Saturday, June 03, 2023


Slightly Discomfortable

A lot of people might not know this, but it’s important to go to the doctor once in a while. Even when you’re healthy. Seriously. He won’t be upset that you wasted his time. And if the doctor doesn’t see you when you’re healthy, how will he know when you’re sick? He has to have something to measure it against. Maybe


Acknowledging What the Arabs Are Saying About Israel

During the Yom Kippur War in October 1973, my neighbor on French Hill in Jerusalem was a retired high-level CIA analyst and operative. Despite an almost complete embargo of information about the war in the Israeli press, he was able to discern the dire threat we faced by analyzing the international news reports he heard on his


There Is No Mitzvah to Be a Freier

“Search Engine: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts,” by Rabbi Gil Student. Kodesh Press. Paperback, 398 pages. 2018. ISBN-10: 1947857045. $24.95.

Nice guys do not have to finish last. Nor must they suffer from people who refuse to play by the rules. Jewish law allows for


Before You Can Love Others, Learn to Love Yourself

My problem with women is that I feel that I always like them more than they like me. I’m a very romantic, devoted kind of guy. Once I meet someone I like, I think about them constantly and feel the need to be in touch daily and get together often. I would think that women would feel flattered to know that someone is thinking


Help a Teaneck Family Devastated by a House Fire

The Schreck family of Teaneck had their home severely impacted by a house fire in which a neighboring Teaneck couple lost their lives. The Schrecks will be displaced from their home for some time, and have lost many of their clothes and other items. Donations are being accepted, at Teaneck police headquarters, of items including


OU Sets Timeline for Shuls Employing Female Clergy

The Orthodox Union, after a year of discussions with various stakeholders, has issued a statement establishing a three-year period for member shuls that employ female clergy to alter or reorganize processes and responsibilities in order to bring all shuls into compliance with OU standards, which explicitly state that a woman cannot


Avoda Zara 11

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 Avoda Zara 11. These are some highlights.

Avoda Zara 11: Should we


Chochmah Binah Va’Da’at or Dei’ah Binah V’Haskeil?

It is one of the most well-known variations in the text of the Amidah. In the fourth bracha of the Amidah, the prayer for wisdom, do we request chochmah, binah, da’at, or dei’ah, binah v’haskeil? An examination of the wide range of siddurim found at Congregation Shaarei Orah, the Sephardic Congregation of Teaneck, reveals


Two Books to Read for Purim

The book of Esther jumps immediately into the reign of Achashverosh, but provides little background. Fortunately, we get some background from the book of Ezra. There we learn that, after defeating the Babylonians, the Persian king Koresh gives permission to the Jewish exiles to return and build their Temple. The returnees


Everlasting Peace

Parshat Yitro

The dramatic scene of Hashem’s revelation to Bnai Yisrael at Har Sinai is depicted in this week’s parsha and is, naturally, the focal point of the Torah reading. It is there that all of the nation hears God’s voice as He publicly pronounces the Aseret HaDibrot and directs His


The Joy of Connection

As I was leaving shul one morning recently, a fellow stopped me and asked me the following question:

“I’m a BT (Ba’al Teshuva),” he began. “I learn Gemara, and it’s quite challenging for me. I know that I’m not going to be a great Torah scholar, and Gemara is particularly


Yisro: Actualizing Our Kedusha

Childhood memories are by far the most vivid. Decades later, they remain fresh in our minds. I can still remember the first time I saw a rock from Har Sinai. My first grade rebbe brought it with him to yeshiva, showing us the little bushes that were imprinted all over the rock. He even broke off a piece to demonstrate how the

Sign up now!