Rabbi's Blog

Rabbi Mendel's Blog

Rabbi Mendel's blog features his Dvar Torah (Torah lesson) column from the weekly E-TORAH, ocassional musings and other articles that he authors from time to time.
Your comments are welcome.

From Thanksgiving to Black Friday

I have always thought it somewhat amusing that Thanksgiving – a day of reflection and gratitude for the important things in life – is immediately followed by the shopping frenzy of Black Friday. Isn’t it ironic that we Americans go from our humble feelings of thanksgiving to an all-out campaign of ‘give me more’? True, many are searching for gifts to give others, but the atmosphere smacks of greed and encourages jealousy. 

Many in America will be heading to shopping malls or online merchants in the wee hours of the morning tomorrow to cash in on Black Friday sales. In fact, news reports tell of a fierce price war between major businesses – each trying to undercut the other’s pri… Read More »

TSA Checkpoint

Heading home from the International Shluchim Conference last week, I was checking through security at JFK airport in New York. The TSA agent checking my identification looked me up and down and then had a second look at my driver’s license. “There are Jews in Idaho?!” he asked incredulously. “Yes, that’s where I live,” I replied simply. “You must be Chabad,” he commented quickly.

From his pronunciation I quickly gathered that he himself was Jewish. “Indeed, I serve as the Chabad rabbi in Boise and I’m returning home from a Chabad conference,” I explained.

“Wow… Soon there is going to be a Shul on the moon and it will be Chabad,” he sai… Read More »

Gefilte Fish

I am fortunate to spend this Shabbat amongst colleagues and family at the annual International Shluchim Conference in New York.

As I was going through security at the Boise airport en route to New York, I was stopped by one of the screeners.  No, this time he did not stop me because I had suspicious materials, but because he wanted to ask me a question.

He pulled me aside and said, "Tell me, where can I get gefilte fish here in Boise? Not the jarred kind, the real kind."

Turns out he was not Jewish, but had once tasted gefilte fish and wanted to get some.  I explained to him the kosher food dilemma and advised him of some websites and recipes. And I was on my way.

But that got me thinking.  There … Read More »

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