Ask Aviva: Kid in College

October 29, 2014, by

Dear Aviva, I am a junior in college and feel like I am going to fail at life. I am not ready to be a grad and to start living life as an adult. I know I am not ready. Does this mean I am certain to fail at life? -Kid in College Dear Kid

One Bad Apple

October 27, 2014, by

I wasn’t going to talk about Rabbi Barry Freundel. I really wasn’t. When I have occasion to reference a news story within the community, I tend to obscure the names of the involved parties because I find it unseemly to air our dirty laundry in public. When I do reference a current event, I give

Hashem Loves You

October 27, 2014, by

I was speaking in an out-of-town community on the topic of the four levels of emunah. I spent some time dwelling on the third level: that Hashem knows our thoughts. I explained the parable of the transparent man, and that Hashem peers into my essence and knows exactly what I’m thinking as I think it.

The Ottawa Attack: A Response to the Tragedy

October 23, 2014, by

When a long anticipated hockey game is cancelled in Canada, you know something is very wrong. Wednesday, October 22, 2014, was very wrong in Ottawa, with reverberations across Canada, indeed across the world. What police have now confirmed was a lone gunman shot and killed an unarmed soldier manning the War Memorial in downtown Ottawa,

Ask Aviva: The Duped Parents

October 23, 2014, by

Dear Aviva, We have a darling son, age 6, who is so bright, articulate, and generally adorable. The problem is that he thinks he rules the roost. He thinks he is IN CHARGE, and I am fairly certain he can take down any hardcore lawyer with the way he can negotiate. He needs things to

How to Take an Insult

October 23, 2014, by

When I was in third grade, I had a teacher who taught us how to accept a compliment. “Don’t squirm,” she would say. “Look the person in the eye, and say thank-you.” While this was wise advice, I don’t recall any teacher telling us how to take an insult. The Chovos HaLevavos does (Sha’ar Bitachon

Jew in the City Picks Its 2014 Jewish Orthodox All Stars

October 22, 2014, by

Forbes-ranked hedge fund manager and philanthropist Henry Swieca, BCBGeneration Creative Director Joyce Azria, and Columbia Law School Dean Emeritus David Schizer are among ten individuals who have been named 2014 Orthodox Jewish All Stars by Jew in the City, the organization dedicated to re-branding Orthodox Jews and Judaism through digital media. In addition to Swieca,

A Bill of Rights for Jewish Converts

October 21, 2014, by

I am one of Rabbi Barry Freundel’s converts. He was my sponsoring rabbi and is the first signature on my RCA conversion documents. For a long time, I’ve been angry about my conversion, conversion in general and how I have been treated in the Jewish community post-conversion. I’ve been hesitant to speak out because I