ark of the Covenant with its cover was 10


The Authorship of Eicha

The Talmud attributes our book to Jeremiah. Let us evaluate this suggestion.

The book has five chapters. But there are three unusual aspects to its structure: 1) The first four chapters are acrostics but the fifth is not; 2) in the third chapter there are three verses for each letter, while the other


Introduction to Conflict Resolution the Torah Way

One of my passions in learning Torah is to scratch the surface and dig out insights that serve a dual purpose. The first is to enhance our lives in our current galut by living a joyful and meaningful life. The second is to glean the lessons in the Torah that will lead us to our final destination, reuniting with Hakadosh Baruch Hu in our


Dealing With Disappointment

It’s one of the most underrated interactions in the entire Torah—but to truly understand the emotions behind it, we need the entire picture.

The fundamental mission with which Moshe was entrusted was to take Am Yisrael out of Egypt and lead them into their birthright, Eretz Yisrael. They were to


Family Unicorns: Part 3

Some alphanumeric sequences stay with you as you age, like your first phone number or your college dorm address. It’s 26 years later, and I can still recall my grandfather’s address without trying. His condo was the corner unit on the ground floor at 1395 North East 167th Street in North Miami


Making a Difference in the NCSY Community

When I found out that I was recently selected as chair of social action on the Northeastern NCSY Regional Board, I was excited and hopeful. I felt optimistic because I knew I now had the capability to share my ideas with my fellow board members and make a real difference in the NCSY community, a community that brings Jewish teens together


It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over: Navigating the Uncertainty

Having reached the summer solstice, the realization that yet another school year has ended and half the calendar year is now history sets in. At the same time, we see how the COVID-19 situation just lingers on. While the restrictions are easing up, as vaccinations increase, the virus simply is not over yet; new strands of it are appearing


Ilana Mermelstein Bakes for Healthcare Workers

Ilana Mermelstein, 15-year-old Teaneck resident, took up baking during the pandemic with the end result being a chesed for local health care workers. After her usual activity, gymnastics, was canceled for months, Ilana needed a new activity to keep her occupied. Coupled with the need for her to step up and help with the


Darchei Noam in Fair Lawn Hosts Notenet Chesed Project

(Courtesy of Darchei Noam) The Notenet Girls Chesed Program is a monthly event at Congregation Darchei Noam in Fair Lawn led by Aliza Strassman. The word “notenet,” is Hebrew for “she gives,” and this term became the title because it describes the essence and core value embodied by the program. Each month,


Kiddush Hashem in Congress

Rep. Don Bacon: “I committed to Rabbi Hofstedter that we in Congress
will do everything in our power to ensure the safety of the Jewish people.”

Sometimes wonderful, illuminating flashes of light can come from the most unlikely of places.


A New Perspective on Eicha

Reviewing: “Lamentations: Faith in a Turbulent World” by Dr. Yael Ziegler. Maggid Books. 2021. English. Hardcover. 556 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1592645558.

The Rav said of his illustrious grandfather, Rav Chaim Soloveitchik, that “biz Reb Chaim, shtarot geven a chaspa

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