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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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Our Response to the Words in the Snow

Many have asked about our response to the very disturbing anti-Israel words on the pristine snowy fountain this morning. Since early this morning we have been in touch with the University administration, University Police, and Jewish student leaders and other … Read the rest

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Animal Soul vs. Yetzer Hora

Some of you might be familiar with the term “Yetzer Hora” or evil inclination. The Talmud describes the two voices inside our heads: Yetzer Tov and Yetzer Hora, the former tries to influence us towards good, the latter towards bad. In … Read the rest

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