A young boy runs his fingers over the leather spine of the story book he receives as a Hanukkah gift. He loves the feel of the beautiful lettering playing beneath his fingers. He is entranced by the beautiful illustrations accompanying the stories. He gives no thought to the extra hours his father worked in order
Can a simple top, a delightful toy for children, really speak to me in the aftermath of tragedy? In the aftermath of a Har Nof? Although some might suggest otherwise, questioning how a mere toy, could possibly carry the weight of such an event, I believe that the dreidel in fact can afford insight into
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
We live in a world of kaanaus. Zealotry and extremism fuels politics, relationships, worship. Kanaaim fail to understand how demeaning their perspective and behavior is to their fellow Jews; how degrading. In their eyes, Jews who are not like them are hardly worthy to be considered Jews at all. Has their kaanaus enriched our community
In my previous essay, I wrote about the shanda of families turning away from their children when they became OTD children, Off the Derech. While acknowledging how hurtful and confusing it is to have children who leave the path, I wrote that the only way for them to find a way back to the path is
The Nesivos Shalom teaches that in Mitzrayim, Hashem purposefully waited through our generations of slavery for us to finally arrive at our lowest possible spiritual and physical condition before referring to us as, “My firstborn son.” Why? He waited in order to prove to us for all time that He does not love us based
We Jews wandered the four corners of the earth for so many centuries, never having a home where we could feel completely safe. Our experience from Egypt to the galut taught us to respect the dignity of the stranger and to reach out to the needy. When we were vulnerable, the voices of our sages
Every Jewish educator knows that what they teach is vital. Fewer seem to appreciate that who we teach is even more important.
These fasts demand that we bring “suffering” upon ourselves. But why? do our fasts accomplish what the mitzvah demands? After all, the events that these fasts commemorate happened long, long ago. How could we possibly identify with those times. And how does giving up our Starbucks help us do so?
Just as a fish cannot live out of water, Rav Yose made clear that a spiritually-motivated Jew cannot survive away from a dynamic, honest, ethical and moral Torah environment. Nothing of the world, no gold, silver, luxury or technological toy can substitute for “the Torah of Your mouth.”