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Tisha b’Av is not about the Beit Hamikdash

July 19, 2018, by

Everyone knows that the reason we fast on Tisha b’Av is because we are mourning the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash, the Temple that stood in Jerusalem.  Everyone but the Rambam, Maimonides. In his commentary to the first chapter of Tractate Rosh Hashanah, the Rambam presents an interesting assertion with regards to Jewish history.  He

Breaking in Order to Build

July 18, 2018, by

Thinking about the upcoming observance of Tisha b’Av, I was struck by a bit of irony. (At least, I think it’s irony, though I’ve been a little paranoid ever since I heard a song mocking Alanis Morissette’s use of the word “ironic.” I comfort myself that I’m unlikely to make it so big that people

9 Questions for 9 Av

July 18, 2018, by

1. What is Tisha b’Av? Tisha b’Av – the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av – is the saddest day in the Jewish calendar. It commemorates a number of tragedies that occurred on that date, most notably the destruction of both Temples, some five centuries apart. 2. Why did so many tragedies occur

Tisha b’Av: When It’s Wrong to be Right

July 16, 2018, by

For as long as I can remember, “winning,” has been a goal of mine. Board games. Athletics. Test scores. My enjoyment of these topics usually depended on if I was winning or not. In professional life too, I find myself looking at things through the lens of winning. Did we reach our campaign goals? Did

When Nothing Feels Missing: How Do We Make Tisha B’Av Personal?

July 16, 2018, by

Yom Kippur is my favorite day of the year (I know, I’m weird). The intensity, the single-minded focus that spending the day davening in shul allows, the steps of teshuva and self improvement which are spelled out already from Elul; all contribute to allowing me to leave the day feeling cleansed and spiritual. I literally

Letting Go

July 16, 2018, by

A Holocaust survivor chooses to let go, with regards to his best friend’s act of betrayal during the War. Watch this inspiring story from Rabbi Yoel Gold’s “Inspire Clips”.

Mashiach’s Hat

July 16, 2018, by

(Originally published as “Ode to Purim”) “yeshno am echod m’Foozar umi’forud” To all of “us”, from one of “them”. ————————————— T’was the night of the geulah, and in every single shteibel, sounds of Torah could be heard, coming from every kind of Yeidel. This one in English, some in Hebrew, some in Yiddish, some saying

Delicious Lasagna Recipes for Shavuot!

May 9, 2018, by

Shavuot is one of those culinary centric holidays where everyone is trying to outdo everyone else with crazy over the top dairy recipes and anyone who is lactose intolerant gives a heavy sigh and reaches for Lactaid. I find that a pasta or fish entrée is usually the best way to whet the appetite for

Pesach is Creating Memories I Never Had

March 27, 2018, by

Pesach is one of the few Jewish holidays that baalei teshuva (BTs) and frum from births (FFBs) can both reminisce about. Sure, a BT’s memories may be more about Manischewitz wine, background TV in the other room, and driving home after seder, while a FFB’s memories are more about matzah measuring charts, ziploc bags of

Bringing Tam to Our Table

March 27, 2018, by

I met a man a few years ago who had once been a well known student of a famed Torah scholar. I was shocked when I discovered that although he could quote much of the Torah he had once learned, he was no longer entirely observant. While the intellectual rigor of Torah still excited his