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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.

Time & Place

Plowing a field at the wrong time of year may not be helpful. In fact, it may harm the potential to produce.

Driving fast on a crowded street may not get you to your destination any quicker. In fact, it may be a hazard to yourself and others.

Eating certain foods that are healthy for others may not be good for you – if you are allergic to them. In fact, they may damage your well-being.

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As we prepare for Pesach by removing the Chametz from our homes, selling our Chametz and abstaining from consuming Chametz for eight days, we often wonder, “What’s so bad about Chametz? Why is it banned for all of Passover? I understand that we should eat matzah on Passover to commemorate the Exodus. But, why is bread forbidden? If… Read More »

Arriving

It usually happens around 30 to 45 minutes after departure.

“Are we there yet?”

It’s the first of many redundant questions that my wife and I will enjoy during a road trip, or other long-distance travel.  The plane may have barely achieved liftoff and the incessant need to know if we have arrived has already begun. 

We have, at times, fallen prey to the typical host of responses.  Ply them with treats.  Distract them with games.  Change the clock.  Depart at 3:00am when they are half-asleep. Ignore. Plead. Threaten. Or, simply explain that – no, we have not yet arrived. Again. And. Again.

But, finally, I realized that the answer was simply, “Yes.”

We have arrived.… Read More »

The Forest or the Tree?

Ask two marketing professionals what’s more important – the current sales pitch or the overall strategy – and you’ll likely get two different answers. 

Ask a couple coaches what’s more important – the play in progress or the game plan – and you might receive conflicting opinions.

The argument can be made that the most important moment is the one presently at stake.  If this goes well, everything else will follow. If I lose focus now, the whole deck of cards may collapse. Laser-like attention is necessary to achieve success.

On the other hand, taken from a broader view, this is only one act of many; one cog in the wheel. Yes, each play is vital – but you don’t really win a… Read More »

Wine & Grapes

We all know the story.

The Jews are persecuted.  We survive. Let’s eat food.

Actually, Purim is more than that. There are four mitzvot of Purim, two of which are related to food.

But, when it comes to food, each holiday has its unique foods.  On Purim the Talmud and Code of Jewish Law urge us to drink wine (or grape juice) in large quantities.  Why on Purim are we highlighting wine?

The obvious reason is that the Purim story centered around wine. Achashverosh made a big party with wine and Esther revealed her Jewish identity at a Feast of Wine.

But, that only transfers the question to the story itself. The Purim story is a stark reminder of Hashem’s involvement in every detail of our lives. As displayed in… Read More »

Temple Mount Renovation

The land of Israel is perhaps the most controversial place in the world.  And within Israel, the Temple Mount, the site of the Bait Hamikdash, the Holy Temple, represents a clash of civilizations.  The holiest site in Judaism, it is perhaps the epitome of exile – off limits. (The Western Wall is the only remaining wall of the retaining walls of the mountain. None of the actual walls of the Bait Hamikdash stand today).

This tension has been felt throughout history.  Those that destroyed the two holy Temples were not content on knocking it down. They insisted on burning it to the ground.  The Romans made sure to plow over the land on the Har HaBayit, lest some relic remain. Other structures were prominently built… Read More »

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