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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.

Life’s Make-Up Assignments

Sometimes we simply miss the boat. A failed relationship with someone who has moved on. A business opportunity that has expired. A coveted home that has already sold.

But, then there are moments when we get a second chance.

The person comes back into our lives. The business deal fell through, reigniting a chance for me to get involved. The house is suddenly back on the market.

We don’t always understand Hashem’s mysterious ways – why some things slip away and why we sometimes are given a second chance.

Many times it’s not our fault. An unforeseen illness prevented my attendance at school, so I missed the test. Accidents happen and hopefully others will be understanding and give us a… Read More »

The Environment

Spring finally seems to have arrived.

As we move to more outdoorsy activities and start making our summer plans, our lives begin to expand. The added hours of sunlight, the additional venues available to visit or simply the change of temperature and clothing. They all contribute to the way that spring literally springs us forward and outward. We discard the confined mentality of winter and explore the world around us.

The benefits of sunny spring and summer abound. Connecting with our neighbors, blooming flowers and a more cheerful attitude are just a few to which many people look forward.

I too await the exciting moments of spring. Family bike rides, backyard barbecues and hiking are all special moments that were missed… Read More »

Clinching It!

Who’s more Jewishly connected, you or your Bubby?

Who knows more Torah, me or Moshe?

Who is a greater ambassador for Jewish values, your synagogue president or one of Rambam’s disciples?

Who’s message is more important, the prophetess Devorah or the greatest political leader of modern times?

***

In Jewish tradition, contrary to secular tradition, the closer we are to the origins of Judaism, the more authentic and wise we are. It’s no wonder that the Sages of the Talmud are given far more reverence than a modern-day professor of Talmud – and that’s exactly how it should be. Unlike science, which is merely the continuous discovery of new ideas and theories, Torah is about connecting to the… Read More »

Reluctant Exuberance

Okay, I’ll admit it. It’s not my favorite task. But, then again, it actually is.

Changing diapers is one of the duties of being a dad. But, dirty diapers are… dirty. And, most people aren’t excited to handle them.

But, if I am changing my daughter’s diaper, it’s an act of love. I might not enjoy the motions, but helping my daughter gives me great joy!

Sometimes it’s not the act itself I enjoy, but the deeper objective.

***

At the Seder last week we read about Yaakov (Jacob) traveling to Egypt, resulting in Egyptian exile. The Haggadah informs us that Yaakov went against his will, only because G-d insisted.

Why did G-d need to force Yaakov? Wasn’t he, our Patriarch, the faithful servant… Read More »

Looking for older posts? See the sidebar for the Archive.