Monday, August 15, 2022


‘Shtill Shtending’

I’ve never really been a shtender person. I’ve never really had a problem holding my own siddur. It reminds me that I’m davening.

Sure, I understand that a chazzan needs a shtender, because he has to stand the whole time, and he has an extra-heavy, large-print siddur with big letters and


Yup, It’s Graduation Time

Sorry folks, with graduation rapidly approaching I need to write the cliched, sappy graduation column. If you aren’t in the mood, just turn the page and we will call it a day. If you are still with me, here we go.

It seems like just yesterday that I gave birth to son #2. Cue “Sunrise, Sunset”; man,


How Do Jews Mourn?

After One-Hundred-and-Twenty: Reflecting on Death, Mourning, and the Afterlife in the Jewish Tradition, by Hillel Halkin

(Princeton University Press, 2016), 226 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-691-14974-5 $29.95

Hillel Halkin is an


My Brother Irving z”l

It was because of Irving that I learned what true love was all about at a very early age. Irving was one year younger than I, almost to the day, so we grew up together, but he was different than I. He couldn’t talk or even put words together to form a sentence because at his birth someone made a blunder when tying his navel. That


Baby Should Stay Home

One week ago, on Sunday evening, we had the pleasure of attending a wedding in Montreal.

It is always great to see old friends and reacquaint ourselves with what is going on in everyone’s lives. As per usual, after the kabbalat panim and badeken, everyone was asked to go into the sanctuary for


How to Teach Parsha to a Pluralistic Crowd

If there’s one thing I love about my community it’s the diversity. Yes, approximately half of our members come from outside the tri-state area, from 15 different countries and across the US, but that’s not the diversity I’m talking about. It’s the educational diversity of the children in my shul. As Youth Director of Congregation


The Expulsion of Jews From Lithuania and Courland 1915

It was a time of trial and tribulation for World Jewry. Shavuot 1915 was one of the largest single expulsions of Jews since Roman times. Over 200,000 Jews in Lithuania and Courland would be abruptly forced from their homes into dire circumstances.

With the advance of the German army on the Eastern front


Some Numerical Thoughts for Shavuot

A theme of the holiday of Shavuot is the number seven (i.e., seven weeks). A child of a friend once asked me if there was any connection between the word for the number seven, shivah, and the word for an oath: shevuah. I had never noticed the similar root before! Most scholars would make a connection and would suggest that


A Shavuot Birthday Wish for Geula Shleima

Dear Hashem:

I would like to respectfully request a birthday present for the Jewish people for Shavuot. We became a great people on this day over 3,000 years ago. Hashem, there is nothing like Your Torah. Every sedra, every word, every letter. To say that the Torah is chock full of meaning would


TABC’s Rabbi Daniel Fridman Presents ‘Ruth: Mother of Redemption’

For the past six weeks, Mondays at TABC saw the assemblage of 50 plus women who came to hear Rabbi Daniel Fridman, faculty member at TABC, expound upon Megillat Rut. The series was organized by Terry Norman, executive director of TABC, and graciously sponsored by the Forgash family in conjunction with the Torah Academy Parents


Why Do We Daven?

You have to daven. We have to pray. But why? Why do we have to daven? We’re taught because it’s Jewish law. Why do we learn it this way? Why do we find it so difficult to pray to God? Shouldn’t a Jew want to daven; to pray; to talk to God, the Creator of the universe; to thank Him for our lives, our health, our food, our families; to


Stand Up and Be Counted

We all have people in our lives who have inspired us at some point. This past Sunday, I attended the funeral of a person who played such a role in my life: Mr. Naftali Itzkowitz z”l. I practically grew up in the Itzkowitz home and was given the honor to speak at his levayah. I mentioned that at the very beginning of this week’s parsha,

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