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.

Peaceful Transfer of Power

Much has been discussed lately about the concept of the peaceful transfer of power in the United States, particularly as it pertains to the Executive Branch of government. Due to many factors and actors – including an unprecedented worldwide pandemic – things we have taken for granted for years are suddenly being scrutinized like never before.

So, does the Torah say anything about the peaceful transfer of power?

As you know, I do not engage in political statements. This is no different. I will not weigh in on the current debate.

I will, however, suggest that the Torah offers unbelievable insights and lessons in all arenas.


In this week’s parsha Haazinu we read about the parting “song” that Moshe sang to … Read More »

Nearly Distant

In 1998 I was traveling through southern Africa with a group of friends. Google Maps did not yet exist; GPS was not widespread and it likely would be of little use on Malawi’s roads. We were using an old-fashioned map to get from place to place. (Do they still print those?)

At one point in our journey we were heading toward the town of Monkey Bay on beautiful Lake Malawi. I recall heading out on a Friday morning with the goal of reaching Monkey Bay in time for Shabbat. According to our map, we had two options. One was with a so-called major highway (i.e. paved road) that would be over 200 kilometers. The second was a minor arterial (i.e. dirt road) traversing about 125 kilometers. We figured it would be nice to see som… Read More »


As a Rabbi, I often have the privilege of going behind bars. Visiting incarcerated Jews is indeed a privilege. It is a very raw and real way to practice what Judaism preaches – that every human being has inherent value and that we can always make amends, do teshuvah.

Thank G-d, so far they have always let me out.

When visiting these people, I am sometimes contacted by family members who are concerned for their relatives. The families, as well as the inmates, use the opportunity for greater spiritual connection and growth. Sometimes they will offer a donation as well.

Often, they will pledge to support the good work of helping Jewish prisoners and the amazing work of the Aleph Institute.

Often, upon release, they will forget a… Read More »

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