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Inspiration from Last Cozy Shabbat of Winter 5778

This Winter 5778 (2017-2018) we were home hosting Cozy Shabbat only 2 of the 5 weekends. On the first weekend of break we were away in Michigan for a family Bar-Mitzvah road trip, another weekend we spent visiting alumni on Long Island (with a reunion there on Sat night) and one more weekend away (just […]

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A Collection of Warmth

With all the cold raging outside, we thought it appropriate to share a collection of stories and inspiration about “internal” warmth. First a few links from past “mendels messages” posts: 1) Surrounded by Barrels – this short Russian story is about alcohol but you can get the same message thinking of a coffee shop vs. a cup […]

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Lessons from Driving a Hybrid Car

New Years 2018 was our first opportunity to drive a hybrid car, a Ford Fusion Hybrid to be exact. As the Baal Shem Tov taught, and as we are wont to do, here are two life-lessons we learned from our one-day experience driving a Hybrid. Please note that we are by no means hybrid experts […]

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Tea and Tehillim

We did a whole Torah-Tuesday class on this, all based on this saying from Zeide Moshe Rubin: He used to say: Tea and Tehillim are always good, but they have to be hot! Let me explain. In the old-times, no one ever drank ice-tea. So, tea had to be hot. And while a guest could […]

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Two Chassidic Stories of Chanukah in the Forest

One day this Chanukah 2017 I shared two Chanukah stories with my 7th graders at the Maimonides School in Albany. They asked, “Hey, both these stories are about Chanukah in the forest, deep in the woods. How come?” I started to explain that back then forests were everywhere, and to get from one village to […]

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The Test Menorah

In the spirit of our “Final-ly Chanukah” theme for Chanukah – Finals Week at UAlbany in 2017, we lit a large “Test-Menorah” made up of 4 types of Chanukah Tests. While they may be harder to read on the circular pipes of the Menorah, we’re posting all the questions below, for your study, perusal and […]

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Testing, Testing, 123… 8!

Our theme for Chanukah 2017/5778 is “Final-ly Chanukah!” given that this year it falls over Finals Week at UAlbany. We’re doing a “Test-Menorah” decked out in Multiple-Choice, True and False, Essay Questions…  and a student asked that each day have a short inspiration, a meaningful message. In that spirit we’re going to post 8 messages […]

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This is a Test. But what test-type?

Being that Chanukah 2017 falls over Finals Week at UAlbany, we’re going with a “Final-ly Chanukah” theme. This year we’re lighting a Test-Menorah on the Podium, with the branches of the Menorah decorated as different types of test questions: multiple choice, fill in the blank, true or false, and essay questions, see all the Test […]

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Little Rivka Defines a Bris

It so happens that Raizy’s family will be celebrating a Bris and a wedding on the same day this coming week. Thank G-d for Simchas and Mazal Tovs, wishing for many more! As we were sitting around discussing the logistics, Rivka (age 3) pipes up and says, “I know what a Bris is. You put […]

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Chevron = the city & the symbol

You know the Chevron symbol? It might be familiar because of the gas company by that name, or because of its common use in military insignia. Merriam-Webster says that the name Chevron comes from the Latin word caper for goat, probably for a goat’s V-shaped horns (that source seems like quite stretch) or more likely […]

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