Saturday, January 28, 2023


The Secret of Success

The haftarah that we read from Sefer Zecharya this week is one familiar to us, for it serves as the reading for Shabbat Chanukah as well. The obvious connection to both Shabbatot is the theme of “menorah,” which is the source of our eight-branched chanukiah and the seven-branched Menorah of the Mishkan that opens our parsha.


The Whisper in the Crowd

The whisper. The shul is packed with people, and they are all waiting for that whisper. It will be any minute now. All eyes are glued to one man as the moment draws nearer. Any second now.

Silence, except maybe for the baby’s whimper. The father of the 8-day-old child leans over and


What Will They Think of Next?

As parents and teachers, we know that various stressors impact our children’s ability to focus and pay attention, take notes, do homework, study or take tests. We also know that each child has a distinct learning style. Some children cannot sit for long periods of time without getting


My Father’s Letters to My Mother From the M/S St. Louis

Part 7—Sunday June 4, 1939

(this letter continued from last week)

Friday morning the boats were forbidden to come near the St. Louis, and I therefore could not see Benno anymore from the near. But when the ship left, we saw him in the


Rabbi Yossi Katz Celebrates a Weekend of Jewish Milestones

A wedding, a bris, a bar mitzvah, oh my! It’s not often people find themselves attending all three events three days in a row. However, Rabbi Yossi Katz of the Lubavitch on the Palisades had the privilege of being not just a spectator at these life-cycle events, but the rabbi officiating at all of them as


The Pain of Love

It seems so easy. Young and innocent, older and wiser, like-minded or otherwise: couples meet. Suddenly the ground beneath them is shaking, the stars are definitely shining more brightly and the precision of the sounds of an orchestra become that much more pure and clear. What is this phenomenon?


Moriah Plus Plans Mini-Camps for Summer 2017

The transition between school and camp, both at the beginning and at the end of the summer, can be a busy and challenging time for most parents. Luckily, Moriah Plus has come up with a way to make these transition periods fun and stress free with the Moriah Plus Mini-Camps.


Glass Houses

If you’re looking to save money on your utility bill, I would highly recommend replacing your windows. Sure, you might not be able to afford to, but as the salesman told us, you can’t afford not to. It’s a lose-lose situation.

The salesman approached my wife in BJ’s, which is a


A Walk in the Woods at the Age of Nine

When I was about 9 years old, my parents drove up to a small hotel in the Catskill mountains for a vacation and a well-deserved rest and, of course, they took me along with them. The hotel was aptly called “Ah Koch Ahlain.” There was a large farm kitchen that was shared by all of the guests at intervals, and as the name implies, you did


Bava Batra 122

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


This week we learned Bava Batra 122. These are some highlights.

Bava Batra 122: Who owns the


Parshas Naso—the Power of Commitment

When I was learning in the Mir Yeshiva in Yerushalayim, I was part of a smaller group that learned with our rosh yeshiva, Harav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, zt”l. Tuesdays were special in the Mir, for Rav Finkel would give a shiur to the entire student body—well over a thousand students. Earlier in the day, while learning with our


Celebrating the Power of Restraint—A Shavuot Message

Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky relates the following poignant story:

I once sat on an overseas flight next to a talkative executive who was skeptical about his own Jewish heritage. During the first hours of the flight, the man peppered me with questions, mostly cynical, about Judaism.

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