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.

Opting Out

The votes are in. The Brexit is official. The United Kingdom has decided to withdraw from the European Union. Across the world people are closely watching the choice that Britain has made. How will it affect the economy? Will other nations follow suit? What will be the effect on immigration? How will it impact the relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States?

Essentially, for the United Kingdom, British identity trumped European identity.

Across the Atlantic, a spirit of rebellion can also be felt – to a degree.  The status quo of the state of affairs in the United States is unacceptable to many Americans.  We remain divided on what steps to take. Is there an opt-out option for us?

As a Jew the question g… Read More »

The Terrorist in Our Midst

There aren’t any words to adequately describe the pain and suffering that transpired in Florida this week. Our prayers are with those that perished and their families.

Nor are any words of condemnation sufficient for such horrific crimes.

Yet, we must reflect. We must adjust. We must reach out to our fellow neighbors and Americans.

The questions abound.  How can such a tragedy occur? What can we do to prevent it from happening again?

I’ll leave the technicalities to the authorities and politicians. But, here’s something to think about on a spiritual level.

Once, Rabbi Dovber of Lubavitch remained closeted in his room for a few days, refusing to see visitors. It was unprecedented and it seemed that the great Rebbe… Read More »

Date or Mandate?

Imagine if your parent gave you a present of 5000 houses, none of which you were allowed to sell or let others use.  You’d probably be happy, but also disappointed. You couldn’t possibly enjoy them all, so what is the gift worth if it never gets used? In fact, you might even feel irresponsible, being charged with maintaining property that you clearly cannot keep up with.

That might be how some of us feel on Shavuot. Here we are celebrating the gift we received from our Father in Heaven. Yet, most of us will never study the entire Torah. We probably won’t even master a 1/100th of the teachings gifted to us at Sinai. So, why should I rejoice on Shavuot?

Trues, as a people, we revel in the Torah that is our collective … Read More »

Harambe or Isaiah?

A petition entitled Justice for Harambe has garnered nearly half a million signatures.  By no stretch of the imagination, this silverback gorilla has caught the imagination of the world, certainly of America.  He was tragically shot and killed on May 28 after a child fell into the gorilla’s enclosure. There’s lots of debate about how it happened and why it happened, but the facts are that after the child was dragged around by the gorilla and the gorilla did not respond to zookeepers’ efforts to withdraw from the child, the gorilla was shot.

I wasn’t there, and I’m no animal expert, so I can’t responsibly say what should have been done. Suffice it to say that according to Jewish law, if there is… Read More »

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