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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A Nation Alone

Hacking is no longer only a hobby for the tech-addicted or deluded. From hospitals to pipelines, no one is immune.

In the Facebook era, we seem to really live by the Talmudic dictum, “What’s mine is yours and what’s yours is yours.” Any info I post is virtual public knowledge. I may think that I am tweeting something to one individual, but I better be careful– because the whole world may soon know about it.

So what should our attitude be toward an increasingly nosy world with increasingly easy access to our private information? Should we resign ourselves to the fact that we may one day see our own private info on a tabloid? Should we take every possible measure to lock all of our personal data?

I’… Read More »

Striking the Heart

Summer is here. For many children, it’s an opportunity to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Many kids are thrilled at the break from education.

My mentor, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, argued that the summer is not a break from education. That’s not necessarily because he advocated for summer school.

It’s because the Rebbe viewed the summer as an opportune time for a different type of education. The summer camp experience, for example, is an unparalleled opportunity to teach children by example and inspiration. The life skills acquired during camping and outings cannot be learned in a classroom. The pride of being a Jew cannot be taught. It must be experienced. And, living Jewishly is not something gleaned from a book. It… Read More »

Greener Pastures

As the Rebbe’s 27th yahrzeit approaches (this Sunday), I am filled with wistful sensations. I recall the uplifting moments I spent with my mentor. I am transported to the cherished feelings of awe and elation standing in the Rebbe’s presence. It’s hard to describe what it’s like to be in the presence of a true tzaddik.

And, to some degree, I pine for the days of my youth; the days when I traveled to New York to hear the Rebbe speak and study his teachings. I long for the feverish dancing at the Rebbe’s Hakafot on Simchat Torah.

Then, I remind myself that I must live in the here and now – that the Rebbe’s deepest wish is that we continue his mission of making this world the holy Garden of G-d it wa… Read More »

Role Playing

I sometimes feel like the would-be split baby in the famous story of King Solomon and the two women (see Melachim/Kings 1 Chapter 3).

With ten children בלי עין הרע, a trip to the park is lots of fun. It can also be fraught with challenges. One of the greatest challenges is ensuring that each child has his or her time and place. One wants to play ball; the other wants to go down the slide; and a thirds wants me to push her on the swings.

When they complain about having me do this or that, I really wish I could be in two places at once. Because ultimately each one deserves his/her own time and particular age-appropriate activity.

I could easily tell them all to do the same thing, but I would be robbing them of their individu… Read More »

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