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A Fresh Torah

October 19, 2017, by

I have never enjoyed learning Chumash. While I love learning Torah She Baal Peh, and find that my passion and appreciation for the logic of the halachic process can help make the material come alive for my students, I have never felt that way about learning Chumash, and therefore, I have always stayed away from

I Am So Sick of Your Oxford Comma

October 18, 2017, by

A few months ago, a $10-million Maine lawsuit involving overtime pay for dairy workers was decided on the basis of the lack of an Oxford comma. The problem lay in the following list of activities for which workers could not receive overtime pay, to wit, “The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for

Sukkah on the Arts Quad

October 18, 2017, by

This fall, Cornell University made history with its own custom-built Sukkah on the Arts Quad, right in the middle of campus.  This Sukkah was a unique collaboration between Cornell Hillel and students in the Architecture department.  Guiding them and consulting every step of the way was OU-JLIC Educator, Rabbi Daniel Kasdan.   Architecture students began

In Defense of School on Chol Hamoed

October 17, 2017, by

Over the past number of years, a debate has quietly simmered beneath the surface of the American Jewish Day School community regarding school on Chol Hamoed Sukkot. My sense is that more schools are moving away from having school on Chol Hamoed than moving towards it, and not without good reason. It is true that

A New Year with the Same Problems

October 17, 2017, by

It’s the New Year of 5778 Habah Aleinu L’Tovah. We have just finished a very hectic three weeks where a lot of eating and sedentary life style have been the rule.  This was very challenging and difficult to navigate when it came to managing our health.  But while we look forward to the coming year,

Daven Like Water on a Rock

October 3, 2017, by

Under normal circumstances, I don’t happen to be one of the world’s most impressive daveners. There are fast daveners and there are slow daveners and most days of the year I fall into the fast category. The exception is the yomim noraim (the “High Holidays”). I learned long ago that davening with kavanah on Rosh

Ephemeral Mentality

October 3, 2017, by

Gourmet Coffee A “Push Present” is a gift a husband gives to his wife to mark the occasion of her giving birth to their child. After our most recent child was born my wife reversed the trend and surprised me with a gift (during her difficult pregnancy she rightfully “pushed” all other responsibilities on me.)

Temporary Dwellings

October 3, 2017, by

Last Elul, I put all my belongings in storage and hit the open road. For the next ten months, I had no home. I was a nomad living on the road, visiting cities and Jewish communities across the United States. The trip began in New York and took me from the East Coast to West

Israel’s top tennis player quits mid-match for Yom Kippur

October 2, 2017, by

Dudi Sela, Israel’s top-ranked men’s singles tennis player, quit mid-game at the Wuhan Open in China on Friday due to the imminent start of Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Sela, ranked 77 in the world, was down 1-0 in the third set of his quarter-final game with Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine. They split

Sukkot: Keeping the Big Picture in Mind

October 1, 2017, by

Anger is a force of nature stronger than any tsunami, hurricane, or earthquake I’ve experienced. While the latter can destroy cars and buildings, anger can destroy human beings. Every day during my morning commute on the bus, I see regular people—moms and dads, lawyers and accountants—screaming at each other over who gets the window seat.

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