Rabbi Michael Green's Blog

The Jerusalem Life Magazine Interviews Rabbi Green

I am honored that The Jerusalem Life magazine decided to feature me for this month’s, Who’s Who: Personalties Around Jerusalem column. This periodical is enjoyed by thousands in Jerusalem and its surrounding cities, and always seems to contain practical articles relating to educating ones children within the framework of Israeli society, insights into family development, and much more. Hence, when a number of months ago, Mrs. C.B. Gavant, a writer for The Jerusalem Life, contacted me hoping that I would agree to be interviewed for the Who’s Who: Personalties Around Jerusalem column, I decided to comply with her request. In so doing, I granted her access into my daily life as well as a bit of the back story into how we settled in Eretz Yisrael!

Now months removed from the interview, I remain truly humbled with how the final piece came out. Likewise, I thank all of you who already read the article and called or emailed saying how much you enjoyed the piece.

April 15, 2011 - Read More (1 Comment) »

Pesach & The Civil War

The American Civil War (1861–1865) began on April 12, 1861. Hence, Pesach 2011 comes within the secular calendar month in which, 150 years ago, this country began “a great civil war.” Moreover, that war’s causes and results fit with the holiday’s themes—the end of slavery and, as President Abraham Lincoln put it in his great Gettysburg Address, the creation of “a new birth of freedom.” Speaking of Lincoln, I’m pleased to have in my possession a rare book published in 1909 titled, Abraham Lincoln and the Jews. In this work one can read of the great affinity and dare I say respect that President Lincoln displayed towards our people. This was in stark contrast however to the way in which General Ulysses S. Grant acted towards Jews.

In fact, Grant issued Order No. 11 on December 17, 1862 that expelled ALL Jews from those portions of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi where his forces had taken the field (see here for more on this). This edict was never followed because Lincoln had General Henry Halleck write to General Grant and tell him that, “as it in terms proscribed an entire religious class, some of whom are fighting in our ranks, the President deems it necessary to revoke it.”

April 13, 2011 - Read More (7 Comments) »

All About the Special Blessing for a Blossoming Tree!

As a child I did not know about the special blessing for a blossoming tree. Our Sages relate that it should ideally be recited strictly in the Jewish month of Nissan.[i] And so, I’d like to present a brief overview on this special blessing so that many Jews around the world can recite this unique blessing.

Indeed, Jewish law states that any man or woman[ii] who sees fruit trees that are in the beginning stages of blooming, recites the following blessing:

Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech  HaOlam Shelo Chisar B’Olamo Klum U’Vara Vo Beriyos Tovos V’Ilanos Tovos[iii] Lehanos Bahem Bnei Adam.

April 10, 2011 - Read More (6 Comments) »

2 Recent Uplifting Moments of Chizuk from Sports!

I’m sure we all remember the cutesy message from the famous story The Little Train that Could in which the little train is able to persevere against seemingly impossible odds and delivers goods that people expected only a Big Train could deliver. Sadly, while we may believe in this story as children, we often forget it’s message as we mature and enter adulthood. So what can we turn to as men? I believe one of the places we can look to is the world of sports! Below are two inspirational stories of people who aren’t well known, but who worked against all odds to achieve greatness.

Meet Anthony Robles. Although he was born without a right leg, young Anthony didn’t let that stop him from dreaming—and ultimately achieving his goals. The Arizona State senior won the national title at 125 pounds earlier this month on March 19. What’s more, this victory capped an unbelievable 36-0 season. For him to achieve this feat…

March 27, 2011 - Read More (1 Comment) »

Heartwarming Mussar from a Two-legged Turtle!

The following story recently took place in Brazil: A turtle had an unfortunate run-in with an electric fence. Ultimately, veterinarians were left with no choice but to amputate BOTH of the turtle’s front legs. Facing a life slower than even a normal pokey turtle pace, the team at Veterinary Hospital of Uberaba came up with a creative solution—wheels! With the help of two wheels typically used for office furniture, the hapless turtle was back on the move, wheeling around the hospital in no time…

I believe this story is something we all can learn from! Turtles are known to be incredibly slow.

March 27, 2011 - Read More (2 Comments) »

Venafochu: Lessons We Can Learn from Japan!

I’ve watched and marveled at the human spirit that has been exhibited in the aftermath of the horrendous natural disasters that hit Japan a week ago to this day. I can not even fathom what it means to live through a 9.0 Earthquake…let alone to experience what seemingly feels like a million aftershocks! And then…as a cherry on top, there was a Tsunami that swept away villages, cities, and even an airport!

Moreover, the world is waiting with baited breath hoping that radiation will not hurt or kill many more people. This was a natural disaster. One in which, as Rav Brazil alluded here that we must learn from. We simply can’t ignore this incident! Frankly, all the technology we have in this advanced world could not have prevented these tragic set of events.

March 18, 2011 - Read More (3 Comments) »

INFOGRAPHIC: All About Hamentashen!

All across the world, people will soon be celebrating the joyous holiday of Purim. Like many Jewish holidays, there is also a food item that carries great significance. While Jews enjoy munching on a couple of Latkes and a Jelly Doughnut on Chanukah, we relish eating the seemingly hundreds of variations of Hamentashen that are available in your local grocery, bakery, or even home oven!

And yet, did you know that these yummy treats are not typically referred to as Hamentashen in of all places The Holy Land!?!?

March 17, 2011 - Read More (1 Comment) »

Why I Respect Salman Khan & Charlie Harary!

I’ll admit it. I have only recently heard of Salman Khan. Prior to hearing of this “Professor 2.0,” if you would have mentioned the name Salman Khan, I would have easily assumed it was a new dish at a high end fish restaurant. In all seriousness, what Mr. Khan has done is something that we should all respect! Here was a bright young man with a future that only seemed to suggest that he would become rich…if not certainly comfortable. He was a senior analyst at a hedge fund (prior to the onslaught of the Great Recession), holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an M.Eng and B.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT, and a B.S. in mathematics from MIT.

On paper and in person Salman Kahn is one impressive individual. And then…he gave it all up!!!

Why?

March 10, 2011 - Read More (1 Comment) »


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