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.

Forward Looking

What will life look like in 6 months from now? In a year from now, will I still have a job? Will air travel be the same? What will be scars from the coronavirus pandemic – on our families, communities, economies and culture?

Will we go back to our old lives or will we be forever changed by the digital creatures we are slowly becoming?


This week we read two parshiyot in the Torah. Tazria and Metzora both discuss the biblical, spiritual-physical illness of tzaraat. Most years the two parshiyot are joined together.

Tazria mainly discusses the illness. Metzora mainly discusses the cure.

Tzaraat was a serious illness that required physical isolation from others. It was not contagious. Rather, the quarantine was part of the rehabilit… Read More »

Invisible Enemy

My children have become accustomed to the ‘stay at home’ and ‘social distancing’ reality. My younger children – though they readily follow along – still struggle to understand why we are doing all of this. Because their grandfather contracted the disease, they have a clear reference point on how dangerous this illness is. I try to explain to them about the spread of coronavirus.

When I tell them of the dangers of crossing streets, they can see the cars zipping by and recognize the hazard. But, they don’t understand how something is so dangerous without being able to see it.


President Trump likes to refer to the covid-19 pandemic as the Invisible Enemy.

Truthfully, the coronavirus is visib… Read More »


This Shabbat we read the Haggadah in preparation for Pesach. It’s called Shabbat HaGadol.

Next Wednesday night Jews will gather together in their homes – likely without guests – to celebrate Pesach and observe the Seder. It will be like the original Seder in Egypt. No one left their homes then either.

But, it won’t be like a Seder is meant to be. Toward the beginning of the Seder we announce, “Whoever is hungry, let him come and eat; whoever is in need, let him come and conduct the Seder of Passover.”

As much as we would like to invite guests, we cannot do so this year.

Some Jews are forced to prepare a Seder for the first time. Others are forced to endure a Seder completely alone. (See this fascinati… Read More »

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