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Kaddish for Two Mothers

It so happened that this week, two people from the community came to our Shabbos Minyan to say Kaddish after the passing of their mothers. W.K. lost his mother this week, the burial was on Friday. Y.C.’s mother passed away … Read the rest

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Infield and Outfield

12193349_925521027503630_5524339191435784173_nFor Shabbat of October 30th, Game 3 of the Mets in the World Series 2015, we set up the Shabbat dinner tables into an infield diamond (with blue tablecloths) and an outfield of 3 rows of tables (with orange tablecloths) … Read the rest

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3 Portraits of Getting Into the Words of Torah

“Bo el HaTeiva” are the three words G-d told Noah to “come into the Ark.” Teivah is Hebrew for Ark, but it also can mean Word. The Baal Shem Tov (see #13 of our Twenty Baal Shem Tov teachingsRead the rest

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High Stakes in Game 5

You didn’t have to be a die-hard Mets fan to be closely following their NLDS 2015 Game 5 against the LA Dodgers this past Thursday night. The Mets have come a long way to get to this playoff series. And … Read the rest

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Bittersweet Hakafot Dancing

This Sukkot (2015), following Abbas’ speech and declaration at the UN, has seen a tragic surge in terror attacks, stabbings and shootings in Israel. Earlier this holiday we spoke of the shooting of Eitam and Naama Henkin (and messages from Read the rest

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3 Reasons for Maximum Sukkah Height

Is there a maximum height of a Sukkah? The first Mishna of Talmud Sukkah says there’s an argument about this. The general consensus is that a Sukkah (floor-to-ceiling) can’t be higher than 20 Amos (cubits) or the equivalent of about … Read the rest

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Naama Henkin’s Lulav Art & The Exemplary Etrog Way of Life

Eitam&NaamaHenkinIn middle of the Sukkot holiday this year (5776 / 2015), Eitam and Naama Henkin, an Israeli couple, were gunned down and killed in their car by terrorists, while their children were (thankfully spared) in the back seat. Abbas’ Fatah … Read the rest

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The King Under The Bed

A parable:Long ago, in some far off land, (this is a fictional parable actually) a king went hunting in a thick woods and accidentally got separated from his hunting party. To make matters worse, some ruffians, mortal enemies of the king, … Read the rest

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Sukkah de Vivre!

There’s a story told about an uptight and unhappy rich man and a poor but joyous man, a Chassid, who lived on the same street in a small Eastern European shtetl. The rich man had a much larger house, of … Read the rest

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No Need for Reward, Doing it for the Mitzvah Itself

This classic Chassidic Sukkot story is told in Rabbi Zevin’s “Chassidic Stories for the Festivals.” This story dates back to Eastern Europe before UPS and FedEx, when shipping was costly and unreliable, and Jewish communities were quite poor with limited … Read the rest

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