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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.

Inside the Disco

Have you ever walked by a disco and seen a wild scene of dancing and revelry inside?  If you cannot hear the music or sense the rhythm, you may wonder what all the hoopla is about.  If you see the fans celebrating at a sports event but are not privy to what they are spectating, you might be amazed at their energy and intensity.

If you are on the inside, however, things are entirely different.  If you yourself have won the tournament, you are gushing with visible excitement. You are leaping from your seat after your team wins the Super Bowl. Your body is moving in harmony with the tempo.  Your soul is absorbing the tune.

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The conclusion of this week’s parsha Naso, describes how Moshe would hear the… Read More »

Quantity or Quality?

When it comes to voting it’s quantity that counts. One person, one vote. The more votes, the better.

When it comes to music, most people prefer a great song over lots of lousy tunes.

If it is gold one is collecting, she will likely want greater quantity. But that’s really because the quality of gold in our world is such that it is worth more than many other materials.  If I was collecting something of inferior quality – say germs – I would run from it as one flees the plague.

But is there ever an intrinsic value in quantity itself?

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In this week’s parsha Bamidbar G-d instructs Moshe to count the Jewish people.

But this seems questionable.  Isn’t every life priceless? If human life has… Read More »

No Upgrades Allowed

Imagine you are on an airplane traveling alone in economy class. Suddenly, the flight attendant approaches and says that they need this seat and you are requested to move. They are moving you to first class.

Most likely you are happy with the upgrade.

But, say it was the other way around. You are in first class.  The flight attendant says there aren’t enough spaces and you are being asked to relocate to the economy section.  Regardless of whether you paid with miles or dollars, you are likely a very unhappy camper.

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In this week’s parsha Bechukotai the Torah forbids the exchange of one animal that has been donated to the Beit Hamikdash (Holy Temple) for another. An individual that donates a bull for a sacrifice… Read More »

Sound Advice

If I had lots of money here’s what I would do.

If I had a voice like Pavarotti, here’s what I would do.

If I had as much time on my hands like she does, here’s what I would do.

***

We are good at dishing out advice. Especially when it’s hypothetical. Or when it’s advice for someone else.  But are we qualified to advise others? 

I’m not wondering whether I am qualified to offer legal advice. I have not passed the bar, so I am clearly not fit to advance legal guidance.  And my title does not end with MD, so I can’t prescribe drugs either.

But am I qualified to offer my own opinion about what car my neighbor should buy, which school my sister should send her children to, how my… Read More »

A Rich Man’s Hut

Someone just paid nearly $240 million for an apartment in London.  Granted it’s a nice penthouse. But that is a steep price tag by all definitions.

Likely it is a foreign billionaire that is taking up (partial) residence in London. And for someone who can afford it, cash will not stand in the way of landing in a covet pad.

But is our residence what truly makes us happy?

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We had the privilege yesterday of hearing from a remarkable man, Richard Bernstein. Richard is blind from birth and is a disabled rights activist. As an attorney he heads up the pro bono department at his family’s law practice.  He also has run 18 marathons and completed the Ironman triathlon.

His magnificent accomplishments aside, what… Read More »

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