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A Shofar-less Rosh Hashanah

This year (5784/2023) is one of those years when the first day of Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbat. We don’t blow Shofar when it falls on Shabbat. In such calendar schedules Shofar is only blown on the second day of … Read the rest

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The Angle of the Turn

Given all the avid, passionate and knowledgeable meteorology friends we have at UAlbany, can’t help but hear a lot of buzz in this week leading up to Rosh Hashanah 5784/2023 about forecasting the path Hurricane Lee will take. And it … Read the rest

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Mixed Mood Selichot: Yeshiva and College

Here’s a memory of mine from Motzai Shabbat Selichot (the midnight prayers on the Saturday night before Rosh Hashanah) from my Yeshiva years, and thinking back to that now, as we look forward to Midnight Selichot.

YESHIVA DAYS, SELICHOT IN Read the rest

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Barbie before Rosh Hashanah

Given all the huge hype before this Rosh Hashanah 5784/2023 about Barbie, and that this Shabbos UAlbany Hillel (we alternate Friday Nights) is going with a Barbie-theme – would like to share two thoughts about the Barbie film (without having … Read the rest

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Two Sixteenth Birthday Memories

A little Chabad history and personal history about celebrating birthdays.

CHABAD HISTORY ON BIRTHDAYS

So until 1988 there wasn’t much in the way of birthday celebrations in Chabad. Yes, there was a new song each year for the Rebbe’s new … Read the rest

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Finding Personalization in a Blank Sheepskin

It so happens that we had a lot of student birthdays this week and it falls near the 25th of Elul which is the birthday of the world/creation so we decided to go with a birthday theme for Shabbat. This … Read the rest

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A Page Turn in Crictor

We just came across this children’s book titled “Crictor” by Tomi Ungarer, first published in 1958. It’s about an old woman in Paris who receives a surprise gift of a snake, mailed in a circular box, shipped by her son … Read the rest

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The Pilot & The Passengers, the Charge & the Silence

This story may soon appear in national newspapers. We heard it from Rabbi Mendy and Devorah Leah Mathless who run the University Heights Chabad adjacent to Albany Medical Center and Bikur Cholim services to patients and families at this major Read the rest

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#RashiToday: Eikev

Eikev Day 1:

Eikev can mean “because” or “heel”. The former seems to be a simpler contextual fit, but #RashiToday (Eikev Day 1) goes with heel (as the sole interpretation), as in (fully) fulfilling “mitzvot people tend to (figuratively/attitudinally) trample … Read the rest

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#RashiToday: Vaetchanan

Vaetchanan Day 1:

1st #RashiToday commentary on Vaetchanan (Day 1) has 2 commentaries on this usual (opening) title word: (1) request for a free gift (2) a form of prayer. Based on a bunch of questions, Rebbe sees them as … Read the rest

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