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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.

Spreading the Wealth

College Football Realignment seems like it’s only going to get more drastic after USC and UCLA bolted for the Big Ten. Media and money call the shots these days…

All this causes one to wonder?  Is it healthy for the sport to have the best talent concentrated in so few places?

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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 is not given a portion in the land. Instead, 48 cities are designated as Levite cities.  These cities were spread out among the provinces of all the tribes.

The Levites were not punished with the lack of a homeland; rather they were privileged to serve as… Read More »

G-d’s Steganography

The chief of MI6, UK’s foreign Intelligence Service, claimed this week that Russia’s espionage capabilities in Europe have been cut in half as a result of the war in Ukraine. Apparently, this is, in large part, due to the expulsion of hundreds of Russian intelligence officers from European countries and the arrest of some spies.

One amazing revelation about modern-day espionage is the hi-tech methodology employed.  As it becomes more and more difficult to snoop, many countries are reportedly resorting to satellite imagery, audio intercepts and unmanned aircraft. I’m not sure if this was impacted. But, the departure of boots on the ground has a major impact on espionage. Despite advances in technology, human spies… Read More »

See No Evil

Literary legend Isaac Asimov related:

“My mother, who came from Russia, decided to go to night school and learn how to write English. One of the teachers finally asked her, ‘Pardon me, Mrs. Asimov, are you by any chance a relation of the brilliant Isaac Asimov?’”

“My mother, who was four feet, ten inches tall, drew herself up to her full height and said, proudly, ‘Yes. He is my dear son.’”

“‘Aha,’ said the teacher, ‘no wonder you’re such a good writer.’”

“‘I beg your pardon,' said my mother, freezingly. ‘No wonder he’s such a good writer.’”

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We certainly inherit many wonderful traits from our parents. And… Read More »

Living with the Times

As a follower of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, I am proud to embrace modern technology. The Rebbe, whose 28th yahrzeit was observed last Shabbat, promoted the Talmudic teaching that everything G-d creates has a holy purpose. This means that the technology behind television, internet, and the like – while posing considerable spiritual challenges – are truthfully gifts from G-d. The choice is ours in how we utilize them. But their ultimate function is for holiness.

My fondness of technology notwithstanding, I feel dwarfed by my children’s expertise.  It seems that the younger one is the more apt one will be at decoding the latest high-tech systems and gadgets. I sometimes wonder if high technology is like a language &ndash… Read More »

Staying Power

June 12, 1994. On the fateful day of 3 Tammuz 5754, the world of Chabad-Lubavitch was suddenly thrust into a new reality.  A reality in which most commentators doubted it could survive. In fact, numerous newspaper articles and media interviews predicted the demise of the movement within a few years.

Yet, here we are 28 years later – on the eve of a historic groundbreaking for Chabad in Idaho. This is just one of myriads of instances of Chabad’s phenomenal growth over the last three decades.

How can a movement, especially one so devoted to its leader, survive without its head?

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In this week’s parsha Korach we read of an unfortunate and unsuccessful rebellion against Moshe. Korach, a respected and wealthy Jew… Read More »

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