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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.

Personal Identity Theft

How many advertisements a day do we hear about identity theft? It’s a serious concern nowadays. It may begin with a stolen credit card number, but if identity thieves get your detailed private information they can wreak havoc on your personal and financial life.

As technology continues to develop, concerns about safeguarding information rise. Part of that concern circles around intricate codes and numbers. After all, there may be many Jacob Goldsteins out there, but only one has the social security number with 3841 as the last four digits.

Imagine if we did away with social security numbers, dates of birth, names or any other personal information. Would that make us safer? Perhaps. But at what expense? Are we prepared to… Read More »

Off By a Few Thousand Years

I was shocked to hear President Obama’s remarks on Israel yesterday. Without getting into the nitty-gritty politics of it, the bottom line is that the president put our brothers and sisters in a very awkward and dangerous situation. By declaring that Israel must go back to the 1967 borders as the starting point for negotiations, he has entered uncharted territory.

Let’s not get distracted with questions of whether Israel should compromise this or that for peace. At the end of the day, President Obama insisted on using a certain time period as the premise for a Jewish presence in the Middle East.

To me, that is simply offensive and ignores historical facts. Yes, I am aware of the ‘realities on the… Read More »

All in the Family

In the Torah’s laws against usury and cheating we find an interesting verse in this week’s Parsha of Behar. “And when you make a sale to your fellow Jew or make a purchase from the hand of your fellow Jew, one man shall not wrong his brother.”

There are many details to the laws of interest and ethical business dealings. What’s strange here, however, is the end of the verse. Why is the Torah saying, “One man shall not wrong his brother?” The Torah already included everyone by saying “your fellow.”

***

Perhaps there is a greater lesson here as parents, children and extended family members.

It seems that we often put a little extra financial burden on family members. We would… Read More »

A Villain’s Gradual Demise

In the end he was hiding in plain sight. No caves and no mountains. No legions of guards and apparently unarmed.

Justice was served this week to one of history’s most heinous criminals. Terror leader Osama Bin Laden was assassinated by the US military in a suburban Pakistan compound where he had apparently been living for quite some time.

The operation was dramatic and marvelous. US Special Forces landed in helicopters and finished their job in less than 40 minutes. Their courage, skill and efforts are to be lauded.

But really it was not simply several minutes or hours of bravery that sealed Bin Laden’s fate. Nor was it a sudden leak of valuable information. Rather, it has now been revealed, his detection… Read More »

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