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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Treatment or Vaccine?

As the coronavirus spreads around the world, researchers, doctors and policymakers are scrambling to contain the disease. Preventing contagion seems to be a tall order at this point, with the novel virus spreading to more countries. The World Health Organization is now concerned that a global pandemic is possible. Even Wall Street has taken a hit.

In order to address this health concern, researchers are rushing in two different directions. Some are frantically trying to develop a treatment that can halt the disease in infected patients. Others are working on developing a vaccine to prevent infection.

Obviously, both medical interventions are critical. But, which will happen first?

Normally, treatments are much easier and quicker to … Read More »

Bit by Bit

Sadly, many people who achieve greatness don’t know what to do with it. How many celebrities’ lives have spiraled into self-destruction after becoming famous? How many unknowns have hit the political spotlight, only to fade into oblivion, unable to handle the heat?

The truth is that we all face the same problem. We may not have the magnified burdens of rock stars or the headline-making news of politicians, but we still face the challenge of living up to the changes that occur in our lives. In fact, often these changes are good, productive strides ahead. And, nonetheless, we may struggle with our newly accomplished goals. For one person it may be the new “me” that I discover after a rigorous weight-loss die… Read More »


There are some gifts that you wish to share with everyone. Maybe, it’s a new car or a cool gadget. Maybe it’s a membership in a club or a vacation spot.

But, then there are gifts that must remain private. Not because you are stingy or antisocial. They are private simply because it would not be beneficial to any of the parties to share the gift.

For example, an intimate moment with family would be meaningless to strangers, and may be harmful to your beloved if shared.


When the Jewish people received the Torah, which we learn about in this week’s parsha Yitro, G-d “introduced” Himself in the opening of the Ten Commandments.

G-d declares, “I am the L‑rd your G‑d, who has brought you out of the la… Read More »

Running into a Wall


Do you ever feel like you are headed into a brick wall? Sometimes it’s a relationship that stubbornly refuses to improve. At other times it’s a project that doesn’t seem to be going the way you want it to go. Or, it’s the disaster that life in general seems to be presenting.

Confronting these circumstances, we often wonder what is the appropriate approach. What does the Torah suggest I do in these situations? Should I believe firmly that G-d knows what’s best for me and therefore just roll with the punches? Should I pray fervently for Divine intervention to intercede and alter the course of events?

Essentially, these seem like contradictory paths. And, if I believe in G-d, then I should not pray. He k… Read More »

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