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.
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Uniquely Jewish

I sometimes lead staff training sessions at schools, governmental agencies, prisons, organizations, and businesses. The purpose is to educate them about Jewish beliefs and practice, so they could be sensitive to the needs of Jewish students, prisoners, employees, or customers.

At one particular training, it was easy for them to grasp and relate to the fundamental tenets of Judaism and the commandments of Shabbat and kosher. What particularly caught their attention was tefillin.

I guess if I were never exposed to the practice of donning black leather boxes on head and arm, it would seem rather bizarre to me too.  But it was not the look of tefillin that intrigued these people who had never seen them before.  Nor was it the meanin… Read More »

Demolition Derby

Some people enjoy demolition as a sport. Demolition Derby survives to this day as a last car standing thriller.

And, some sports enjoy demolition. A new coach might come into an organization and demolish the roster, getting rid of players deemed subpar. The team may not perform well in the short-term. But, the hope is that a turnaround will benefit the team in the long-term.


This coming week we will observe the darkest day on the Jewish calendar – Tisha B’Av – which commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temples in Jerusalem.   This day embodies the exile and suffering that Jews have endured for nearly two millennia.

While it’s easy to blame the Babylonians and Romans for our current pre… Read More »

Israel & the Jews

Whether it’s judicial reform, America’s relationship with Israel or the threat from a nuclear Iran, unique and perhaps odd relationship between Jews and Israel is always making headlines. 

I know many Americans who are concerned about the challenges in Sudan, Syria, India, Ukraine, and many other places. For some reason the deep feelings that Jews have toward Israel stands in a league of its own.  Many Jews who profess no involvement in Judaism are adamant about their support and affection of Israel.

My parents, grandparents and great-grandparents have not lived in Israel. In fact, for most American Jews – we have not lived in Israel for centuries. Yet the attachment that Jews have to Israel is pronounced.

Tak… Read More »

Naturally, A Miracle

What do you do when you suddenly become the owner of something you never expected? Whether it is the unforeseen inheritance of a house, the abrupt responsibility of caring for children, the immediate promotion to a higher position with greater responsibility – in all these instances you do not have the luxury of preparation. Due to the unexpected nature of these events you cannot ease into your newfound reality.

The Jewish people left Egypt as newly freed slaves. They had forty years to adjust to freedom. But they were about to enter Israel – and they had never been there before.  Logic would dictate that the Jews should settle into the land and gradually get to know their country before dividing it up.

But this week&rsqu… Read More »

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