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Life

A Wedding Not to Be Missed

January 11, 2018, by

For 10 years, I prayed for the same thing everyday. When you’re married with children and one of your closest friends is still single, every simcha you are blessed with feels incomplete as you wonder, when will it be her turn to have these blessings in her life? My friend is an accomplished woman; professionally

You’re Right, Too

January 10, 2018, by

Two neighbors were fighting over a financial dispute. They couldn’t reach an agreement, so they took their case to the local rabbi. The rabbi heard the first litigant’s case, nodded his head and said, “You’re right.” The second litigant then stated his case. The rabbi heard him out, nodded again and said, “You’re also right.”

Pirkei Avot is a Dangerous Book

January 9, 2018, by

I recently made a surprising discovery: Pirkei Avot is a dangerous book. Sure, we call it “Ethics of Our Fathers,” which sounds fairly positive. And we regularly encourage our children to learn it, often giving them copies at the tender age of 12 or 13 without a second thought. But as my (adult) students recently

Making my Father Proud

January 3, 2018, by

I was 11 years old when I saw my father show his disappointment in me for the first time. My Dad and I would daven the morning prayers together every day. He was going out of town on a business trip with my mother and I assured him that I would daven every morning even

When it’s not Winter Break for Imma

December 28, 2017, by

It’s winter break. For some, that means heading down to Disney or Miami, to Israel or to the ski slopes. But it’s hard for my husband to get away for so long and a two-week long vacation is an expense we can’t afford, so every year, we go away for a few days and spend

Finding Uzi

December 27, 2017, by

They warned me: Never set foot in Sh’chunat Hatikva. The so-called “Neighborhood of Hope” was anything but. It was notorious as the most dangerous neighborhood in Tel Aviv and the home of the leading crime bosses in Israel. But as a 20-year old, I figured I knew better. I was part of a group of volunteers

Looks Like We Made It: OU, Chabad Conquer Comic Books

December 26, 2017, by

Since 1939, when the Human Torch and Sub-Mariner first appeared in Marvel Mystery Comics #1, one question has plagued aficionados of four-color literature: does the Orthodox Union exist in the Marvel Universe? Finally, that question has been laid to rest thanks to Ms. Marvel #25, released on December 20, 2017. First, some background. For the

Why are You Here? Truth, Comfort, and Religious Motivation

December 26, 2017, by

Looking around synagogue–particularly on Yom Kippur–we see some people who’ve come searching for God and we see those people who’ve come because they want to socialize. And we see ourselves judging those people. NCSY Director of Education Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin looks at why people seek religion, who is right, and what we can do when

Protecting Our Legacies

December 26, 2017, by

In tractate Taanis (5b), Rabbi Nachman makes a bold statement: Our forefather Yaakov never died. This actually makes a lot of sense. After all, Genesis 25:8 tells us explicitly that Avraham died. Genesis 35:29 says overtly that Yitzchak died. For that matter, Genesis 5:5 says that Adam died, 9:29 tells us that Noach died and

Halacha-Shaming is Counter-Productive, in Addition to Just Plain Wrong

December 21, 2017, by

There’s been a little bit of buzz lately about sheitels; in particular, whether certain sheitels, of certain styles or cuts, conform to certain standards of halacha and hashkafa. Notice, I didn’t say whose standards. As outlined here, the debate about whether or not a wig constitutes an appropriate head covering for a married Jewish woman

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