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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.

Imposing Leadership

The tech wars between AppleGoogleMicrosoftFacebookMotorollaSamsungEtc have only intensified in recent years. From the International Consumer Electronics Show, to corporate boardrooms; from Superbowl ads to tweets; from courtrooms to the court of public opinion - the titans of tech are slugging it out.

Who will be the last man standing?

Google will promote its open developer environment. Apple will tout its simple and clean user-friendly platform. Facebook will declare itself as your true friend. And Microsoft will deny you can survive without it.

Remember the days of AOL? We might assume these giants are here to stay, but what might make them vulnerable?

***

In this week’s Parsha of Chukat, we are informed of Moshe’s… Read More »

Eigteen Years Later

June 12, 1994. On the fateful day of 3 Tammuz 5754, the world of Chabad-Lubavitch was suddenly thrust into a new reality. A reality in which most commentators doubted it could survive. In fact, numerous newspaper articles and media interviews predicted the demise of the movement within a few years.

How can a movement, especially one so devoted to its leader, survive without its head?

***

In this week’s parsha Korach we read of an unfortunate and unsuccessful rebellion against Moshe. Korach, a respected and wealthy Jew, demanded equality for all. Why should Moshe and Ahron serve as leaders when we all have an equally holy connection to Hashem?

The outcome of this mutiny was the tragic death of Korach and his comrades. In… Read More »

In Uniform

Traveling to New York last week reminded me how much I must stick out like a sore thumb in Idaho. In Brooklyn, I am just “one of the guys.” But in Boise I am THE Chassid – in full regalia.

In fact, just the other day, I was asked, “Why the need for such overt Jewishness?” Can’t you just fit in with everyone else? Do you need to flaunt your religiosity and “wear it on your sleeves?”

***

In New York, driving through Manhattan, my children were amazed to see an entire section with Chinese people, Chinese writing and Chinese food. “This is Chinatown,” I explained. The store signs were in Chinese and unique Chinese fare was sold in the streets. Tourists abounded… Read More »

The Right Thing in the Right Time

A popular saying chides, “The right thing in the wrong time is the wrong thing.”

Eating your vegetables might be great. But not on Yom Kippur.

Volunteering at the hospital is commendable. But not during your daughter’s graduation.

In a world of contrasts we often get lost with considering what is considered correct or incorrect without concern for context.

The greatest of men taught us a great lesson when he prayed. When Moshe prayed for his sister Miriam to be healed, he uttered but five Hebrew words, translated as, “I beseech You, O G-d, heal her now.” Not exactly the most elaborate prayer.

And it’s not because he was short on prayers. Nor was he one to dismiss lengthy prayer. In fact, when asking… Read More »

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