Parashat Chayei Sarah: On This Day…Two Eulogies

November 1, 2007, by

Parashat Chayei Sarah 5768 Part One: Two Eulogies Part Two: On this day…. Part One – Two Eulogies The Gemara in Megilla 3a, discusses the important contribution of the illustrious Tana, Yonatan ben Uziel, the most outstanding student of Hillel (Suka 28a), with his Targum (explanatory translation) on Tanach. As an example the Gemara quotes

A Real Home

August 30, 2007, by

“I always wanted a real home with flowers on the windowsill.” — Carol King, popular song from the 1970sWithin hours of first breathing the cattle car’s nauseating air, we began to feel at home. “Home” was the edge of the wooden plank I sat on. — Elie Wiesel, Memoirs In the Jerusalem living-room of an

Parashat Ki Tisa: Tug-of-War and Crystal Balls

March 8, 2007, by

Parshat Ki Tisa 5767 Did it ever cross your mind, that we Jews, the most clever people on earth, abide by a code of laws which no one understands. We know when to keep the respective mitzvot and how to keep them to the most minute detail, but even the greatest rabbi cannot explain the

Noach: Carrying between Private and Public Domains

January 14, 2007, by

The Torah forbids carrying between a public domain and a private domain. On the one hand, this seems like the most insignificant of all the thirty-nine forbidden labors; it is hard to see exactly what constructive outcome is achieved. The Tosafot (beginning of Shabbat) call it an “inferior labor.” Yet in our sources it seems

SECRETS: The Diary of an Anglo Teen in Israel

January 11, 2007, by

OU Israel Drama Therapy Department produces…SECRETS: The Diary of an Anglo Teen in Israel “My name is Talia and my secret is that I cut school today…and yesterday… and the day before, but no one cared. My name is Michael and my secret is that when I leave the house I take off my kippa.

Once Every Seven Years

December 28, 2006, by

I love solitude. Quiet walks in the woods. Steady waves hitting the seashore. Bird watching and stargazing. I absolutely love solitude. It’s been twenty-two years now since I’ve experienced one quiet moment alone. The closest I’ve come to enjoying nature in solitude was when I polished the silver bowl that my grandfather left me. Someone

Parshat Vayetze: In Search of Truth

November 30, 2006, by

Am Yisrael is a nation steeped in the search for truth. There are billions of people who are satisfied with believing in falsehoods, regardless how absurd or ludicrous they may be, because it is convenient and because their fathers believed in them. If one’s conception of religion is belief in ‘immaculate conception’, so be it!

Fly Away Home

September 7, 2006, by

I knew it was coming, but the reality only began to hit me inexplicably, while selecting produce in a small neighborhood market. There, right in front of the zucchini and parsnips, I began to sob nearly uncontrollably. In less than four days, our eldest son would fly to Israel for a year of post-high school

Fiddling With Destiny

May 18, 2006, by

I owe my wife, our children and the entire course of my life over the past 20 years to having a few hours to spare back in late December 1985. I had a chance (?) encounter with Hashem where and when I least expected it and it changed my life. I was born and raised

Purim Pleasures Fit for a Queen (or a Jewish Princess!)

March 10, 2006, by

The quest for a recipe for Mohnlach began several weeks ago with a phone call from my mother’s cousin Roy. “Norene, maybe you can help me? I keep thinking about the poppy seed candy my mother used to make for Purim when I was a little boy. I thought if anyone would have the recipe,

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