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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.

A Choice Economy?

Never before have Wall Street’s greatest stalwarts and Washington’s shrewdest pundits been so puzzled. There is widespread agreement that the economy is fragile at best.  But everyone seems to be scratching their heads about what we can do to right the ship.

The President, the candidates seeking to replace him and economists are all trying desperately to come up with a plan that will drastically improve our country’s abysmal unemployment and lethargic economic growth.

Certainly there are debates to be had and choices to be made.

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In the opening words of this week’s Torah portion, Re’eh, we are told, “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse. The blessing, that you will heed… Read More »

Remaining Thankful

This week’s shocking terror attacks in southern Israel jolted many of us.  As we mourn the loss of the victims and pray for the recovery of the injured, we are reminded of the challenges we still face.

Where do we draw the energy and passion to stand strong against atrocities as these? How do we effectively grieve, yet celebrate the amazing accomplishments of preserving our people and our tradition?

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In this week’s Torah portion, Eikev, we are taught to thank G-d for the food He gives us: “And you will eat and be sated, and you shall bless the L-rd, your G-d, for the good land He has given you.”

The Talmud goes so far as to say that we are required to mention three things during the second blessing of… Read More »

American Jew or Jewish American?

I am often asked what I consider more important, being Jewish or being American?

Truth be told there is no contradiction between the two whatsoever, and I am proud to be both.

I sometimes respond to people by asking, “What is more important to you – being American or being human?”

Ultimately, we cherish our American identity because we love our country. But we cherish our human identity because we are human. If we cease being American, we have lost something dear and critical to who we are. But if we were to cease being human, we would simply cease to exist.

A deeper insight from this week’s parsha might help us understand this.

The Midrash relates that Moshe said to G-d: Master of the Universe!… Read More »

Raise the Debt Ceiling or Reduce the Deficit?

Our nation’s elected officials have recently been debating the pros and cons of raising the amount of money America is authorized to borrow. Along with that a contentious debate has also emerged about getting our country’s deficit reduced.  A deal was finally reached to avert a would-be crisis of maxing out the nation’s credit card.

There are many opinions and various suggested approaches on how to best get America’s fiscal house in order. Should revenue be increased via taxation? Should we enter an era of radical austerity? Should we simply learn to live within our means? Should another stimulus package be implemented?

What all pundits and parties agree upon is that whatever tack is taken, it… Read More »

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