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The Composite Shabbos Shuvah Drasha III (2015)

Its customary for Rabbis to give long sermons on the Shabbos between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, known as a Shabbos Shuvah Drasha. We’re not fans of long speeches, so we found a way around it. We ask everyone at … Read the rest

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The Akeidah Poem by Yehudah Samuel Abbas

Professor Herman Prins Salomon, usually away for the High Holidays, joined us for Rosh Hashanah this year (2015). In addition to his signature Haftorah readings in the Sephardic Spanish-Portuguese tradition, he read for us a dramatic poem “Eit Shaarei Ratzon” … Read the rest

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Loose Ends & Total Immersion

Each of the Tzitzit strings on the corners of a Tallit or Tzitzit garment have a series of twists and knots. My Tzitzit have a perpetual problem of unraveling and losing their grip, leaving me with loose ends. It seems … Read the rest

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Psalm 24: Mountain Climbing and Opening Doors

Psalm 24 “L’David Mizmor” is read on both nights of Rosh Hashanah, near the conclusion of the evening service. The ark is opened, it is read somberly, some congregations read it line by line. The main message is that to … Read the rest

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Collar Stays and Live TV

HeatherMendelGregWTENI got a call about a TV slot a few days before Rosh Hashanah, because Albany’s WTEN Channel 10 wanted to do a quick segment on Rosh Hashanah traditions in the morning show before the holiday. You can see the Read the rest

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Rabbi Mendel explains Rosh Hashanah on WTEN ABC

Rabbi Mendel was asked to share Rosh Hashanah traditions on the day before Rosh Hashanah at Albany’s Channel 10 WTEN ABC News with Heather Kovar.

 

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Bernard Haller – A Jewish Semper Fidelis!

These two pictures of a gravestone in the New Montefiore cemetery (on Wellwood Avenue in Long Island) were posted in our family’s WhatsApp group. They are pictures of the gravestone of a Bernard Haller, Baruch son of Zev, born in … Read the rest

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Come up the Mountain – And Be There!

My father would often tell this story in the Sukkah. I haven’t seen it printed anywhere, so I am telling it how I heard it and loved it:

Once upon a time there was a Chassid traveling to his Rebbe … Read the rest

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20 Baal Shem Tov Teachings

BaalShemTovInfographic20TeachingsOur first Torah Tuesday of the Fall 2015 semester fell on Chai (18th of) Elul, the birthday of the Baal Shem Tov, founder of Chassidism (as well as the birthday of the Alter Rebbe, founder of Chabad).

We titled the … Read the rest

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The “Betach!” Letter

Recently, at an alumni wedding, the father showed me the letter he received from the Lubavitcher Rebbe for his engagement in 1988. He was especially enthusiastic BetachEngagementLetterabout “Betach” the first word of the letter. A little while later, his wife … Read the rest

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