Monday, August 15, 2022


Why Orthodoxy Needs Its Left Wing

When I was a non-religious teenager exploring Orthodoxy, I was looking for something different. I had no need for a religion that supported the values I had absorbed from popular culture because I could get that elsewhere. However, I was not going to join a religion from another planet. I needed to be able to relate to a new community in


A Guest Whose Memory I Hold Dear

A short few weeks ago, close friends Scott and Helayne Ference came over for a Shabbos lunch. They brought with them Scott’s nephew Tzvi Yehezkel Ference, a 26-year-old Miami resident, who would be starting yeshiva in Connecticut.

Somehow, our lunch conversation led to the issue of mental


Weekly Roundup: Gittin 68-74

These Torah thoughts are dedicated le’iluy nishmas Menachem Mendel Ben Harav Yoel David Balk a”h.


This week we learned Gittin 68-74. Here are some highlights of the learning.

Gittin 68: The Shamir Worm and


Ki Tisa: Port St. Lucie

Shemot: 32

The sun had already set when Charlie Saltzman locked the front door of his dental office and walked across the parking lot toward his car. It was one of those chilly February days in New Jersey. Certainly it was cold, but it was so much more. Raw. Blustery. Angry. Charlie never understood what


An Action Plan in an Age of Rising Radical Islam

It was a breathtaking moment. I asked a group of highly successful Orthodox adults to raise their hand if they heard of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees from Israel’s War of Independence. Nearly everyone in the group raised his or her hand. I then asked how many knew of the nearly one million Sephardic/Eidot HaMizrah Jews


Getting Ahead of Ourselves

Do you know who really knows everything? The cab drivers in Eretz Yisrael. If you don’t believe me, just ask them. Actually, you don’t have to ask them, they’ll tell you themselves.

During our time in Eretz Yisrael we had our fair share of ear-chewing from the incomparable cab drivers of


Looking Back

After managing to convince Hashem, God, to spare and forgive the Jewish people following the Chet haEgel,the sin of the golden calf, Moshe Rabbeinu achieved a level of closeness with Hashem that was unparalleled in human history. Moshe saw an opportunity to learn more about Hashem. He proceeded to ask God to see His glory.


The Origins of Forgiveness: Validating Anger

Part III

My interest in the topic of forgiveness was inspired by my dear friend Sarah Light a”h. Sarah was an exemplary role model in this character trait, and so for her first yahrzeit, I decided to dedicate a Rosh Chodesh shiur for women, in her honor, based on my Torah study of this


Please Call Me Banji

Teaching your kids manners is always a challenge. When they are at home, we always say “please” and “thank you” and hope that at least those words will stick. There is nothing cuter than when your adorable little kid looks at you and say “peas” instead of “please.” It then becomes a party trick that the poor kid has to do


Past Their Bedtimes

You know what I realized? I write articles about dumb criminals all the time, and we all laugh, but that’s actually very judgmental of us. We barely know these people. We just know one single news story about them, and they happened to do something ridiculous, so automatically they’re “dumb criminals.” We don’t know anything about


Reading Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ New Book: ‘Not In God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence’

‘Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence (Schocken Books, NY 2015) 305 pp., ISBN: 978-0-8052-4334-5 $28.95


Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is the leading public Jewish intellect of our times. His brilliant oratory, his contemporary


Teen Table-Tennis Star Chooses Shabbat Over Olympics

She’s only 14, but earlier this month, Estee Ackerman became a member of a very exclusive club when the Shabbat-observant teen participated in the U.S. Olympic trials.

Her sport? Table tennis, in which she is ranked No. 14 in the country.

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