January 2013

February 2013

 #1 City To Raise Kids

Bloomberg BusinessWeek recently rated Solon, OH as the Number One small town to raise kids.

Truthfully, the credit goes to the parents who care and are involved in their children’s education.

Our job, as the Jewish community in Solon, is to make Solon the Number One place to raise Jewish Children! Here as well, it’s the parents that make the difference, by celebrating Shabbat and Jewish holidays and being involved in their children’s Jewish education. 

And we do our share by providing the most hands on, fun Hebrew School that children actually enjoy!

 Holocaust Deniers

So, Egypt believes that the Holocaust was an invention of U.S.intelligence and the six million Jews who disappeared, simply moved to America during the war. Just ask Fathi Shihab–Eddim, a top aide of the Egyptian President.

These outrageous claims should be used to motivate us positively. The Jewish population in the U.S. today is less than  5.5 million, but perhaps we should all take part in helping to bring the number to six million.

The younger among us can simply give birth to an addition Jewish child, while the rest of us can spiritually give birth, by introducing another Jew to his heritage.

Let’s get to work!

March 2013

April 2013

No Quitting!

This week, the Pope bid a public farewell to the world.  This reminded me of a visit made in the 1970's by the Chief Rabbi of Romania, to the Lubavitcher Rebbe.  Rabbi Rozen told the Rebbe of his plans to retire.   

The Rebbe responded that Judaism doesn’t believe in retiring. When someone is in a leadership position and makes a difference in Jewish life in a community, stepping down is not an option. In the war for Jewish survival, every soldier is needed, and certainly a “commander.”  

If you  make a difference in a school, community or Jewish organization etc., then you are in active duty for good!

 Don't Be Late

On April 8th the world will commemorate Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Day.

Rabbi Israel Lau, former Chief Rabbi of Israel is the youngest survivor of Buchenwald. Last year, he visited a Holocaust Museum in Seattle, and was greeted by a veteran of WWII, who was one of the liberators of Buchenwald.

The former soldier turned to the Rabbi and asked for forgiveness. He said, “I am an old man. Before I meet the Lord, I would like to ask forgiveness for arriving to Buchenwald too late!”

When it comes to helping another person, we must do it right away, for we may just miss this opportunity. Don’t be too late! 

May 2013

June 2013

Boston Marathon

The mother of the Boston Bombers was a strong influence on their turning to a jihadist philosophy.   Apparently, the mother encouraged the Tsarnev boys to join the Palestinian fight against Israel which didn’t work out due to their inability to speak Arabic.

The power of a mother has always been recognized in Jewish culture. Perhaps, that’s why the Jewish religion is determined by the mother.   

Judaism counts on the influence of the mother – G‑d entrusted the Jewish mother to raise dedicated Jewish kids.

The Three Loves

When the Rebbe assumed leadership of the Chabad movement in 1951, he issued a mission statement.  Chabad is based on three “Loves”, the love of G‑d, love of the Torah and love of the Jewish people.

In Jewish history, there are three heroes who exemplify each of these attributes.  Abraham epitomized the love of G‑d, Moses embodied the love of Torah and the Rebbe loved every single Jew. 

Many claim to love the Torah, even more claim to love G‑d, but the real test is to love your fellow Jew.

In honor of the Rebbe’s upcoming Yahtzeit, let’s try a little harder!

July 2013

August 2013

My father, O.B.M.

“G‑d does not remain indebted – if you do something good, earlier or later, you will be rewarded.”

My dear father, Rabbi Moshe Greenberg, who passed away in Israel just two weeks ago was often heard quoting this statement.  When all of us managed to make it in time to stand at my father’s bedside surrounding him with love in the last hours of his life, this thought came to my mind.

My father encouraged us to open Chabad centers in far flung communities where we can make a difference, giving up on the Nachas of having his kids around him, and G‑d repaid him by making sure that we all were there for this important moment.

 Prince George

The whole world was riveted as the new prince arrived to grace the Royal Family.  Each detail of his arrival was watched, reported and recorded.

The Talmud tells us that “every Jew is considered a son of the King.”  This refers to G‑d, the King of all Kings. Thus we are all  princes and belong to the “Royal” family.

As royalty, Prince George will be expected to hold himself to a higher standard.  So too, as members of the “Royal Family,”  we must make sure that we represent G‑d and the Jewish people in a moral and holy manner.

September 2013

October 2013

Too Early

It seems like we were all caught by surprise.  The High Holidays are coming too early this year.   I wonder, is it so bad to wish each other a sweet new year a few weeks earlier?

I actually don’t mind to dip the apple in the honey sooner than later. 

Would you ever complain if your boss surprised you with a raise a little earlier?!  Or your customer pays you in advance?

Rosh Hashana is the time that G‑d gives us blessings for a good and sweet year.

Let’s welcome it with open arms – and don’t forget to show up to services a little bit earlier!

 The Handshake

The anticipated handshake between the President of the United States and President of Iran did not take place, but it provides us with an opportunity to reflect on this tradition.

If you pay attention, you will notice that a human being is created with two hands, and each hand has five fingers.  This serves as a constant reminder of the Two Tablets that G‑d gave Moses, with five commandments on each.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe once pointed out that When two individuals shake hands, the gesture should remind them of the Ten Commandments, making their handshake a reflection of  the foundation on which humanity stands.

Let’s shake on it!

November 2013 December 2013
            Monitoring Calls

World leaders were shocked to learn the allegations that the US government was monitoring their calls.

As Jews, the concept of our words being monitored is not new.  In Ethics of our Fathers, it says that a Jew must always calculate his words, because we know that "there is an Eye that sees and Ear that hears, and all your deeds are recorded in a book."

The good news is that your kind deeds and caring words that you may have long forgotten are also recorded.  In time of need, G‑d will remember, and it will stand you in good stead.

Turkey vs Latke

This year what do we serve first?  The turkey or the Latke?  

Thanksgiving is a tradition that originated in 1863, while Chanukah began more than 2,000 years before that!
Which food you choose doesn’t really matter, but when it comes to the lighting of the Menorah, as soon as night falls, then Jewish law says that the kindling of the Menorah takes precedence over all else. 
When we have the opportunity to do a mitzvah, then that becomes the order of the day.