January 2010

February 2010

Get Grounded

Air travel is becoming more challenging by the day as the recent terror attempt on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit just emphasized once again.

Today, people are much more hesitant to get on a flight even though, statistically, flying is still safer than driving. Perhaps they have a point.

In life, people often "fly" in the heavens and have grandiose ideas of how to fix the world. But they comfortably forget the importance of improving themselves.

Maybe it’s time to get grounded. 

 Haiti’s Earthquake

The earthquake in Haiti shook up the whole world.  Americans and Israeli’s rushed to the rescue while most of the world was sitting on sidelines.

 When there’s a tragedy of such magnitude, many people get paralyzed and give up on really being able to make a difference.  

Judaism believes that saving one life is like saving the whole world.   One little baby is important enough to send out a whole crew of rescuers to the other side of the world, costing untold amount of dollars. 

There is no price tag for a life.

March 2010

April 2010


For some in Dubai, Purim came a bit early this year! Men and women involved in the assassination of the Hamas terrorist, were caught on camera dressed up and with false identities.

Dressing up is not new to us. The custom of masquerading on Purim, dates back 800 years to a Jewish community in Germany.

When you meet a person, and you don’t like what you see – remember – this may just be a cover up. Judaism believes that deep down, every one of us has a gentle soul.  

Always look behind the mask! 

 Our Land

Whenever we pick up a newspaper, and we see the word, “Israel” on a headline, we are immediately drawn to the article. When we listen to the news and Israel is mentioned, instinctively, our ears perk up. 
This is not just Israelis, or Jews that travel often to Israel; what’s remarkable is that even Jews who have never stepped foot in the Holy Land, feel this personal connection.
This sense of ownership was granted to us by G‑d. The Torah tells us that the Land of Israel was given to each and every one of us as an inheritance. Every Jew has equal ownership over the land of Israel.  
This land is our land!! 

May 2010

June 2010

The Volcano

All of Europe shut down last week due to the huge volcanic eruption in Iceland.  

The pictures of the volcano that we saw on the news had a striking similarity to a Biblical event that took place over 3,000 years ago. 

The Torah describes the scene at Mount Sinai. There was a fire coming out of the mountain, accompanied with dark clouds, heavy smoke and thick fog. Yet, behind the darkness and the smoke, was the voice of G‑d. 

In our lives too, there are moments of darkness where a thick fog surrounds us; keep in mind – that G‑d is right there behind the cloud! 

  The Oil Spill

What a mess in the Gulf of Mexico. Everyone is concerned about the oil spill deep down in the soil that can’t be stopped.

In the Torah, the Jewish people are compared to rich soil. Just as deep under ground one can find treasures such as oil, jewels, and precious minerals, so too, each Jew really has treasures within.

You may have to drill deeply to discover them, because on the surface, all dirt looks alike!

With the recent oil spill, the government suspended drilling for six months; in Judaism, we never cease drilling!

July 2010

August 2010

Thank you

Recently, I was in NY visiting the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s gravesite in honor of his Yahrtzeit.

When I walked out, a young man approached me and asked, “If you would be able to meet the Rebbe today, what would you ask him?”

I answered, “I wouldn’t ask anything – I would just say, ‘Thank You.’ ”

The Rebbe taught us to share our Judaism with all Jews, regardless of their background or affiliation.

I’ll be forever thankful to the Rebbe for encouraging and inspiring me, and giving me the privilege to be a part of the “Rebbe’s army”. 

Netanyahu’s Advice 

At his last visit to the United States, Prime Minister Netanyahu was interviewed by Larry King.    He was asked an uncommon question:   “You have tremendous pressure and responsibility as Prime Minister of Israel, do you ever relax?” 

Without hesitation, the Prime minister said, “Yes, every Shabbat I sit down for 1½ hours with my son and study the Bible.   This gives me reservoirs of strength and inspiration to deal with all the challenges of the land of Israel. I recommend it for others, too.” 

Let’s take the Prime Minister’s advice and set aside some time every Shabbat for

Torah study. It may work for us too! 

September 2010 October 2010

Too Early?

Everyone’s complaining that this year, the High Holidays are coming too early. It seems that we are just “not ready yet”. 

Think about it a different way. Imagine your loving parents invite you on a cruise to spend a weekend of quality time together, and you find out that the date is earlier than you expected.... would you still complain? 

Avinu Malkenu, our Father in Heaven is inviting us to spend quality time with Him on the High Holidays, in a very intimate environment. 

And this year, we are lucky enough to celebrate earlier.

Happy New Year! 

The Wrong Holiday!

Which holiday in the Jewish calendar attracts the most Jews to the Synagogues?

Yom Kippur – unfortunately, this is the wrong day to introduce Judaism to newcomers and once a year worshippers. 

You don’t eat – don’t drink – just sit in shul for many hours; bored stiff and counting down the pages!   Add a long (boring?!) sermon and cantorial pieces that are drawn out forever!

The right day to fill up the Synagogues would be Simchat Torah.   A day of singing and dancing accompanied with plenty of food and drink.   This would make everyone want to come back.


 November 2010 December 2010

Political Lessons

Election Day seems to sharpen everyone’s political beliefs. 

If you are a staunch Democrat, you will not change your views even if you find yourself in a room full of strong Republicans. And if you are a true Republican, all the Democrats in the country won’t get you to change your mind.

Judaism should be the same for each one of us. Our surroundings should never affect our religious convictions. If you find yourself with a group of people who don’t appreciate the value of Jewish traditions, stand firm in your beliefs and be proud of who you are! 


Did you travel over Thanksgiving? You probably experienced one of two things – either the full body scans or an “enhanced patdown.”

In Israel, these procedures are avoided thru the use of the “profiling method”. Instead of screening every traveler, they concentrate on those who look suspicious.

The decision of which method of screening is better, I will leave to the experts. In Judaism though, profiling is unacceptable. One cannot judge a Jew by his appearance. If you have the right screening devices, you will discover that deep down, there is a Jewish spark in each and every one.