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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It’s All About the Shofar

This coming year we are privileged to a triple-header.  Two days of Rosh Hashanah, followed immediately by Shabbat.  In Judaism, the number three represents a “chazaka.” This means that only when something is done three times, does it have the element of surety, permanence -- one can trust its stability.

Thus, when we have three days in a row of holiness – not an average occurrence – it demonstrates an added infusion of holiness.

Talk about starting the year on the right foot!

So, how do we take advantage of this extra Divine blessing?

By, starting the year on the right foot!

If we show Almighty G-d that we appreciate His blessings, His way of life, we can hope and pray that those blessing will continu… Read More »


Imagine, you are on trial. In your heart of hearts, you know you are guilty of the charges.

The judge knows you have an imperfect past.

The prosecution will present condemning evidence, produce many eye-witnesses, display video surveillance and scrutinize your own past admissions.  The proof of your guilt is incontrovertible.

Your attorney has advised you to take a plea deal.  She tells you that the sentencing will be harsh no matter what. Better to show remorse and beg for mercy.

You really don’t have much wiggle room at all.

The big day of judgment arrives.

When you enter the courtroom, how is your stride? Are you well dressed? Is your head held high proclaiming innocence, or hung low with guilt. Do you have an apolo… Read More »

The Eye of the Hurricane

It’s difficult to write, even to think, as so many people are suffering and countless others are in harm’s way.

Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Earthquake in Mexico and Hurricane Jose are some of the devastating natural disasters that we are dealing with.

Our key focus is – and should be – to pray for, support and help those in need. I am humbled by the outpouring of support to so many that have been affected. In Houston, Chabad has been at the forefront. In St. Martin, my colleague, Rabbi Moshe Chanowitz, reports that his family barely survived by camping out in the unfinished mikvah.  The island suffered almost complete destruction.

In Florida, the warnings of storm surge, life-threatening winds, tropical… Read More »

What, Not Why?

The devastation and loss of life in Texas leads many of us to ask, “Why?” How can this happen? So many homeless. So many helpless. So many facing uncertainty.

Our hearts go out to all those affected by Hurricane Harvey and their families.

I received an email today from my colleague Rabbi Yisroel Cotlar, director of Chabad in Cary, North Carolina, a native Houstonian.

He wrote:

My cousin, Dayna Skolkin, had her wedding scheduled for this Sunday.

Pinny Bard-Widgor moved to Houston from New York just last week with his wife and children.

Jim McIngvale, (known in Houston as Mattress Mac) made sure to build all of his furniture stores in a way that would survive bad flooding.

Tomer Ben Shushan had years of experience with the …Read More »

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