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

Throwing Our Esrogim at the Shabbos App

October 7, 2014, by

This article originally appeared at It is fifteen years later and I still vividly remember how offended and insulted I felt. In my second year studying at YU’s Gruss Kollel in Israel, I joined a separate program twice a week that focused on training outreach professionals. I was the one YU guy among an

You Can’t Harm Me, You Can’t Help Me

October 7, 2014, by

“Do not take revenge.” [Vayikra 19:18] One day, you ask to borrow my shovel. I refuse. The next day, I say to you, “May I borrow your hammer?” You respond, “Yesterday, when I asked you for a shovel, you wouldn’t help me. I’m going to pay you back in kind. Now that you need something,

Ask Aviva: Don’t Wanna be Drugged

October 1, 2014, by

Dear Aviva, I was prescribed some anti-depressant medication after having recent bouts of depression. I am hesitant to fill my prescription though, due to a number of reasons. I feel that there is still a stigma with taking drugs for mental illness and if people were to find out, they would regard me differently. Secondly,