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.

The Big Spill

Much ink has been spilled about the recent oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Efforts to plug the incessant flow are muddled in doubt.

We too, sometimes struggle with shutting down our own internal spigot. At times, it’s a flow of unwanted feelings, or words that we know we should not be saying. It can be a deviant behavior that we are wrestling to overcome. How do we put a stop-gag on our own inner spring of activity that seems to shoot forth from the depths of our darker side?

In healing there are two approaches: One is to fight the ailment head-on. Treat the condition directly. The other is to strengthen the body – via more healthy eating, exercise and regimen that will bolster the body’s own immune sy… Read More »

How, Not If

In this week’s Torah portion, Nasso, we read about the instruction to the Kohanim (priests) to bless the Jewish people. The Torah states:

The Lord spoke to Moses saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying: This is how you shall bless the children of Israel, saying to them: "May the Lord bless you and watch over you. May the Lord cause His countenance to shine to you and favor you. May the Lord raise His countenance toward you and grant you peace." They shall bestow My Name upon the children of Israel, so that I will bless them. (Numbers 6:22-27).

The commandment for the Kohanim to bless the Jewish people is counted as one of the 613 commandments of the Torah. Yet, interestingly, the Torah does not give a specific ins… Read More »

Give and Take

The upcoming holiday of Shavuot is commonly referred to as the time of Kabbalat HaTorah, receiving the Torah, commemorating the event of Revelation at Sinai 3322 years ago. In the Chassidic community it is customary to wish each other, “Kabbalat HaTorah B’Simcha U’bipnimiyut,” meaning “May you receive the Torah with joy and internalization.”

If we look at the liturgy for the holiday, the name of Shavuot in the siddur is “the Festival of the Giving the Torah.”

So which one is it? Is it the celebration of receiving the Torah or of giving the Torah? Obviously, both occurred. Any gifting between two parties results in a give and take. But why the discrepancy in reference to S… Read More »

Net Worth

After today’s stock market roller coaster, some people are wondering what is their true net worth.


A vastly rich man was once asked about his net worth. After replying with a figure lower than his assumed wealth, he was questioned, “Have you not understated your assets?”

“No,” he replied, “I’ve stated my true assets, the charity that I have given.”


In the second of this week’s two Torah portions, Behar and Bechukosai, we read of the pledges to the Temple. The Torah tells us that a standard amount was collected from someone who pledged to give the value of a specific person to the Temple. Regardless of the person’s occupation, piety, or talent – it was t… Read More »

Mazal Tov!

Mazal Tov!

We are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, born at S. Alphonsus Medical Center in Boise on Friday night, April 30 / 17 Iyar at 11:25 PM.

Boruch Hashem, Esther and the baby are both doing well.

The baby weighed 6 lbs, 10 oz and measured 20.5 inches at birth.

The Baby Naming Ceremony and a Kiddush in the baby's honor will be held on Shabbat, May 8 at 11:30 am at our home, 6114 N Cape Arago Pl, Boise, ID 83714.  Ceremony to be followed by kiddush luncheon.

Mazal Tov!

Mazal Tov to my brother Shmuel on the occassion of his engagement to Ruti Apfelbaum of Halandale, Florida.

May they build a true Jewish family and home and enjoy each other fo many years to come! 

The wedding will be held in June 2010.

Mazal Tov! 

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