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Why does Rabbi Akiva show up in Kol Nidrei?

I just learned this year that there’s an allusion to Rabbi Akiva in Kol Nidrei at the opening of the Yom Kippur services. The final letters of אור זרוע לצדיק ולישרי לב שמחה spell ר עקיבה (though usually with alef … Read the rest

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Why Students Should Skip Class for Yom Kippur:

As a Rabbi and teacher and parent, I’m not one to advocate for skipping classes. The primary purpose and function of a University is to get your education, and you ought to maximize every opportunity to do so. Get work Read the rest

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There’s a Monster at the end of this Machzor…

There’s a great little kids book about Sesame Street’s furry lovable Grover titled “There’s a Monster at the end of this Book”.

Grover is so frightened by the title, he does everything within his power (and then some!) to keep … Read the rest

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Composite Shabbos Shuvah Drasha 2019

The question “going around the table” was: Share something about an area of improvement, growth, or change as we enter the Jewish new year 5780….

I’d like to try to more out in nature: hikes, walks, even spending more time … Read the rest

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Black and White Shabbat

It all came together last minute on Thursday, but we decided to go with a Black and White Shabbat theme. Here’s the backstory:

It so happens that we have a local Israeli family visiting for Shabbos, the father worked as … Read the rest

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Two High Holiday Jokes – and messages

I saw both of these jokes just before Rosh Hashanah and realized that in addition to the humor, they also carry High Holiday truths and messages. 

THE MEMORIAL PLAQUE

A young boy was standing in the synagogue looking up at … Read the rest

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Rosh Hashanah and the Windows 7 to 10 Upgrade

First a word about Windows 7 this Fall 2019:

This tech issue won’t affect most of you in 2019, as most of you (Apple folks aside) have laptops made after Windows 7, most of you should be running Windows 10 … Read the rest

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Modern Shofar Meditations

Classic Jewish texts speak a lot about the Shofar’s meaning and messages. It’s said to remind us of the ram at the Binding of Isaac or the Shofar sounded at Sinai. The call of the Shofar is likened to an … Read the rest

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The Princess and Farmer Parable

I was in my early teens when I first heard this parable magnificently told by Rabbi Josh (Yehoshua Binyamin) Gordon (now of blessed memory), a dynamic Chabad Shliach in California who is widely known today for his many audio classes Read the rest

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Fern’s Shabbat Candles

At least a decade ago, maybe more, Shabbos House was involved in a national study of Jewish life on campus (this isn’t the study from 2005, that’s another story). A faculty member named Fern from the host University near Boston … Read the rest

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