Friday, March 24, 2023


Half the Tuition,  Half the Expectation

I am a longtime fan of Rabbi Gil Student. His blog TorahMusings.com provides a platform for thoughtful insights in the Modern and Centrist Orthodox community and his column in The Jewish Link is generally informative and sound.

I therefore was disappointed in his Oct. 19 column, “The Hidden Cost of Tuition,” which I found fraught with vapid


What Israeli Orthodoxy has Learned About Women’s Leadership

On a recent trip to the US from Israel, I ran into a problem. The house my family was renting was situated just half a block inside the eruv and we needed to figure out how to get around with the baby stroller on Shabbat. So I did what most people would do and called the local Orthodox rabbi. The rabbi was welcoming, asked a few


Sanhedrin 96 and 97

May these words of Torah serve as a merit l’iluy nishmat Menachem Mendel ben Harav Yoel David Balk, a”h.

 This week we learned Sanhedrin 96 and 97. These are some highlights.

Sanhedrin 96: Can I write my father’s name on a


Lech Lecha: 400 Years a Slave

Bereishit 15:13

-All I’m saying is, it wouldn’t kill you.

-Yes, Mom, it would. It would actually kill me.

-Just take a few years. Settle down, get married. Have a few kids. Then you can go to medical school.


Disentangling a Sephardic-Ashkenazic Sukkah Misunderstanding

Part 1

This past week, an Ashkenazic woman approached me, recounting what she perceived to be a bizarre incident. She was a guest at a Sephardic family on Sukkot, and before the husband began his recitation of Kiddush he announced that women should not respond “amen” to the bracha


Savoring My ‘Sephardic Bar Mitzvah’

I was struck with stage fright as the time for the Torah reading began. This journey began back in August on the Thursday prior to Shabbat Nachamu. The time for Torah reading at Congregation Shaarei Orah, the Sephardic Congregation of Teaneck, had come, and no one present knew the Torah reading. I decided that since I knew the Ashkenazic


The Jewish Count From Creation (5778)

Nowhere in Tanach is anyone counting the year from Creation. What is the origin of this counting method?

As further background, if one looks at how Jews dated events in the Amoraic and Geonic periods, we see a contrast between the Jewish community of Palestine and that of Babylonia. In Amoraic


Ahavat Hashem

Parshat Lech Lecha

This week’s haftarah begins at the end of the 40th perek in Sefer Yeshayahu and extends into the 41st chapter. At first glance, the connection to our parsha is based on a simple phrase found in the 41st chapter. There, the navi tries to comfort the suffering nation by


Weinstein and Mayim

The recent “she said—no she said” regarding Mayim Bialik’s comments on the Harvey Weinstein affair doesn’t look at the more important question. Of course they are both right. If a wealthy person goes into a high-crime neighborhood wearing very expensive jewelry and maybe, flouting his wealth even more, has a hundred


Lech Lecha: GPS Not Required

The parsha opens with Hashem commanding Avraham Avinu, “Go to the land that I will show you.” The obvious question is: why the vague directive? Why did Hashem not immediately tell Avraham his exact destination? Rashi quotes the midrash that it was to give Avraham reward for every step that he took. Yet the question seemingly


A Solution to the Tuition Crisis

The chagim are behind us, and that means the season of yeshiva open houses is about to begin. Over the next few weeks, parents will have the opportunity to attend open house presentations at each school and to tour the schools to experience them first-hand. Soon enough, it will be time to select a school for your child.


Whose Responsibility Is It Anyway?

Often on various local Listserv groups people post requests for suggestions of where to send their 2- or 3-year-olds to play group or nursery schools. Already in this past month of September there were queries about day camps for the Summer 2018. Some we realize are interested in registering early in order to avail themselves of

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