The Human Tragedy of Tisha B’av

August 5, 2014, by

One of the biggest challenges of Tisha b’Av is finding the strength to feel pain that has had thousands of years to heal. For many people, the day ruefully memorializes our fallen temples, but unfortunately, the loss of our temple is no reason to be sad for many of our brethren. Perhaps this explains the

The Other Side of Me

July 31, 2014, by

As our apartment door closed behind me a tidal wave of guilt, sadness and pain washed over me. I could swear my three-month old daughter Emma was screaming at me as I slowly turned the key to lock the door. The air closed in around me, suffocating every breath as one foot moved in front

Tisha B’av in Chile

July 31, 2014, by

In July 2006, as a young and curious college student, I arrived in Santiago, Chile for a semester as an exchange student at one of the country’s universities. I had the opportunity to live with a warm and generous Jewish family that is part of Santiago’s relatively small Orthodox community. I arrived about two weeks

Courage: Rabbi Yisroel Spira z”tl of Bluzhev

July 31, 2014, by

Ours is a time of confusion. Neither Orwell nor Jonathan Swift could have better imagined a world in which black is white, left is right, or up is down. Crass materialism is considered success. Ever more radical ideas and behaviors are considered the norm. Bluster is confused with moral courage. The media is more than

Not My Usual Column

July 31, 2014, by

I know you are used to me writing on matters of health, fitness, lifestyle, nutrition and the like. But now I am going to take advantage of my column space and tell you about something else entirely. My wife and I will have lived in Eretz Yisrael for 29 years this August. We have raised

Ask Aviva: OK to be Obsessed

July 31, 2014, by

Dear Aviva, I have a problem that I can’t seem to get rid of. I guess you would say that I have obsessive thoughts. There are some things that I am always obsessed about (like if people like me and if I look ok), and there are other things, like if a tragedy happened, then

Putting East Brunswick On The Map

July 31, 2014, by

As first time participants in the OU Home and Job Relocation Fair (popularly known as the OU Jewish Communities Fair), representatives of the Young Israel of East Brunswick (YIEB) in central New Jersey knew a game plan was necessary to achieve their goal of enticing young families to move there. Priding itself as “a one

5 Steps to a Perfect Apology

July 31, 2014, by

As we enter the Nine Days, we are reminded of the Talmudic dictum, “kol dor she lo nivneh b’yamav, k’ilu hechrivo,” “each generation in which the Holy Temple is not rebuilt in its days is as if it destroyed it” (Talmud YerushalmiYoma 5a). The Second Temple was destroyed due to baseless hatred, sinas chinam, (Talmud

“Why Do They Ask the Impossible of the Jews?”

July 29, 2014, by

This post originally appeared on Anne Frank’s Diary Read Today I recently finished reading the Diary of Anne Frank. Toward the end of book, Anne describes how the people of Holland (where she is hiding) have started to become more antisemitic, even as they are all hoping to be liberated from the Nazis. She