Tuesday, May 17, 2022


Yevamot 54: That’s What They Say

In Yevamot 54b we encounter a statement by either R. Yona or Rav Huna, son of Rav Yehoshua. This week I won’t discuss content, or how rabbinic biography can shed light on said content, because reasons. Instead, my focus is upon the more boring fact that there is an alternate attribution.


Off the Hook

Have you ever been in trouble and then somehow you managed to extricate yourself? In American slang, you’ve gotten “off the hook.” The origins of this phrase date back to the 1800s, and the imagery is of a worm on a hook to be used as bait in fishing. If the worm (or the fish) could get himself “off the hook,” he’d


If Not I

ֿֿהוּא (הלל) הָיָה אוֹמֵר, אִם אֵין אֲנִי לִי, מִי לִי (אבות א:יד)

It’s On Me

Though many help us throughout our lives, in the end we are responsible for ourselves. Others will not, cannot


Two Stories From the Life of Amos Oz

Amos Oz (1939-2018) was a famous secular Israeli writer. He was the author of 40 books and was a winner of the Israel Prize.

I would like to present two stories from the Jerusalem of his childhood from his autobiography, “Sippur Al Ahavah Ve-Choshech” (2003), translated into English as “A Tale of


Letter of Recommendation: High School Gemara Education

“Are you really sure you want to do this?”

Ten years ago, Rabbi Tully Harcsztark posed that question to me when I interviewed for a position at SAR High School. I think he was asking if I was prepared to stop studying and teaching Gemara at the highest levels. Having served as the


What Does It Mean to Remember?

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Holocaust Museum of Porto, which opened to the public in April 2021. It is the first Holocaust museum in Portugal, supervised by the Jewish community of Porto whose relatives were victims of the Holocaust. I was in Porto for a conference and had been told to try and visit the museum. I


The Mother and Her Seven Sons: In Honor of Yom HaShoah

The iconic story of the mother and her seven sons recounted in Gittin 57b is well-known and often repeated. It is most certainly etched in the minds of Jews of faith as a standard bearer for dedication and devotion to Hashem and His Torah. It is even incorporated in poetic form in the Tisha B’Av Kinnot recited by Sephardic Jews. The


The Story of the First Survivor Liberated From German Concentration Camp by American Army

The following story is adapted from an article written by my mother for the Jewish Press in Omaha, Nebraska in 1990 after my father’s passing. It describes my father’s courageous and miraculous story of survival—the lone survivor of Ohrdruf—which he reenacted for my brother and me every Seder night when we were


We the Children of the Second Generation

We the children of the second generation

Awake in the morning and we know that on our arm

We inherited a tattoo, a number not to be forgotten

We the children of the second generation,

Our luck


Shem Olam: Preserving the Spirituality And Emunah of the Victims of the Shoah

As we enter into a period of Holocaust remembrance and commemorations, we must bear in mind that the Shoah was about more than the physical annihilation of over 6 million Jewish victims. It was equally about the “power of coping, the allegiance to moral values, the retention of the human image and the survival


Claims Conference Publishes 100 Words From 100 Holocaust Survivors Globally, Asking the World to Remember

(Courtesy of Claims Conference) Gideon Taylor, president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference), today published the “100 Words” project, a video op-ed made by 100 Holocaust survivors asking the world to stand with them and remember on Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah).


Germany and the Jews: From Casual Social Hatred to Annihilation

“It is not, in Christian countries, with the Jews as with other peoples. Men say, ‘This is a bad Greek, but there are good Greeks. This is a bad Turk, but there are good Turks.’ Not so with the Jews. Men find the bad among us easily enough—among what peoples are the bad not easily found?—but they take the worst of us as

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