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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The Parting Poem

The matinee is often less well attended than the evening performance, just as the main show gets more attention than the side show. 

As we celebrate the Shabbat between Yom Kippur and Sukkot, we may be tempted think of it as an afterthought. Yes, it’s Shabbat, but it is so ordinary that it pales in comparison to the two holidays which bookend it.

But, on further reflection, it is perhaps this Shabbat and the theme of it’s parsha, Haazinu, that is most befitting to connect Yom Kippur and Sukkot.


This is the second-to-last parsha in the Chumash. Its primary feature is Shirat Haazinu, the song or poem that Moshe shares with the Jewish people on his final day on earth. In it he summons heaven and earth to serve as &lsqu… Read More »

Inside Out

My two-year old daughter is at the stage where she needs to do everything herself.  Even if it’s too difficult she still insists, “Alein,” meaning alone in Yiddish, or “I can do it by myself.”  I sometimes debate whether I should let her walk around with her shirt inside-out, spend precious time arguing with her about it, or simply forcing her to switch it.

Recently, she discovered that children’s medicine can sometimes taste good.  Since she’s always in the mood for a treat, she, at times, asks for some medicine.  Now, this time, my parental negotiating skills are set aside.  It’s no time to negotiate. It’s time to ensure that she does not harm herself. She mig… Read More »

Once Upon Now

We are beholden by the actions of our forbearers.  Ever since the founders of this country established a Constitution, we must abide by it. Even if we disagree with it, we cannot simply do away with it. We must follow a process and vote in order to potentially amend it.  Similarly, we inhabit the world that our ancestors left us.  The discoveries, the scientific advances, the wars, the successes and failures – all of it is imposed upon us whether we like it or not.

In a strange fashion, we accept that reality. Our ancestors have a right of sorts to foist this on us because they are the ones responsible – in a way – for our existence.  If not for them, we would not be here.

Yet, we still have the right… Read More »

Nazi Gold Train?

There’s a lot of speculation in the media regarding the claim of two men in Poland that they have “irrefutable proof” as to the location of a Nazi gold train buried in Poland.  For decades rumors have swirled near the Polish village of Walbrzych that a train laden with gold, jewelry and other valuables was buried in the area by the Nazis in their 1945 retreat from the Soviet Red Army.

It’s still uncertain whether indeed the gold train ever existed, whether it was buried and whether the current efforts will uncover the train and it’s precious cargo.  Not to mention the great debate that will undoubtedly erupt about its contents’ ownership should it truly be discovered. 

The value in this &… Read More »

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