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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Belief of the Heart

Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, said of her husband, the Rebbe, “My husband’s strength lay in his three faiths, his faith in G-d, his faith in the Torah, and his faith in a Jew!”

The Rebbe, Menachem M. Schneerson’s unconditional love for every person was no doubt anchored in his tremendous faith in each person.  Many have remarked that the Rebbe believed in them more than they believed in themselves. Be it Elie Weisel’s reluctance to marry after the Holocaust or a Russian Jew’s fear of practicing Yiddishkeit behind the Iron curtain – the Rebbe had perfect faith in each person’s capacity to succeed and reach new heights. When one is convinced how wonderful another person is and when on… Read More »

Buried Treasures

An elderly fellow once told me that he was desperately trying to calculate his resources so he could spend all his money before he died because, “I can’t take it with me anyway.  I don’t want a hearse full of money. What good will it do in the grave?”

I gently tried to impress upon him the importance of charitable giving; how his money could continue his legacy beyond his physical life.

At the end of the day – and life – we cannot take our money with us. Dollars are useless in the grave and in the World to Come a different type of currency is demanded.

But there was once a person whose money went with him to the grave. In fact it was a veritable fortune. The Talmud teaches that Korach was so wealt… Read More »

A Time & Place for Everything

As parents, we know that educating our children requires lots of discerning judgment. When a child misbehaves, it may be time for reminder and reprimand or, if the situation warrants, punishment.  When a child displays exceptional positive behavior, rewards are offered.

But how should parents interact with their children after meting out punishment?  Should they immediately revert back to the good old days – as if nothing happened – since the child “did the time?” Or should parents and educators still be airing their threats, implementing a sort of probation? Do we switch gears back immediately, or should we still be showing who’s boss?

What about during the punishment period? If a child is grounded… Read More »

The Cost of Giving

Bowe Bergdahl is in American hands.  He is free from the terrain of the Taliban and the confinement of his Haqqani captors. His parents in Hailey are elated.

But his release has sparked a heated debate about the prudence and ethics of releasing five Taliban prisoners to secure his freedom.

It’s clear that no matter the details of Bowe’s particular ordeal, in order to liberate a captive, there may need to be a swap.  In this case there was a clear quid pro quo. The debate revolves around whether it was a worthwhile trade-off. 


But this also gives consideration to the question of whether it is always necessary to compromise in order to gain? Or, put in even deeper perspective, is it necessary to compromise i… Read More »

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