Rabbi Michael Green's Blog
Keeping kosher is seemingly easier than ever before. Wherever you turn you can find a slew of kosher products bearing at least one reputable kashrus symbol on the front or back of the product. However, when it comes to keeping kosher on an airplane, things can get tricky. For instance, people need to be aware of issues such as, should one wash or not wash on “mezonos rolls,” and the topic of ordering coffee on an airplane (see number eight here).
One issue that I’d like to bring to light is that the kosher consumer should even be aware of the kashrus of their soft drink!
The summer Olympics in London are set to begin in less than 24 hours! For many, it gives them a chance to root for their nation to a global audience. As someone who was born and raised in the United States, I always used to take a peek to see where the U.S. is projected to finish in the gold medal standings. The chief of sport performance for the U.S. Olympic team calls it a stretch for Americans to win the most overall and gold medals at the London Olympics. Indeed, China is projected to take home this achievement and win roughly 100 gold medals (see here).
Nowadays, however, I’m looking for the inspirational story coming out of the Olympics. I believe that the person who carries the most inspirational of stories is not a young phenom.
The Shul I attended during my childhood had a greeter (see this New York Times article on how nuanced of a job upper class doormen have serving as a greeter on down). This job wasn’t taken lightly at all. In fact, it was filled by none other than a noted author and radio personality. Week after week, he would sit by the front door, and last row in Shul, to make certain that a tourist, newcomer, visitor, or unaffiliated Jew was guided to their seat, and also had a Siddur, Chumash, and even a Shabbos Meal! As someone who travels for many weeks throughout North America each year, I can attest that this type of warmth is something that is not exhibited in many Shuls—let alone outreach Shuls…
I really should have posted this here when I saw this billboard last summer. However, with the upcoming Purim holiday, I’d be remiss to not feature these images here. Indeed, at first glance one might think, “is this a Purim prank!?!?!” After all, Donald Trump is known for hawking anything and everything under the sun from hotels to menswear! And yet, when I was walking down the hill that leads into the Charedi community of Sanhedria Murchevet I could not believe my eyes. There was “The Donald” grinning and offering his Trump Vodka to all the people who might see the billboard. What’s more, the billboard boast that it has not one but two Kosher certifications (one of them being a Badatz Hechsher)…
As the Overseas Director of Bnot Torah/Sharfman’s I have the unique opportunity to travel all throughout North America and visit and pray in a plethora of shuls and communities. Indeed, there are some days that I have been in three states in one day! When it comes to Shabbos, I’ve spent that time serving as a Scholar-in-Residence or visiting with friends or family.
Regardless of the state or the size of the community, by and large I have noticed three trends when it comes to Minyanim…
Rabbi Efrem Goldberg is the Senior Rabbi of the Boca Raton Synagogue (BRS). His congregation is rapidly-growing with over 650 families. It follows that he is someone who cares for the needs of all of his congregants. Indeed, the other day, he asked (here) on his Twitter account the following question, “how would u shorten shabbos morning davening within halachik boundaries in an effort to make it more enjoyable and meaningful?”
This question elicited several responses. Rabbi Eli Storch of DRS answered (here), ”take away the hosafos in leining. no misheberachs after the aliya. Don’t sing while taking out the Torah,” while Mordechai Holtz, the COO of Meor, replied (here) that he should consider what I believe to be an even more drastic method. Namely, Mordechai suggested modifying the services to be more akin to, “Israeli style [in which there's] no speech during davening (do it post-prayer where those w/ kids dont feel pressured).” Rabbi Gil Student of TorahMusings.com replied with an answer that I see to be a healthy medium. He wrote (here), that the service should simply offer a “quick dvar Torah…
Hashem doesn’t have a Blackberry or an iPhone, but He is my favorite contact. He doesn’t have Facebook, but He is my best friend. He doesn’t have Twitter but I follow him nevertheless. He doesn’t have Foursquare, but He is always checked in. He doesn’t have Linkedin but I always feel connected to him wherever I may find myself. He doesn’t have Google but that’s OK because he’s God. He doesn’t even have internet, but I am connected to Him. And even though He has a massive communication system, He never puts me on hold!
There is a worldwide initiative that is close to my heart and that I believe is worthy enough to bring to your attention. As such, my wife will be joining Jewish mothers the world over in lighting Shabbos candles 5 minutes earlier this Friday night (Parshas Zachor/March 2nd 2012).
This dramatic appeal to all Jewish women around the world is meant to to help focus our thoughts on the terrible events that took place now over 2+ years ago–and daven for the speedy refuah of a friend and hero who remains in a coma. On Rosh Chodesh Av, just over 2 years ago Menashe Chaim Ben Shulamit Tufcha jumped into the sewage drain in the Ramat Eshkol park that is known to all as “The Iglu Park.” My children as well as hundreds of other local kids have enjoyed playing at this park. Sadly, a cute three and a half year old Racheli Sofer went to this park and never returned home to her loving family. You see, Menashe Chaim Ben Shulamit Tufcha didn’t know who she was, but that didn’t stop him from jumping down into a pit that Racheli had fallen into while playing in the park.
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