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.

Miraculous or Natural?

What do you do when you suddenly become the owner of something you never expected? Whether it is the unforeseen inheritance of a house, the abrupt responsibility of caring for children, the immediate promotion to a higher position with greater responsibility – in all these instances you do not have the luxury of preparation. Due to the unexpected nature of these events you cannot ease into your newfound reality.

The Jewish people left Egypt as newly freed slaves. They had forty years to adjust to freedom. But they were about to enter Israel – and they had never been there before. Logic would dictate that the Jews should settle into the land and gradually get to know their country before dividing it up.

But this week&rsquo… Read More »

NSA Snooping

Edward Snowden became a household name as he joined the ranks of world-famous whistle blowers. With high-level security clearance Edward had access to some of the most important—and most secret—programs at the NSA, including the monitoring of U.S. citizens’ phone calls and emails which he went public with after fleeing to Hong Kong.

Without getting into the argument of whether the government should invade our privacy to protect us from terrorism, one thing is clear: Complete privacy does not exist. The government can access all our emails, phone calls, text messages and Google searches. Everything we do on our computers and beyond can be saved, studied and passed around—all without our consent.

But finding out the … Read More »

A New Generation

As a follower of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, I am proud to embrace modern technology. The Rebbe, whose 19th yahrzeit was observed this week, promoted the Talmudic teaching that everything G-d creates has a holy purpose. This means that the technology behind television, internet, and the like – while posing considerable spiritual challenges – are truthfully gifts from G-d. The choice is ours in how we utilize them. But their ultimate function is for holiness.

My fondness of technology notwithstanding, I feel dwarfed by my children’s expertise.  It seems that the younger one is the more apt one will be at decoding the latest high-tech systems and gadgets. I sometimes wonder if high technology is like a language – the … Read More »

When Opportunity Knocks

Until February 2012, Jeremy Lin was an unknown entity even to die-hard NBA fans. He was a Harvard grad who went undrafted in 2010. After being cut by two teams, the injury-laden New York Kicks signed him. A few injuries later and Lin was actually receiving serious playing time. He scored 25 points in his first game. After a few more consecutive 20+ games, he became an instant sensation. In fact, a new word evolved describing the hype: linsanity.

Jeremy Lin would never have entered the NBA without perseverance.  He also wouldn’t have become a force in the NBA without the injury of several key players. He saw an opportunity, was prepared for it and exploited it to the best of his ability.


This week’s parsha h… Read More »

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