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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.

Divine Overdose

As we read about the adversity facing our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land, we wonder what will be. The world around us is changing so quickly, we are consumed with emotion.

Purim has just passed and Passover is around the corner. Here again our mind starts racing. What is the meaning of Pesach? How can I internalize it into my life?

***

This week’s parsha, Shmini, tells of the tragic death of two fo Aaron’s sons, Nadav and Avihu. The Torah states that they died because “each of them took his censer, and put fire in it, and put incense on it, and offered strange fire before G-d, which He commanded them not.” Subsequently, “A fire went out from G-d, and consumed them, and they died before… Read More »

The Mordechai Model

A popular joke tells:  It had been raining for days and days, and a terrible flood had come over the land. The waters rose so high that one man was forced to climb onto the roof of his house.

As the waters rose higher and higher, a man in a rowboat appeared, and told him to get in. "No," replied the man on the roof. "I have faith in the L-rd; the L-rd will save me." So the man in the rowboat went away. The man on the roof prayed for G-d to save him.

The waters rose higher and higher, and suddenly a speedboat appeared. "Climb in!" shouted a man in the boat. "No," replied the man on the roof. "I have faith in the L-rd; the L-rd will save me." So the man in the speedboat went away. The… Read More »

The Price of Oil

As we observe the price of oil rising due to instability in certain regions and devastating natural disasters that cause tsunamis thousands of miles away – we recognize that our world is an interdependent one. So many events in the world around us impact us indirectly.

This reminds me of a famous Midrash in this week’s Parsha of Vayikra, which tells the following parable:

A group of people were traveling in a boat. One of them took a drill and began to drill a hole beneath himself.

His companions said to him: "Why are you doing this?" Replied the man: "What concern is it of yours? Am I not drilling under my own place?"

Said they to him: "But you will flood the boat for us all!"

It’s easy… Read More »

Home Sweet Home

An old Yiddish saying proclaims, “It’s good to travel, but it’s better to come home.”

There’s something special about home that nothing else can compare to. Even the greatest getaways lack the somewhat mystical quality of home.

What is it about the home that creates this special aura? After all, a five-star hotel provides more luxury and comfort than many homes.

***

In this week’s Torah portion of Pekudei we read (again) about the construction of G-d’s home on earth, the Mishkan. Rashi records that Moshe told Bezalel (the lead craftsman) to make the vessels of the Tabernacle first and the dwelling place afterward, but Bezalel responded, ‘Don't we usually build the house first and… Read More »

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