Volume # 0

Winter 2009(5770)

In this issue

Yona Baumel, Man of Faith

This past Shavuot, Yona Baumel, eighty-one, returned his soul to his Creator, without his son Zecharya having been returned to him. Zecharya and five other soldiers were missing after the chaotic battle in the Lebanese village of Sultan Yakoub, marked by a Syrian ambush of the Israeli forces. It was June 1982, at the beginning […]


Memoir: The Lord Is My Shepherd

Memories of a Third-Generation American Assimilated Jew and How She Found Her Way Back to the Land Her Soul Calls Home My father doesn’t sit and say Tehillim, humming the words the way his father did. Still, there is one chapter of Tehillim he remembers. He doesn’t call it Tehillim Kaf Gimmel. He calls it […]

Mark My Words!

Mark My Words!

Mark My Words! By Mark Hasten with Peter Weisz Brotchin Books Indianapolis, 2004 391 pages I was skeptical when I picked up the autobiography of Mark Hasten, Mark My Words! I had never heard of Hasten—proof, once again, that humility is alive and well. A person can achieve great things without making a big deal […]


Fortify Your Body for Flu Season

Q: What’s the deal with swine flu? Is there any way I can change my diet to prevent getting it? A: Now that flu season is here, this viral infection of the respiratory tract is not to be taken lightly. Despite the tight control health professionals have over many infectious diseases, the flu—or influenza—is still […]


What’s the Truth about… Rav Kook’s Hebrew University Invocation

MISCONCEPTION:1 In 1925, in Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook’s invocation for the inauguration of the Hebrew University, he applied the Biblical verse “Ki miTzion tetzei Torah, u’devar Hashem meYerushalayim, For out of Zion shall go forth Torah, and the word of God from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3; Michah 4:2).2 This is an oft-used criticism cited by […]


The New Face of Jewish Outreach

In a typical month in the Houston area, members of the Jewish community study aspects of Jewish law and philosophy with kollel rabbis, Jewish residents of a nearby suburb attend Shabbaton programs and lectures led by the rabbis of Houston’s largest Orthodox synagogue and Jewish students at the city’s public high schools spend their free […]


Frum on the Frontier: An Introduction

In recent years, an increasing number of young rabbis have been moving to congregations that are quite a distance from major Jewish population centers. Settling in small communities with little or no Jewish infrastructure, these idealistic rabbis and their wives are moser nefesh to bring Torah to Jews who often have limited Jewish knowledge. In […]


Welcome to Torah High Graduate with Honors –and a Jewish Identity

            Rabbi Glenn Black of Toronto believes in giving credit where credit is due. In exchange for high school credit, he’s convincing thousands of unaffiliated Jewish teenagers to give up two and a half hours of their sacred after-school time to attend a rejuvenated version of the traditional Hebrew school. […]


Kiruv on the Frontlines

In recent years, there has been a steady and worrisome erosion in Jewish identity among many Israelis. This is especially true with regard to the youth. Influenced by Western and secular mores, large sectors of the Israeli public have developed a looser sense of connection with Jewish history and Jewish destiny. This was borne out […]

Putting the “Unity” Back Into “Community”
Jewish Living

Putting the “Unity” Back Into “Community”

Mention Edmonton, Alberta, and what comes to mind? The very name evokes a shiver, conjuring images of blizzards and bitter cold. Some may recall that the world’s largest mall is located within its city limits. But Edmonton as the center of a vibrant Jewish community? No one would have thought it—that is, not until the […]

Jewish Living

Minyan on the Mississippi

On a recent Friday afternoon, Rabbi Uri Topolosky, the thirty-something-year-old spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel in Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans, walked the few blocks from his house to the rear entrance of a one-story building across from the canal along West Esplanade Avenue. Crossing the parking lot, he passed the blue-and-white sign […]

Jewish Living

A Shul for All Ages

Many divisions plague the Orthodox Jewish community, and many efforts at solidarity work to unite us. We need one more such effort. It will not be a new organization, a new program or a new publication. It will cost no money. It will require a spiritual reorientation. I’ve davened in a variety of shuls, in […]

Jewish Living

Appreciating the Golden Years

It is an unavoidable fact of life that from the moment we are born, we begin to get older. In our forties, we move into the “old age of youth,” followed by the fifties, which has been called the “youth of old age.” The sixties gets us closer to the category of old age, unless […]


A Living Lesson in Inclusion

Meet Eli Gorelik, the eighteen-year-old gabbai whom Tifereth Israel’s 200-member congregation has come to respect and rely upon. He’s likely one of the youngest gabbaim in the world. He’s also probably the only one with autism. On Shabbat, Eli clears the bimah for Keriat haTorah; he also presents the yad to the ba’al keriah and […]


Latkes…Lots of Luscious Latkes

Although potato latkes are a traditional Chanukah treat, why not experiment this year by making latkes with other vegetables? With the recipes below, you can enjoy a different kind of latke every night of Chanukah! I prefer to use russet potatoes because they are higher in starch and have a lower water content. However, you […]