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.

The Pottery Barn Rule

Going shopping with young children can be challenging.  I often find myself telling them – incessantly – about the Pottery Barn Rule, “You break it, you own it.”

But recently I had the tables turned on me.  When my daughter’s toy broke and she could not find a way to fix it, she came to me with the desperate plea to repair it.  I attempted but could not succeed. At that point she cleverly turned to me and said, “I’m giving it to you. Now it’s yours and it’s broken. You need to fix it.”


In this week’s parsha Terumah, G-d instructs the Jewish people to donate thirteen items for the construction of the Mishkan, the mobile Sanctuary.  From gold and copper… Read More »

First Things First

My wife returned from New York this week, after attending the Chabad-Lubavitch International Shluchos Conference – and I was home tending to five lovely children.

I have always appreciated the opportunity to spend more time with my kids when Esther is away for her annual recharge.  And I am also learning to appreciate the sheer challenge of spending more time with my children in the absence of their mother.

Many of my colleagues contend that this time of year is Chabad Rabbis’ annual “Wife Appreciation Week” – and I’m certainly an enthusiastic member of the chorus.

Due to my single-parent mode, I inevitably get less Rabbinic work done this week than others.  I’ve been told it’s w… Read More »

Learning on the Job

Some people argue that part of my rabbinic credentials lie in my reliable tardiness.  That still would not be sufficient excuse for the inability to find the time to transcribe some thoughts on this week’s Torah portion, Yitro.

I do, however, have a decent defense this time.

You see, once a year, during the weekend commemorating the passing of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneersohn obm, Chabad-Lubavitch Shluchos (Rebbetzins) from around the world gather in New York for an annual conference. These great women spend much-deserved time together studying, sharing, schmoozing and maybe just breathing a breath of fresh (and freezing) air.  It’s a weekend of inspiration, guidance and camaraderie that is unparalleled.  In f… Read More »

True Thanks

Wednesday was a special day this week. Aside from it being the 73rd anniversary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s leadership, it was a defining moment for our community.

As our community grows, and our communal home expands, we took the opportunity to thank our donors for making this happen. To be sure, it’s a work in progress. But, the progress is indeed outstanding.

We are grateful and indebted to the devoted donors, volunteers and community members that continue to make our Jewish community flourish!

Having great partners has shown us true humility in appreciation.


And, it’s an important time to reflect on gratitude. This week’s parsha, Beshalach contains a landmark declaration of gratitude – after a landmar… Read More »

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