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.

Hiding in Plain Sight

A popular joke tells: It had been raining for days and days, and a terrible flood had come over the land. The waters rose so high that one man was forced to climb onto the roof of his house.

As the waters rose higher and higher, a man in a rowboat appeared, and told him to get in. "No," replied the man on the roof. "I have faith in the L-rd; the L-rd will save me." So the man in the rowboat went away. The man on the roof prayed for G-d to save him.

The waters rose higher and higher, and suddenly a speedboat appeared. "Climb in!" shouted a man in the boat. "No," replied the man on the roof. "I have faith in the L-rd; the L-rd will save me." So the man in the speedboat went away. The ma… Read More »

The Pottery Barn Rule

Going shopping with young children can be challenging. I often find myself telling them – incessantly – about the Pottery Barn Rule, “You break it, you own it.”

But I once had the tables turned on me. When my son’s toy broke and he could not find a way to fix it, he came to me with the desperate plea to repair it. I attempted but could not succeed. At that point he cleverly turned to me and said, “I’m giving it to you. Now it’s yours and it’s broken. You need to fix it.”


In this week’s parsha Terumah, G-d instructs the Jewish people to donate thirteen items for the construction of the Mishkan, the mobile Sanctuary. From gold and copper to wood and w… Read More »


I can’t keep up with the current discussions about what is considered constitutional jurisdiction.

But, it did get me thinking about the concept of jurisdiction in a spiritual sense. Who has jurisdiction over the ethical decisions I make? Obviously, we follow the laws of the country we inhabit. But, is that the end of the conversation?


This week’s parsha Mishpatim follows the landmark event of Revelation at Sinai (in last week’s parsha). Interestingly, most of the Torah portion is devoted to ethical and civil laws, things like reparation of damages, treating the disadvantaged fairly, granting loans and the like.

The Talmud, commenting on the opening verse of the parsha, teaches that when two Jewish individuals enter … Read More »


The army of Reddit investors causing chaos in the markets has mainly been a David vs Goliath storyline. Who wins out and who’s left with losses is above my pay grade.

But, it has highlighted – once again – the financial and cultural classes in our country and world.

The glaring question is, do we occupy two different universes, side by side? Is the spiritual journey of one superior to the other?

One of the most famous commandments of the Torah is the instruction to observe the Sabbath. Shabbat, featured in this week’s parsha, is a sacred Jewish tradition that has--in some form--been embraced by most of the world.

But how does one observe Shabbat?

The Fourth Commandment is unique amongst the Ten Commandments… Read More »

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