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.

Looking Forward!

It’s easy to bemoan the state of the Jewish people. If we choose to look at the glass as half-empty, there is plenty to consider.  From rampant intermarriage and assimilation on the spiritual front to horrific terrorism in Israel and the alarming protests on campuses across America.

At this time of year, many of us reflect upon these realities and remark, with a sigh, “G-d saved us from Egypt and He will save us from these threats as well.”  Pesach is a time that reminds us of the miraculous resilience of the Jewish people.  The Egyptians, Greeks and Babylonians are no longer here, but we Jews continue to survive.

It’s reassuring to view the past as a beacon of hope for the future. In short: we never… Read More »

The Fifth Son

The Midrash tells how, one day, a lamb ran away from the flock under Moshe’s care. Moshe chased after it, until it came to a spring and began to drink. When Moses reached the lamb, he cried: "Oh, I did not know that you were thirsty!" He cradled the runaway lamb in his arms and carried it to the flock. Said the Almighty: "You are merciful in tending a lost sheep - you will tend My flock, the people of Israel."

This was indeed the defining mark of leadership. Although Moses was a great prophet and the conveyor of Torah to the Jewish people, his greatest moment may have been his refusal to abandon the Jewish people after the sin of the Golden Calf.  Most leaders would have been disgusted with such a severe act … Read More »

Digital Damage

A Texas family is suing a school district after it failed to act in response to their son being bullied. The school denies that the activity rose to the definition of bullying.

Here’s what happened: Their son, a player on the high school football team, is severely allergic to peanuts. He carries an EpiPen with him wherever he goes. Some students intentionally placed peanuts in his locker and on his uniform. Luckily, he was uninjured from the incident.

So, which is worse: taunting words, derogatory tweets, or harmful acts?


In this week’s Torah portion, Tazria, we read about the consequences of Lashon Harah (evil talk, gossip and slander).

The Midrash explains that Lashon Harah is terrible because, “What is spoken in … Read More »

What to Say

Do you sometimes wonder what to say to someone when hearing that they suffered a tragedy or are facing a challenge? Are you at a loss for words because you cannot imagine what they are going through? Do you want to say something but aren’t sure if it will help or harm?


In this week’s parsha, Shemini, we learn of Aharon’s response to the heartbreaking news that two of his sons had perished. The Torah states simply, “And Aharon was silent.”

Because of his silence, explains the Midrash, Aharon merited that the Almighty spoke directly and exclusively to him.

A private audience with G-d is a pretty spectacular reward. What was so special about Aharon’s behavior that earned him this great honor?


The T… Read More »

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