Thursday, August 06, 2020


Happy Julyteenth! Do-over, Or Overdue?

I’m not gonna lie. I was ignorant about Juneteenth until last month. Amidst the grief and anger surrounding the murder of George Floyd and so many others, I was encouraged to learn about this celebratory day, a remembrance of what was and a recommitment to work toward what could be.

As I heard more


Is Life Insurance Worth Breaking the Bank?

You buy life insurance because it’s the best way to protect the ones you love. It’s a financial decision (kind of). It’s an emotional decision (sort of). It’s about love and caring for your family, and securing the future (most definitely).

Still, thousands of people don’t realize the


Stay Outdoors

Welcome back to “How Should I Know?”—the advice column that doesn’t have any fewer answers than anyone else at this point.

Dear Mordechai,

Some of the shuls in my neighborhood are finally opening up, but some of the outdoor minyanim


Mieskeit Mania

Are you a mieskeit?

That likely is a question for others to answer because beauty is in the eye of the beholder and mieskeit is in the eye of the shunner.

The word “mieskeit” is Yiddish for “ugly person” and obviously is not a term of endearment. If someone


Teach Your Dog New Tricks With Albie the Kid Dog Trainer

Albie Hornblass, better known as Albie The Kid Dog Trainer, is a 12-year-old dog training expert. When Albie’s family purchased an adorable Labrador Retriever, named Charlie, Albie began reading books and watching videos to research how to train her. Because of COVID-19, Albie had a lot of time on his hands and he utilized it


Special Three Weeks Lecture Series Begins on Sunday Night

(Courtesy of Young Israel of Fort Lee) Rabbis Zev Goldberg, Beni Krohn and Andrew Markowitz have been close friends and colleagues for many years. Rabbi Goldberg is the rabbi of the Young Israel of Fort Lee, Rabbi Krohn is the rabbi of Young Israel of Teaneck, and Rabbi Markowitz is the rabbi of Congregation


Outrage Without Rage

It seems that there is anger and rage everywhere we turn these days. Some are angry at those not wearing masks, others outraged that mask wearing is being legislated. There is anger provoked by the pandemic. Anger at elected leaders on both sides of the aisle for how they have governed during this unprecedented time. There is anger


Yirmiyahu and Moshe

With this week’s haftarah, we introduce a new function for the weekly prophetic selection. Until this point, the purpose of the haftarah was to strike a theme similar to one found in the parsha, thereby reminding those who were prohibited by government decree from public Torah reading, what the weekly portion contained. From this week


Dairy French Toast Using Leftover Challah From Shabbat

Rav Ari Marcus vs. Rav Haim Jachter

It is a decades-long tradition in many American Orthodox families. Sunday morning breakfast consists of dairy French toast using leftover challah from Shabbat. Rav Ari Marcus, in his magnificent compendium “Halacha 24/7/12” (page 384), though, discourages this


Two Educational Tools to Use During Coronavirus

These are not ordinary days. Not for students, not for parents nor for teachers. In times of hardship, we should return to our base, to the source, to the parsha. The weekly portions, even when not read in shul, are a reservoir of power and strength, especially during this difficult time.

Here are two


The Prophet Who Is ‘Shetum Ha-Ayin’

What is the meaning of this root שׁתם that is used to describe Bilam? It only appears at Numbers 24:3 and 24:15. There is a term for a word that appears only one time in Tanach: a “hapax legomenon.” (This is Greek for “once said.”) Our word can loosely be described as a “hapax legomenon,” since the second instance sheds no


Making a Difference, One Student at a Time

Needless to say, the world has faced tremendous challenges in recent months. Medical, financial and emotional hardships have hit wide swaths of our population. The heartening response of many to these new challenges has been to double down and offer more kindness and empathy to others in an effort to make the world a better place. Goodness