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.
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Snow Sculptures

This week I went with my family to the McCall Winter Carnival. We were amazed at the remarkable creations that artists formed from the snow. That white, fluffy mush that can often be a nuisance was transformed into a sophisticated and beautiful source of imagination and delight.  Watching the artists transform raw snow into cars, astronauts, cupcakes and octopi was a remarkable experience.

After enjoying the snow sculptures, my daughter made a noteworthy observation.  “People can make beautiful designs from the snow,” she said. “But Hashem forms all the snow in the whole world. He is the real snow sculptor.”

In fact, as we drove through the magnificent snow-capped mountains, her words began to sink in. Th… Read More »

Motherhood on Loan

Say I am in need of some eggs for the meal I am in the midst of preparing. No time to run to the supermarket – it’s nearly dinner. But the recipe calls for eggs and the guests are coming soon.

So I run to the neighbor and borrow a dozen eggs. The next day I’ll go to the supermarket, purchase a dozen eggs and drop them at my neighbor’s home - and everyone is happy.

But let’s say my car broke down and I need to get somewhere urgently. Once again my neighbor comes to the rescue. She happily offers me her brand new Lexus so I can get to my appointment on time.

What do you think her reaction would be if I showed up a few hours later with a 1995 Chevrolet instead of her Lexus? What if I showed up with a similar Le… Read More »

Stating the Obvious

An elderly widow got remarried. Her new groom was also a senior citizen and a widower.  The two of them, aside from liking each other a great deal, were united in making the best of their situations.

One day the wife complained to her daughter that her new husband does not compliment her when the table is set and the floor is mopped. He seems to take everything for granted.

“Maybe he doesn’t notice,” her daughter suggested. At that stage in life, she figured, it’s certainly possible.

Sure enough, the new bride began telling her groom that she had mopped the floor. As soon as he heard – and now noticed – he began heaping praises upon her.  Soon enough, he was doing it on his own.


In prep… Read More »

A Matter of Habit

Many of us have recently resolved to do better. Nearly as many may already find ourselves sliding with the full force of gravity away from our New Year’s resolutions. (The truth is that the Jewish New Year is on Rosh Hashana, but hey I’m certainly not one to complain about extra opportunities for good pledges.)

Well, if you feel like you’re struggling to keep up with your commitment to flossing daily or calling your mother every Friday afternoon – no need to worry anymore. We’ve got an app for that.  Habit Tracker, Habit Streak, Good Habits, Habit Builder, Habit List and Habit Calendar are just a sampling of the endless apps available for download to your smartphone.  From daily reminders to monthly … Read More »

Palm Trees in the West

My family and I recently returned from a road trip. We passed through Nevada, California, and Arizona.  When I travel by air, I depart one culture, climate and topography, and suddenly arrive someplace entirely different.  Besides for the family bonding opportunity, road trips also provide a chance to observe the gradual shift in landscape. Snow gives way to green forest, which gives way to desert, which gives way to sunny ocean vistas.

Once we reached warmer, southern climates the ubiquitous palm trees started appearing. All different types of palm trees dot the landscape. For some reason, the palm tree evokes warm and sunny emotions. It really fits in with the weather.

However, on our travels, my children pointed out that palm… Read More »

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