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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.

Winter’s Bloom

Wednesday will mark 70 years since Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of righteous memory took over the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. Known affectionately as The Rebbe, he at first refused to accept the mantle of leadership, preferring a life of privacy.

When he finally acceded, he set forth a groundbreaking and revolutionary philosophy. In a world shattered by the Holocaust, displacement and assimilation – the Rebbe begged to differ from the norm. He declared that the world was Hashem’s beautiful garden. All we needed to do was reveal the inherent good. The inherent good in every person. The inherent good in the universe. The inherent good in our destiny.

At the time it seemed absurd.

Fast forward seventy years and the Rebbe’s… Read More »

Get it Done!

“Mike Will Get It Done!” promises the Bloomberg Campaign. “Promises Made, Promises Kept!” declares the Trump Campaign. It’s political season and we are inundated with bold statements.

These are marketing slogans, but they are meant to present a message of trust in a candidate’s ability to deliver.

But, is delivering always a good thing? I’d assume that if you don’t like Mike Bloomberg’s policies you won’t want him to “get it done.” And, if you are not supportive of President Trump, you will pray that he does not keep his promises. (To be clear, I do not endorse any political candidates. This is merely to illustrate a point).

What if you support a specific idea… Read More »

Chapter One

“This is such a sad book,” my daughter recently commented when we began reading.

“Well,” I countered, “It might be a sad chapter, but we are still on Chapter One. Perhaps the ending will be happy. Maybe in the end it’s a happy book.”

*

This week we begin reading the Book of Shemot (Exodus). The first parsha is also called Shemot.

Unfortunately, the position of the Jewish people takes a drastic nosedive. Gone are the good old days when one of their own ruled the country. Gone are the days of comfort and riches. Gone are the peace and tranquility of sitting at the feet of their wise Patriarch Yaakov.

Servitude. Infanticide. Torture. This is the new reality. It’s depressing.

On the… Read More »

Be Within, Stay Above

My three-year-old daughter has been toilet trained for a while. However, she often wants one of her parents to accompany her for this ritual. Recently, my wife and I have been trying to get her to fulfill her bodily duties on her own. 

My wife devised a plan. Every time our daughter needs to use the bathroom, my wife and I give her an imaginary rope to hold onto. We promise that we are holding the rope the entire time and she is never alone.

Now, instead of asking for one of us to accompany her, she simply asks for a ‘rope.’ We extend our hands and hand off the ‘rope.’

By holding this ‘rope’ she knows that she is not alone.

*

Just before his passing, recorded in this week’s parsha… Read More »

Made in the USA

As recent events indicate a sharp rise in anti-Semitic attacks in our beloved United States, we wonder what the future looks like.

As the conflict between the United States and Israel with terror-sponsoring Iran deepens, we wonder what the future looks like.

As we enter the 2020s, when a majority of Jews in America are already second or third generation Americans, we wonder what the future looks like.

*

In this week’s parsha Vayigash, we learn of an emotional reunion. Yaakov, the father of the Twelve Tribes, comes down to Egypt and is reunited with his son Yoseph. He had long believed his son was dead. Having been recently informed that Yoseph was alive and was indeed the ruler of Egypt, Yaakov was infused with renewed… Read More »

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