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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.

Rules and Exceptions

The United Nations General Assembly voted this week to give the Palestinian Authority observer status. Sadly, the vote was lopsided with 138 in favor and only 9 – the United States included – against (and 41 abstentions).

We must thank the United States for standing with our brothers and sisters in Israel.

What does it say that the majority of the world stands with noted terrorists and against the Jewish people? Clearly, the motive and result of the vote is to undermine Israel. It does nothing practical – other than attempt to isolate Israel.

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In this week’s parsha Vayishlach, the Torah tells of a grand reunion – that of Yaakov and his brother Eisav.

The last time they were together Eisav wanted to… Read More »

My Alternate Life

Like many people, I sometimes play the game of, “What If?”

What if I was raised in a different country? What if I really did become a professional baseball player? What if I went to a different school?

Certainly, any of the what-if scenarios could lead me on a path to a very different life – with alternate people, objects and places – resulting in a different me.

Sometimes, I even find myself living my current life through the lens of an alternate life. How would I do this if I had never met my wife? How would I respond if I was a foot taller?

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Yaakov, the last of the Patriarchs, certainly could have envisioned a totally different life. As this week’s parsha relates, he was forced to flee from… Read More »

Terror vs. Torah

Hundreds of missiles have rained down on Israel in the last few days, wounding many and causing thousands to go into shock. Yesterday a terrorist rocket killed three people in a Chabad neighborhood in Kiryat Malachi. Operation Pillar of Defense is quickly widening. Rockets have landed close to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem – for the very first time.

The condemnation of Israel has already begun from the usual suspects. In Israel, a united country braces for what lies ahead. The government of Israel has approved calling up 75,000 reservists.

As we pray and hope for peace in the Holy Land, many are wondering what Israel’s response should look like. In Operation Cast Lead, Israel succeeded to some degree, but… Read More »

The First Mission

No matter how many times I’ve done it before, attending the annual Shluchim conference in New York is always special.  Sitting at a table with friends and strangers, I realize that I am part of something so much larger than myself.

We all have a mission in life, a purpose or calling for which we were created.  In this sense we cannot be more different than one another. Nobody can replace my mission and I cannot serve in their stead.

On the other hand, we all share the same purpose.  We all serve collectively toward the same goal of making this world a G-dly place.

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In this week’s parsha, Chayei Sarah, we learn of the first Shlichut, mission, in the Torah. Avraham charged his right-hand man, Eliezer, with a… Read More »

A Call to Action

Loss of people, property, power and patience are some of the disastrous effects of Hurricane Sandy. Many friends, loved ones and strangers are still stranded – not knowing the status of their family and homes.

Our hearts, helping hands and pocketbooks go out to our fellows in need. Chabad – along with many noble organizations – is at the forefront of relief efforts in the Northeast. If you are able, I encourage you to contribute to this immediate and critical cause.

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I am certain that weather forecasters and atmospheric scientists will spill many bottles of ink – or maybe keystrokes on a computer - analyzing and studying the cause of the storm that shut down Wall Street for two days and damaged the widest… Read More »

Looking for older posts? See the sidebar for the Archive.