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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.

Finding Excuses

Exploiting situations for political benefit may be an old trick, and will continue to be debated. Is it proper to use a situation that is already present for personal benefit or political gain?

In our own private lives we are often faced with similar challenges.

My biggest rival at work failed miserably today. Should I take advantage and prop myself up in front of my boss?

Sometimes, when in these circumstances, we might be looking for excuses to justify taking advantage of the state of affairs. “Well, it’s not my fault she failed to deliver!”

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In the beginning of this week’s parsha of Noach, the Torah relates: “These are the generations of Noah, Noah was a righteous man he was perfect in his… Read More »

Constant Connection

Can a fish survive out of water? Can a doctor survive without her medical devices? Can a carpenter survive without his hammer? Can a person survive without food?

It depends, you might say, on what survive means. A fish needs water. Without food humans will die.

But without a hammer, a carpenter might lose some of his identity but he won’t disappear.

If a person needs – among other things – food and oxygen to survive, what does a soul needs in order to live?

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In the opening parsha of the Torah, Bereishit, we are taught about the wonderful universe we live in. G-d created everything. By the Torah’s description of creation, G-d employed speech to bring about physical existence. From the stars to the… Read More »

Write It! Dance It!

Write It! Dance It!

Often, when I am pondering something significant, I will tell myself, “That’s a great idea.  I should explore it further when I have some time.”

Usually, however, my subsequent attempts to research the subject are met with scant and subpar results (that is, if I even remember to follow up).  Sometimes, the only way I’m able to tap into the excitement and richness of the initial inspiration is if I act upon it immediately.  If I quickly start developing the idea, it will frequently bear fruit.

One way to make sure the idea does not disappear into the abyss is by discussing it with someone or committing it to writing ASAP.  If it gets stale, it will usually just collect dust… Read More »

The Parting Poem

The matinee is often less well attended than the evening performance, just as the main show gets more attention than the side show. 

As we celebrate the Shabbat between Yom Kippur and Sukkot, we may be tempted think of it as an afterthought. Yes, it’s Shabbat, but it is so ordinary that it pales in comparison to the two holidays which bookend it.

But, on further reflection, it is perhaps this Shabbat and the theme of it’s parsha, Haazinu, that is most befitting to connect Yom Kippur and Sukkot.

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This is the second-to-last parsha in the Chumash. Its primary feature is Shirat Haazinu, the song or poem that Moshe shares with the Jewish people on his final day on earth. In it he summons heaven and earth to serve as… Read More »

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