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.

The Rainy Day Fund

Ask any financial advisor and they will say you ought to have a rainy day fund. You should put aside money for emergencies and unforeseen circumstances. Medical emergencies, job loss and natural disasters are just some of the causes to dip into that sacred account.

If you can afford it, you will probably also be advised to have a savings account for the future. These funds are critical for your children’s education, retirement and important milestones and expenses.

Certainly, your emergency and savings accounts will give you some peace of mind.  But, is it guaranteed to always be there? Will it be enough? Can we ever predict what might occur in our lives and in the world around us?


This week’s parsha, Eikev, talks a… Read More »

A Different Type of Voice

When the Jews stood at Sinai, they heard G-d’s voice. Moshe reminds them, in this week’s parsha Va’Etchanan, that they heard a voice that did not cease.

Now, although we can accept the spiritual meaning of this – that G-d’s words reverberate until today, even if we can’t physically hear them – how did the Jews know at the time that G-d’s voice would not stop? Clearly, they were engaged in a mystical moment, so why did they assume this once-in-a-lifetime experience would somehow endure forever?


The cry of a mother over her dead child is a cry that I will never forget for the rest of my life. It’s not the words, the volume, the pitch or the tone. It’s simply a different voice … Read More »

A Day of Opposites, A People of Opposites


The story is told of the great French leader, Napoleon Bonaparte.  He once was traveling through a small town in Europe and heard the sound of weeping. He followed the sounds into a synagogue. There he saw an incredible sight.  Men and women weeping.  They were sitting on small stools holding candles while reading from books.  The synagogue had an elaborate chandelier but only a few candles were lit.

Napoleon asked why the people were weeping and wanted to know what misfortune had occurred.  He was informed that the Jewish people gather in their synagogues once a year on the ninth day of Av, marking the destruction of the Holy Temple, twice destroyed.

Napoleon inquired how long ago these events transpired.… Read More »

Life, Revisited

Not too long ago I was showing my children some old photos. You know, the physical ones we used to print from 35mm film.  It was nice to revisit journeys from my adolescence. 

As I explained to them about my travels and experiences – whether in Africa, Israel or Cincinnati – I felt myself transported back to those times. I wondered about the impact of certain events.  At the time, I could never imagine the influence a particular occasion would have. In fact, in real-time, I imagined its purpose to be totally different. But now, many years later, I realize the true value was nothing I could have imagined at the time.

The lesson I learned is that I should never assume to truly appreciate life’s occurrences s… Read More »

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