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Despite vs Because: Meatballs and Disability Inclusion

This thought has three parts: It begins with a story, goes into a little Chassidus philosophy and ends up talking about the meatballs and spaghetti we served at the Disability Awareness, Appreciation and Inclusion Shabbat, as part of an international … Read the rest

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Jimmy G vs. Mahomes in Superbowl LIV – and us

Superbowl LIV, the 2020 Superbowl played by the Kansas City Chiefs vs. the San Francisco 49ers, features two young quarterbacks with very different playing styles and strengths. This is not something I (Mendel) would have known on my own, but … Read the rest

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2020 Regards from Poland & Israel

At the first Shabbat dinner back of 2020, students who visited Poland and/or Israel over the 2019-2020 winter-break shared memories and highlights:

For me the greatest moment was when we lit a Menorah on the tracks leading into Birkenau, the … Read the rest

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Envision Shabbat 360 UAlbany 2020

The theme for Shabbat 360 at UAlbany this year is “Envision the Possibilities”, so we’re going to try to come up with a bunch of Envision-themed concepts and messages in this Spring 2020 week leading up to Shabbat 360 2020, Read the rest

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Tevet 20 & 21 – Two Family Yartzeits

It so happens that we have two family yartzeits (annivesaries of passing) on two back-to-back Tevet dates, and since our children don’t know much about these ancestors (their great-great-grandparents) thought it would be meaningful to share something about them, and … Read the rest

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Random Insights & Lessons from our Florida Roadtrip 2019

THE PIGGLY WIGGLY, SOMEWHERE IN GEORGIA

Somewhere deep in Georgia we stopped to get some vegetables and stuff for our picnic supper. It was a small town, maybe on the more basic side. Google Maps took us to a Piggly … Read the rest

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Dreidel Operators Manual

a humorous twist on Dreidel (the Chanukah toy) by Rabbi Israel Rubin, (originally published in the syndicated Holiday Guide family of Newspapers)

A HIGH-TECH DREIDEL?

In a world of 3-D video games and surfing the Internet, kids may look skeptically … Read the rest

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A Yud Tes Kislev Story about Shema

There’s a YudTesKislev (19th Kislev, day of Alter Rebbe’s release from Czarist prison and known as the Rosh Hashanah of Chassidus) story about a friendly prison officer smuggling out a reassuring message of Alter Rebbe’s wellbeing from Czarist prison to … Read the rest

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Square (and Circle)

This simple (but brilliant!) picture book by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen is incredibly rich and deep. I think it is one of the great children’s books that is a wonderful parable to illustrate an aspect of a fundamental Chassidic … Read the rest

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The Tightrope Challenge

Reb Mendel Futerfas was a legendary Chabad chassid who spent a decade in Soviet prisons and labor camp gulags. He tells a story about how the prisoners would sit around at night and share from their past lives, their areas … Read the rest

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