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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.

Knee-Jerk Praise

Sometimes, when attending or viewing a ballgame it’s difficult to assess exactly what’s happening on the field.  Nonetheless, it’s pretty clear when something favorable occurs to the team I support.  The field might be too crowded to decipher exactly what happened, but I’m certain that my team has control of the ball. Turns out it was a fumble recovery in our favor.  My excitement and cheering began before I even knew what had transpired.

In fact, I might need to wait for the announcer, the instant replay or a friend’s explanation to figure out what really occurred.  No matter. I’m cheering because I sense something went right for my team.

I may not know why I’m on board, but… Read More »

Mission Accomplished?

When President George W. Bush stood on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in 2003 under the banner stating “Mission Accomplished,” it turned out to be a bit premature. The success of the war in Iraq is still hotly debated today.

And, now, the United States is in the final stages of pulling out its last troops – while the Taliban reestablishes its control over Afghanistan.

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Nearly twenty years after September 11, 2001 we are left to reflect on the horrors of that tragic day.  The lives lost, the families broken and the collective pain of our nation.  Add to that the constant inconveniences, reminders and concerns that continue to affect us in airport security lines, job applications and our… Read More »

Should We Do Away with Monarchy?

We’ve never had a king in America. But, for most of history, monarchs have ruled the earth. Even today, kings or queens are in power in numerous lands.

This reminds us of a mitzvah in this week’s Torah portion. We are commanded, “You shall set a king over you.”  In our own nation’s storied history this concept of a monarch has caused great concern, admiration and discord.  Of course, that was all a long time ago. Now, a democratic government controls the Holy Land.

In light of the great progress we have made, how should we view the Torah’s eternal command to “set a king” over ourselves? Isn’t the notion of a monarch archaic and regressive?

Certainly, Judaism rejects the… Read More »

A Merger, Not a Partnership

Two drunks were once overheard debating their friendship.

“I love you,” shouted one to the other.

“No, you don’t!” responded his fellow drunkard.

“Yes, I do! I love you with all my heart! Why don’t you believe me?” retorted the first drunk.

The thundering response was, “Because, if you truly love me, why don’t you know what’s hurting me?”

It so happened that the great Chassidic Rebbe Levi Yirtzchok of Berditchev was the one who overheard this dialogue. He later declared, “I learned the true meaning of love from a couple drunkards.”

*

In this week’s parsha Re’eh, we are reminded to observe G-d’s commandments. The Torah states: You… Read More »

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