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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.

Thanks... But No Thanks!

Many scholars have observed that the pandemic has taught many a person the true values of life. We no longer take our health, social interaction, or retirement nest egg for granted.  We listen a little more to the sorrows and challenges of others.  Certainly, there is a silver lining to the… Read More »

Have Your Cake and Eat it Too!

As we prepare for another awesome session of Camp Gan Israel of Boise, I’m reminded of a trip to Wahooz Family Fun Center. Amongst the many activities and attractions are various arcade games, which seem to be a highlight for children (and adults) of all ages.  The most popular games provide tickets – redeemable for prizes – in return of a good score.

The first time my son was old enough to grasp what these games were, he had a great complaint against the machines.  “Why is it,” he questioned, “that sometimes the machine gives a lot of tickets and sometimes just a few, or none at all?!”

I explained that the machines produce tickets based on performance.  If you do well… Read More »

Just Get Over It?

The story is told that Napoleon Bonaparte was once walking by a synagogue and heard terrible wailing. He peered inside to see that the Jews were sitting on the ground and weeping, while reading from books. Upon inquiring what misfortune had befallen these people, he was informed that they were mourning the loss of their Holy Temple. Jews all over fast and pray on this sad day, when their sacred Temple was destroyed – twice.

“How long ago was this Temple destroyed?” the legendary Frenchman asked. When he was told that they were crying over an event that happened over 1700 years before, he declared, “A nation that cries and fasts for a Temple that they lost almost two millennia prior, will certainly merit to see it… Read More »

Spreading In

 

The recent rocket attacks on Israel demonstrate the need for bomb shelters. As the rockets penetrate deeper and deeper into Israel, more and more of the land must be equipped with bomb shelters. It isn’t enough to have a huge bomb shelter in the center of town. Rather, every area needs at least a small bomb shelter nearby. Quick and easy access literally saves lives.

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In the Torah portion of Mas’ei we read about the apportioning of the Land of Israel to the Jewish people. Each tribe is given an inheritance. Except for one – the tribe of Levi. The Levites were the spiritual representatives of the Jewish people, serving in the Holy Temple. They were not given a portion in the land.

Instead, 48 cities were… Read More »

Rubbing It In

When my toddler daughter attended her second day of camp, she cried for a few minutes before settling in. The next day at drop-off we reminded her how much fun she had the day before. And, I also encouraged her by sharing that she had only cried for five minutes the day before.

Why was I rubbing it in? Why remind her that she was anxious and cried?

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In this week’s Parsha of Pinchas we read about Moshe’s final view of Israel. He was, after all, denied entry into the coveted land. The Torah states:

The Lord said to Moses, "Go up to this mount Abarim and look at the land that I have given to the children of Israel.

And when you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, just as Aaron your brother… Read More »

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