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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.

Over the Cliff

Are we going over the fiscal cliff?

Judging from the state of politics in America today, there seems to be little hope that we can prevent going over the so-called fiscal cliff. Republicans and Democrats will blame each other. But the fact remains that our government has become less efficient at legislating due to the political discord.

Americans may not agree how we should change the law to prevent the potential detrimental effects of going over the cliff, but by-and-large we agree that something should be done.

Is there any hope for American politics or should we resign ourselves to a perpetual standoff?

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In this week’s Parsha of Vayechi Yaakov (Jacob) passes away. His sons become worried that Yosef (Joseph) – who had… Read More »

The G Word

A couple once came to a rabbi dismayed that their only son was engaged to a non-Jewish girl. “Rabbi, you must intercede and speak to him. If he marries her he will join her faith and we will not have any Jewish grandchildren!”

“I’m sorry,” replied the rabbi. “But you’ve come 25 years too late.”

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The horrific murder of innocent children and their teachers last week still reverberates in our consciousness as we try to make sense of the absolutely senseless. Our thoughts and prayers are with the devastated families of Newton who are burying their young.

In the days that have gone by and in the weeks and months to come, our country will dig deeper to find the answers. We want to know… Read More »

Embracing Jews

After the Maccabees successfully drove the Greek-Syrians out and retook the Temple in Jerusalem, their first call of duty was reestablishing the rites of the Temple. They found lots of oil in the Temple, but only one jug that had the seal of the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) still intact. We are familiar with the miraculous ending of the story – the oil lasted not one day, but eight. Hence, the eight days of Chanukah.

But, if the Greeks were aiming to prevent the Jews from practicing the Temple rituals, why not steal all the oil altogether?

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A Rembrandt piece of art is auctioned for millions of dollars and original classic cars are sold for several hundred thousand dollars because of their unique quality and limited availability.… Read More »

Thank G-d!

As Chanukah approaches, we get excited about the spirit of the holiday. After all, Chanukah is a fun holiday. We don’t need to sit in Shul fasting all day. Nor do we need to go on a strict diet and stuff our face with matzah in record time. Who could complain about latkes, donuts and Chanukah gelt?

The miracle of Chanukah is the miracle of oil. The menorah burned for eight days instead of one. It’s also the miracle of the few versus the many. The tiny Maccabee militia defeated the huge Greek-Syrian army.

But more importantly, it’s a miracle of faith and spirit. After all, what were the Macabees fighting for? It wasn’t for the right to cook gefilte fish and chopped liver – they likely did not exist… Read More »

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