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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.

Unimpeachable

Impeachment is in the air.

As many people know, I don’t use my rabbinic position to advocate political parties, positions or persons. Today is no different. But, the talk about impeachment does bring some valid questions to the fore.

The truth is that the Framers of the Constitution debated whether a President should be impeachable. And, if removal from office is an option, which crimes would rise to the definition of an impeachable offense? What would be the process for impeachment?

In parliamentary systems, such as in the United Kingdom and Israel, the prime minister can easily be removed from office by a vote of no-confidence. In the American system, the Executive branch has more separation and, subsequently, more… Read More »

Knee-Jerk Praise

Sometimes, when attending or viewing a ballgame it’s difficult to assess exactly what’s happening on the field. Nonetheless, it’s pretty clear when something favorable occurs to the team I support. The field might be too crowded to decipher exactly what happened, but I’m certain that my team has control of the ball. Turns out it was a fumble recovery in our favor. My excitement and cheering began before I even knew what had transpired.

In fact, I might need to wait for the announcer, the instant replay or a friend’s explanation to figure out what really occurred. No matter. I’m cheering because I sense something went right for my team.

I may not know why I’m on board, but I amRead More »

The War on Terror

This week marked 18 years since the horrific attacks of 9/11.

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, the United States launched the “War on Terror.” The tactics of this military campaign have long been debated, as has the name itself. Do we wage a war against a tactic and a philosophy, or do we wage a war against enemies? Is the military-engagement-with-no-end-in-sight a worthwhile endeavor? When and how do we win such a war?

Three presidents later, countless American and global sacrifices later and many political promises later – we have not resolved all these questions.

I don’t foray into politics, but I do believe that current events can help us think about our own lives and challenges. What can the… Read More »

Queen for a Day?

Though few and far between in today’s world, true monarchies still exist. I remember standing with awe as I observed the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace some time ago. But, the Queen is largely a figurehead in the United Kingdom. Real kings decide whatever they want.

Actually, this week’s Torah portion, Shoftim, talks about kings. We are commanded, “You shall set a king over you.” In our storied history this concept of a monarch has caused great concern, admiration and discord. Of course, that was all a long time ago.

In light of the great progress we have made, how should we view the Torah’s eternal command to “set a king” over ourselves? Isn’t the notion of a… Read More »

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