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.

Morning is Around the Corner

Hobart, Tasmania is not exactly around the corner from New York. Or from Israel.

But it was front and center in the eyes of the Lubavitcher Rebbe of righteous memory.

Rabbi Chaim Gutnick of Melbourne, Australia was shocked when he received a letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, instructing him to go to Tasmania. The letter, written over fifty years ago, did not specify why he should go and what he should do there – just that he must go at once.

A Chassid follows his Rebbe’s advice – so he went. Roaming the streets of Hobart, he certainly was noticeable. Yet, he had no clue what his purpose was. Until – suddenly – a fellow came running up to him. “You must be a Rabbi!” he exclaimed. “Please co… Read More »

The Global Boat

The Jewish world paid a lot of attention to Israel this week. Regardless of your persuasion, the elections carry a lot of weight - both for the Jewish people and the United States of America.

The Midrash in this week’s Parsha of Vayikra tells the following parable:

A group of people were traveling in a boat. One of them took a drill and began to drill a hole beneath himself.

His companions said to him: "Why are you doing this?" Replied the man: "What concern is it of yours? Am I not drilling under my own place?"

Said they to him: "But you will flood the boat for us all!"

It’s easy for us to remember this lesson when it comes to our immediate surroundings – our family, our workplace and in… Read More »

The Day After

Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi. Costa Concordia. Nelson Mandela. Fort Hood. Kobane.

These are all news stories. But they are not one today’s headlines. They are yesterday’s headlines. And yesterday’s headlines are often the forgotten headlines. We tend to think about the current issues, not the past issues.

The Torah tells us in this week’s double-parsha of Vayakhel-Pekudei that the Jews built the Mishkan, the mobile Sanctuary for G-d. Rashi explains that Moshe gathered the Jewish people to begin this noble task on the day after Yom Kippur.

The meaning of this occurring immediately after the holiest day of the year – and right after G-d forgave the Jewish people and had Moshe deliver the Second Tablets &n… Read More »

Married to Work?

Do you sometimes feel enslaved to your job? Do you find yourself thinking about work at the dinner table? Do you come home late due to obsessing over your job performance? Or do you feel the opposite - that you cannot focus on work due to your familial obligations?

How can we find the right balance between our jobs and our families, communities and personal lives?

I believe this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tisa, can shed some light.

Two portions back – in parshat Terumah – the Torah told about the construction of the Mishkan (Sacntuary) and its sacred vessels.  However, in this week’s Torah portion we are introduced to a new vessel, the Kiyor, the Wash Basin.  Why is this vessel only mentioned now and not e… Read More »

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