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I think I must have been born reading a book. I can't hardly remember a time when I didn't read books. Don't get me wrong. It's not like as a kid I did nothing except read. Summers when I was growing up were active times. Days were filled with bicycle riding, playing baseball, swimming at Read More

If there is thing that I've noticed over the years, it's that many people are afraid of Onkelos. I've seen it both when I was teaching in yeshiva and now in my tutoring. Imagine this scene: I'm leading a group of eager guys through some verses in Chumash. We're going along, all so happy as Read More

I've been using the new Siddur Nehalel BeShabbat for a number of weeks now and really enjoying it. I'm sure you're shocked. After all, just because I wrote a positive review about the siddur, doesn't mean that I have to keep using it. :-) The truth is, I didn't use it for a couple of Read More

Parashat Shemini – Puzzle

The outline of this week's parasha bothers me. Here's the basic structure of the parasha following the breaks in the Torah text: For the first time Aharon and his sons perform the priestly service. In a burst of enthusiasm Nadav and Avihu bring "strange fire" and are killed. The priests are commanded about drunkenness. Moshe Read More

Blessing the Trees

Today is Rosh Chodesh Nisan. Rosh Chodesh Nisan has a special place in Jewish history. We read at the end of Shemot (Judaica Press translation): Shemot 40:17 It came to pass in the first month, in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the Mishkan was set up. There are two Read More


Spring is definitely in the air. It's a good thing, too. Pesach is now less than a month away and Pesach must be celebrated in the spring. We read in this week's parasha (Judaica Press translation slightly edited): Shemot 34:18 The Festival of Matzot you shall keep; seven days you shall eat matzot which I Read More

To Turn In a Thief

Two prominent rabbis in Israel have recently made statements about tax evasion and turning in those who cheat. Here's the article from Arutz Sheva: Rabbi of HaShimshoni Community in Modi’in Haim Navon is of the opinion that it is permissible to report cases of excessive tax evasion to prevent theft of the public. “Minor tax Read More

Terumah – Puzzle

Last week's parasha recounted the ascent of Moshe to Har Sinai. This week begins the commandments for building the Mishkan and its service. God commands those people who are willing and able to participate in building the Mishkan. They were asked to donate about 14 objects for its construction and service. I say "about" since Read More

I received Siddur Nehalel beShabbat in the mail last Wednesday. A quick glance through the siddur told me that this is something special. I have to admit, I'm not a fan of the Nevarech Bencher. I've always found it difficult to use and the pictures distracting. Despite that I decided to take the plunge with Read More

Mishpatim – Puzzle

Since this week's parasha recounts the ascent of Moshe to Har Sinai, here's a word search puzzle on that theme. There are seven hidden words here. Each word is the name of a person or group who was there when Moshe ascended. What's the first name you spotted? Please share what you found in the Read More