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by April 16, 2021
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There have been several impacts from the increasingly powerful pocket computer we all carry. Perhaps the most detrimental of them is that it has grabbed our attention when we walk around the world. Many of us have walked and texted to our own detriment. Apart from running into poles and who knows what else, the other problem is that we no longer see our environment or the people around us. It is an unintended self-absorption, it is the ultimate narrowing of our eyes as all we see is the small de...
by January 29, 2021
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Life is a process of highs and lows and these highs and lows can come close together. Many families have had births that occur right after a funeral and vice versa.  The question is will the high enhance the bitterness of the low or, the opposite- can we make the highs be a safeguard to the lows? Or even better, can we turn these temporary lows into long term highs?   A perfect illustration of this process happens right after the Jewish people’s greatest moment. The sea has just split in front...
by January 22, 2021
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  The value we place on family began early on during the exodus. For the first few encounters between Moshe and Pharoh, Moshe asks for three days in order to have a holiday for G-d. The first time, and for subsequent times, he asks that the people should be able to leave in order to celebrate G-d. It is not entirely clear if he means all the people or the people that are involved in the actual service of G-d, including sacrifices, which at the time was done by men (it was a bloody procedure). ...
by January 15, 2021
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An article in the Harvard business review tracked an interesting change in our culture over the last 100 years. In the old days, being able to afford leisure time was a status symbol. It meant that a person was wealthy enough not to work and it was viewed favorably. A new trend, however, has changed all that. What is now perceived as high status is when a person says they are busy. It is a sign of success and value that a person is constantly busy. It must be they are always wanted for their tal...
by January 8, 2021
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The origins of our greatest hero is shrouded in mystery. An anonymous Jewish man meets an anonymous Jewish women from the house of Levi and they have a child who is described by the general adjective as ‘good’. The Talmud wonders what this multi- purpose adjective alludes to and settles on five different possibilities. Interestingly, the first two possibilities are that this was Moshe’s actual name- Tov or the other opinion, Tuvia. But why were these names hidden in the Torah and never spelled o...
by December 25, 2020
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How did Jesus get off the ground according to the Talmudic tradition (there is some debate as to whether this was the Jesus, but the simple reading is that it is)? The Talmud states that the issue was that the Rabbi didn’t communicate properly to Jesus.  When Jesus erred (he accused his Rabbi of having improper thoughts), he was too harsh in his rebuke and didn’t bake into the rebuke a hint of love that if Jesus were to repent, he’d be welcomed back with open arms.  The Talmud is quite critical ...
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Rabbi Shlomo Landau began working for Torah Links (the outreach arm of the Lakewood Yeshivah) in the summer of 2000, and he was instrumental in founding Torah Links of Middlesex County located in East Brunswick, NJ. Torah Links of Middlesex County began with a few home-based study groups and has blossomed into a full service kiruv organization serving 400+ Jewish families in the area. From Sunday school to Hebrew High, from numerous daily classes to High Holiday programs, the organization works flat-out to create inspiring programs. The results speak for themselves. Thousands of Jews from all walks of life have been positively impacted by the uplifting and inspiring Judaism provided by Torah Links. In addition, countless individuals and families have found their way back to complete Torah observance, and Torah Links is proud to have graduates of its youth programs in top yeshivos and kollelim. Through Rabbi Landau’s tireless efforts, Torah Links is about to commence construction of the Torah Links of Middlesex County Community Learning Center; a 15,000 sq. foot beautiful state-of-the-art full service Kiruv center. Additionally, since the fall of 2002 Rabbi Landau has been a high school rebbi in various Modern Orthodox yeshivot. He is currently a beloved faculty member of the Ray Kushner Yeshiva High School (located in Livingston, NJ). For over a decade, Rabbi Landau has succeeded in inspiring hundreds of young men to investigate and appreciate Jewish living and learning. Rabbi Landau has built long lasting relationships with very many of his students – relationships that have lasted past graduation and continue to flourish today, when he is often called on to act as ‘mesader kiddushin’ at their weddings.
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"I thought I would do this [ponzi scheme] for just a short time and then extricate myself and my clients from it" —Bernie Madoff, during his sentencing hearing in court. We can imagine the temptation, the first time Madoff's investments turned sour, to use the money from new investors to pay the old. What harm could there be in borrowing in hard times and paying back when things improved? ...
by June 19, 2020
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It is hard to see the world in the way we are supposed to- with a lens of optimism and positivity. This is especially true now with all of the tumult in society today.  But the reality is that it is always challenging to see the world correctly. The Torah records the initial visual impairments when the spies sent to Israel to scour the land.  This one episode led to a thirty eight year extension in the desert.  Apparently, Jewish vision always had its issues.              After a taste of giant...
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Jewish mysticism is often perceived as ethereal abstract and beyond the ken of all but a select few. It is often considered to have little relevance to the day-to-day life of an ordinary Jew. Indeed, the laws and commandments found in the Torah and Talmud which form the framework of Jewish living can be understood and followed without any knowledge of the mystical literature. Chasidic philosophy teaches, however, that there is an essential, fundamental interrelationship between all levels of Jew...
by May 8, 2020
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Jews are credited with a plethora of creativity in the fields of arts, science, economics- basically any field under the sun. Unfortunately, we are not always credited with our most creative and productive work, sanctifying G-d’s name. What does it means to give sanctity to G-d’s name and why is it our most creative work?               To begin, we need a working definition of sanctity.  One way of defining sanctity is the ability to do an act purely for its own sake. In other words, our world ...