October 2022
 

Jewish Homecoming
In biblical times, every seven years, men, women & children journeyed to Jerusalem for a special event called Hakhel.  At that time the King would read from the Torah Scroll in the Holy Temple courtyard.

Hakhel always took place on Sukkot, the year after the Shmitta- Sabbatical year.   

This was done in order to reenact the Mount Sinai experience – reaffirming our commitment and enthusiasm to observe the commandments of the Torah.

In our days too, the Rebbe said although we do not have a Temple or a King, we should still gather groups of Jewish people to learn Torah, thus reaffirming our commitment to Judaism.   This is the real homecoming! 


September 2022
Loan Forgiveness    
The White House recently announced a student loan forgiveness program for those that are eligible.  As in every other political move, some support it, while others oppose it.

Judaism believes that everything that happens is by Divine Providence.  This program was announced in the Jewish month of Elul – the month that leads us straight into the High Holidays.

Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are days that could be titled, “ G‑d’s Forgiveness program.”   Every year, we promise that we will change; try to be better, but not always do we live up to it.   At services, we ask G‑d for forgiveness – and for this, we are ALL eligible.

Wishing you all a Shana Tova! 


August 2022
Recession?

Is America experiencing the beginning of a recession?  It depends on who you ask!

The President argues that since there is a strong labor market, the economy is not in a recession.

This argument is best left to the professionals, but Judaism teaches us in Ethics of our Fathers, “The day is short and the work is vast…. “

Each person is endowed by G‑d with a special mission on earth; to make the world a more G‑dly place.  In this job market, the demand is huge; and as the Mishna writes “the Master is pressing,”  and one more thing – “the reward is great.”  

Let’s get to work. 


July 2022
28 Years Strong

28 years ago, after the Rebbe's passing, many people were concerned that the vibrancy of the Rebbe’s message would be dimmed by his absence.

In reality, as we commemorate his 28th Yahrtzeit, it’s obvious that the opposite 
occurred.  The Chabad outposts around the world increased five-fold.  If in 1994 there were 1000 of the Rebbe’s emissaries, today, there are 5500 – and growing daily.

But not only his mission stays alive.  His teachings and messages are currently 
inspiring millions of Jews and non Jews; to a point that the Rebbe’s presence is stronger than ever. 

The number 28 spells Koach in Hebrew letters, which means strength.  After 28 years strong we have the confidence to keep moving forward.
 


June 2022
Children

Since Uvalde, we can’t stop thinking about children. Everyone is concerned about their safety and their wellbeing.

Children play a very important role in Judaism.  Many holidays are centered around children, but very few know that the whole Torah was given because of children.

When G‑d was about to gift the Torah to the Jewish people, He asked for a guarantee that the Torah will be given over from generation to generation. And only when the Jewish nation promised that they will teach the Torah to their children, was the Torah given to us on Mount Sinai.

On June 5th, we celebrate the Holiday of Shavuot; the day of Giving of the Torah.  Make sure you bring the guarantors to be present while we read the Ten Commandments! 

 


May 2022
Spiritual Vaccine

This week, in honor of Holocaust day, one of the survivors shared that before her mother gave her up to a Christian family to hide her, she told her, “I’m going to teach you something that will help you through this difficult time.” 

Her mother was a secular Jew and never taught her anything Jewish, but she taught her nine  year old the Shema Yisrael prayer and that is what kept her going throughout the war.

Until today, whenever she feels stressed or anxious, it’s the Shema that calms her down.

As America is expecting the approval of the vaccine for children, let’s give our children the spiritual vaccine – teach them Shema Yisrael!


 



April 2022
A Birthday Present
This month, on April 12th, we will be celebrating the 120th birthday of the Rebbe.

Kabbalah teaches us that birthdays should be celebrated even after someone’s passing.  This is especially true, regarding a Tzadik, a righteous leader whose influence continues to live on in the world.

Due to the Rebbe’s vision and leadership, the Jewish landscape has been enriched.  Today, there are Chabad Rabbis in every community and every corner of the earth.

At his birthday celebrations the Rebbe often said,  “If you want to give me a gift, do a Mitzvah.”

In honor of the Rebbe’s 120th birthday, let’s give him  a gift that he would appreciate. 
 


March 2022
Do you have a sister in Ukraine

This past week I was inundated with emails, phone calls and text messages from concerned friends asking how my sister in Odessa is doing.

It’s not that people are just worried about my sister and her family, I can tell that there is  a deep concern about the whole Jewish community that is stuck in the war zone.

Intellectually, Jewish people disagree about almost everything.  However, in times of crisis, our deep emotional connections are revealed.  We realize that ultimately, we are one people.

The Rebbe taught us that since we are interconnected, a mitzvah performed in one place can add to the protection of a Jew at the other side of the world.  Let’s each add a mitzvah for their sakes.
 


February 2022

Orphans in Ukraine

While the world is following the crisis between Russia and Ukraine, for me, it’s personal. My sister and brother-in-law live in Ukraine and among many institutions, they established an orphanage for Jewish children who were either abandoned or have parents that can’t raise them. They treat these 100 children like their own, providing for them from cradle to Chupah.

Last week, my sister posted a video of a Bris on our family chat and everyone was wondering who just had a baby!  It was a Jewish child that was given up at birth, and he is the latest addition to their extended “family.”

As the possibility of war intensifies, most foreign nationals are going back to their home countries,   but for them, leaving is not an option. 

We can only pray for peace in the region for everyone! 



January 2022

The Modern Day Maccabees!

The Yeshiva University Maccabee basketball team has made it to the news with the longest winning streak  in the history of college basketball.

 The name Maccabee is famous from the Chanukah story where a small group of heroes fought against the mighty Greek army and brought about the miracle of Chanukah. 

 But less known is that the word Maccabee is an acronym of a famous biblical verse, that praises G‑d: Mi Kamocha Baelim Hashem,  Who is like You, G‑d, among other supernal beings?! When you have G‑d on your team, even the improbable becomes possible.