Monday, March 01, 2021


The Joys of Fatherhood

This week is Presidents’ Day, when we celebrate our great country in which we have all the freedoms we can want, most importantly the freedom to practice our religion until we’re perfect at it.

So I think that maybe we should celebrate by brushing up on our presidential facts. My plan is to cover one president per year until I run out of presidents or until


Missing Minyan

Lately there has been some discussion in the community about the decrease in shul attendance. Obviously, the pandemic is partially to blame for some of the empty pews, but Covid is not the only excuse being offered. Some congregants claim that they are no-shows because life gets in the way, especially for young couples with small kids.


‘The Vigil’—First Mainstream Jewish Horror Film—Explores Loss of Life and Faith

When I was seven years old, my mother rented “Poltergeist” for me to watch, mistakenly believing the clown doll on the VHS cover designated it a children’s movie. Far from being scandalized, I was instantly hooked on horror. Possessed little blond children, cannibalistic intellectuals, psychotic superfans or a particularly


Pay It Forward

When it comes to throwing out old stuff, people are usually on one of two teams. The first is Team Chuckitall—those who just want their homes to be clutter-free; they have no reason to keep anything. The other is Team Youneverknow—those who are afraid to throw anything out that might be useful. (“Maybe one day headless dolls will


Talia Siegler Has Her Eye on the Prize

Talia Siegler, a 10-year-old fifth grader at The Moriah School, is excitedly looking ahead to her bat mitzvah. Though the big day isn’t until April 2022, Talia is eager to spread the word about her “Eye Make a Difference” campaign. Her goal is to collect 500 pairs of gently used readers and glasses to donate to VSP Eyes of


How to Train Your Sibling: A Stepwise Approach

Dear Shayna B,

First of all, we are huge fans of your advice column! Our brother has a lot of homework and goes to sleep very late every night and we have a hard time waking him up in the morning!! We don’t know what to do! Please help us, Shayna B. You are our only hope!


Finding Her Voice: A Parent’s Story

Our weekly parenting group meeting was rolling along as it usually did—chitchat, joking, complaining, noshing—when my phone rang, and I immediately excused myself to speak in private. It was our daughter Racheli’s genetic counselor, and she had news that changed everything for us in an instant.


A Nation of Leaders

Rabbi Sacks, zt’’l, had prepared a full year of Covenant & Conversation for 5781, based on his book “Lessons in Leadership.”

This week’s parsha consists of two episodes that seem to constitute a study in contrasts. The first is in chapter 18. Yitro, Moses’ father-in-law and a


Rav Mordechai Kuber’s ‘Crossing the Dateline’: International Dateline Halachic Issues Finally Resolved

Part I

Introduction: An Indispensable Sefer

One of the most intriguing contemporary halachic discussions is the many and varied ramifications of the International Dateline (IDL). Many sefarim and articles have been written on this


God as Our Father

In this week’s parsha, Am Yisrael receive the Ten Commandments from God engraved on the two Luchot Habrit, the Stone Tablets.

Many commentaries note a pattern that emerges within the commandments, a natural split between the tablets. The first five commandments, listed on the first tablet, are mitzvot


Hashem’s Unique Love

Parshat Yitro

This morning’s parsha describes for us the great “theophany,” the revelation of God, at Har Sinai, an event witnessed by the entire nation, experienced by millions of people. This morning’s haftarah relates to us the personal “theophany” of the navi Yeshayahu who alone sees


What Is the Difference Between ‘Lo Tachmod’ and ‘Lo Titaveh’?

As we all know, the Ten Commandments are found in Parshat Yitro and again in Parshat VaEtchanan. But there are differences. One major difference is that in Parshat Yitro, the 10th commandment uses “lo tachmod” twice, while in Parshat VaEtchanan we have “lo tachmod” regarding the wife, but then “lo titaveh” on the rest (house,