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.

Angel vs Man

I’ll admit it. I got on an airplane for the first time in months.

I traveled – wearing a N95 mask – all the way to New York and back within 24 hours. From the airport, I took a 15-minute taxi ride, spent a few hours outdoors, and was on my way back to the airport.

I spent about 18 hours of travel in order to spend a few hours at the Rebbe’s Ohel in honor of Gimmel Tammuz, the Rebbe’s 26th yahrzeit.

It was a very different experience than the last 25 years. I did not step foot indoors. I did not hug my friends whom I haven’t seen in months. I had my temperature taken in order to wait in line – six-feet-apart – with a mask. I had but a few moments at the actual Ohel.

Am I crazy?

Perhaps. Bu… Read More »

Staying in Lockdown

The original lockdown happened many years ago.

Long before any governors issued stay-at-home orders, the Jewish people were condemned to a 40-year lockdown. (I guess several months isn’t looking as bad anymore).

As this week’s parsha Shelach tells, due to the sin of the Spies, the generation that left Egypt and received the Torah was denied its final prize – entry into the Holy Land. Instead, they would all die out in the wilderness. Their children would inherit the land of their fathers.

Initially, G-d wanted to wipe out His people and start anew with Moshe. But, once again, Moshe prayed for his people and G-d forgave them – with the caveat that only the next generation would merit to enter the Promised Land.

On… Read More »

Get to the Point!

We are living through unique times.

Today, my brother-in-law’s father returned home in London, England – after a seven-week intubation at the hospital due to COVID-19. Baruch Hashem!

Unfortunately, my cousin – who dedicated his life to helping others – did not survive his struggle with COVID-19. This Washington Post article is but a small tribute to a man who gave everything he had to volunteer as a medic.

Meanwhile, race relations and issues surrounding police brutality are at a boiling in America like we have not seen in at least a generation.

Truly solving these issues will likely take many months, if not years. Does that mean we should resolve ourselves to years of suffering, fear, discord and tumult?


At … Read More »

Lift Up His Head

In a meeting with a Jewish leader the Lubavitcher Rebbe once pointed out the irony that the Israeli government spends tens of thousands of dollars to enable someone to make Aliya, but refuses to invest smaller amounts to incentivize its own citizens to have children.

This leader countered that the Israeli government should not offer per-child stipends because that would also encourage Arab families to have more children, creating a demographic disadvantage to the Jewish state.

Sounds like a significant political quandary, doesn’t it? What would you say?


We’ll get back to that momentarily. But, first, let’s have a look at this week’s parsha, Naso.

The word Naso means to “lift up.” It is a figure of … Read More »

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