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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.

Environmental Protection Agency

The US Environmental Protection Agency states that its mission is to ensure “all Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work.” To this end, since its inception under President Nixon, the EPA continues to enforce regulations authorized by Congress that mitigate or eliminate risk to human health and the environment.

Recently, there has been considerable debate about the extension of the Clean Air Act, which impacts fuel economy of motor vehicles, among other things.

Most people accept that I need some sort of regulation protecting me from others that create hazardous situations, such as a company that pollutes my drinking water. But what if I pollute my… Read More »

Heroic Failure

Our society is infatuated with heroes. From Superman to Chesley Sullenberger, we admire heroes. What is it about heroes that fills us with awe and adoration?

Felix Baumgartner parachuted to earth from the edge of space. After years of planning, setbacks and failures he triumphed. Yet, what made him a hero was overcoming his four and a half minutes of fear and terror.

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In this week’s parsha, Noach, we read about the great Flood. G-d was angry with mankind’s corrupt behavior and elected to start over. He caused a great flood to wipe out all creatures. The only human exceptions were Noach and his family.

The Torah relates that after the flood Noach “remained alone.” We can only imagine how… Read More »

Raising Cain

In the Torah’s opening portion, Bereishit, we glean a great deal about human nature. We are introduced to the purest of souls, G-d’s handiwork – Adam. We also become acquainted with human frailty and iniquity.

The most evil act of all seems to come toward the end of the parsha, when Cain kills his brother Abel.

Cain goes down in history as a terrible fellow. And he was. Though he did not have the luxury of past history to inform him, human blood is human blood. The Torah underlines this value unequivocally.

You would think that such a murderer ends up in the dustbins of history and is never heard from again.

Yet, amazingly, we are all descended from Cain. The Torah records that Na’amah, the wife of… Read More »

The Blade Runner

Oscar Pistorius of South Africa made history this summer when he became the first double leg amputee to participate in the Olympics. He earned the nickname the Blade Runner, attributed to his Flex-Foot Cheetah carbon fiber transtibial prostheses that act as his feet.

Though he did not win any medals as a sprinter at the London games, he did break the glass ceiling when he participated in the men’s 400-meter race.

Some debate has ensued about the advantage or disadvantage of prosthetic legs. But he did prove to the world that prosthetic limbs can adequately function similar to human limbs – even in the fierce world of sports competition.

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On Tuesday we will read the final portion of the Torah, V’Zot… Read More »

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