It's a little strange, Purim on Friday, isn't it? It kind of feels like a half of Purim actually — with the extensive distribution of Shalach Manos with one eye always on the clock. Whereas the Purim feast would sometimes commence as late as 4 or 5 in the afternoon this year, with Purim on Friday, we will have to begin the Seudah by about 12 noon. And at the Seudah we will have one eye on the clock making calculations about the arrival of Shabbos at about 5:30PM.

The Courage To Compromise Orthodoxy Print Email

It only hurts when you think off all the things our grandparents suffered and sacrificed to stay devoted and true to Jewish life. In fact they sacrificed life itself so as not to have to compromise on any aspect of Jewish life taught to them by their parents and their parents before them. Now, however, recently in New York most of those things were analyzed and explained away and perhaps gathered in a neat little intellectual pile before it is placed on a shelf or at least some place similar but out of the way.

Pesach's Modern Day Exodus Print Email

This story is about going away for Pesach and not going away for Pesach. Believe it or not this is one of the most agonizing decisions some Jews have to make (which in and of itself is a great bracha).

Cheese Cake, Soufflé, Blintzes, Kugel at Mount Sinai Print Email

It's almost Shavuos. That means it's time to make those cheese dishes. Everyone knows what happened on Shavuos---the Jews were commanded to eat cheese. Right? Not exactly. As you know, of course, Shavuos is that beautiful Yom Tov that marks the day on which the Jewish people after a torturous enslavement in Egypt prepared themselves very expeditiously in just 49 days (including weekends) to receive the Torah from Hashem at Sinai.

Mountain Climbing Print Email

There is an obsession out there with climbing mountains. Chief amongst those big hills to conquer is the world famous Mt. Everest in Nepal. Throngs of people flock to Everest to gawk and observe it. The more ambitious have risked their lives and given their lives to scale this monument to G-d's construction. Looking at Everest one gets the impression that the world's tallest mountain reaches the heavens.

A Hero of Israel Print Email

I met a hero of Israel. I met him one morning in the Shul after Shachris. He was taking off his Tefilin as I was folding my Talis. He was obviously an Israeli and from Israel. I could tell by the distinguising Kipa he wore. It said that he was not just any Israeli, he was a settler, a hero of Israel and the Jewish people.

Gaza Here We Come Print Email

Twenty-one years ago I rode through the Gaza Strip in disbelief. There I was on a mini bus riding slowly through the hordes of young Arab children; hands outstretched begging for Shekels. I think we did what most American or any tourists do when the used to visit Gaza---we had a kosher lunch. More than two decades later the Gaza Strip is a war zone, the battleground of an undeclared war. Mortars, machine guns and roadside bombs are common place. Since then I've been to Israel numerous times but never gave a second thought to going to Gaza. It was too far, there was nothing to see, and there was not enough time.

Summer Camping, A Memoir Print Email

All of a sudden it is thirty years ago. There I am sitting in the back seat of my father's car being involuntarily driven to the Port Authority bus terminal in New York City. I was going to camp for the summer and sitting here now contemplating that episode I can still effectively and genuinely feel to what extent I did not want to go. Maybe what I really felt was the adolescent trauma associated with resignation. Of course there was no such a diagnosis then. In those days I was just a stubborn kid that did not want to go to camp.

Crunching The Numbers Print Email

I finally saw it in print last week. It was a paragraph in a Jerusalem Post story about the world's effort to salvage the cease-fire or the peace or whatever you call it in the Middle East. I read the words over several times. The truth is I've been thinking this for years. I know it's true in most of the world but I never thought it was true of Israel, her leadership or her people.

Inter- religious Shabbos Lunch Print Email

The wine was flowing, the cakes and cookies were in abundance seemingly available and begging to be tasted at every turn. They were on the kitchen table, coffee table, in the den, in the dining room and beyond. It was Shabbos lunch on July, 7, Parshat Balak. The guest seated to my immediate left was Rabbi David Rosen, a distinguished scholar, the product of England's finest Yeshivas, a student of the Mir in Jerusalem and the recipient of smicha from the very prominent Ponivich Yeshiva. Rabbi Rosen is the former Chief Rabbi of Ireland, the Israel representative who negotiated the opening of diplomatic relations between The Vatican and Israel and now works with the American Jewish Committee on inter-religious issues around the world.

Summer Singles Print Email

Of all the subjects I've covered in this space during the past year I don't believe that I have pontificated sufficiently or extensively enough about the state of Jewish singles. Well that and I think that besides the subject of Israel you, the reader, like reading about singles, the Shidduch scene, the Parsha or whatever you enjoy calling it more than anything else.

From Karnei Shomron To Woodmere To Victory Print Email

"Jerusalem belongs to every Jew, wherever he or she may be or live in the world," says Shmuel Sackett. Sackett, a Queens native and a former resident of Queens and the 5 Towns moved to Israel 11 years ago. Together with his friend and neighbor, Moshe Feiglin, they formed Zo Artzeinu out of the helpless frustration that accompanied the implementation of the Oslo Accords which called for the ceremonious dismantling of Israel the way we knew her.

All The News That's Fit To Print Print Email

One day this summer they switched to a clear plastic bag. This threw me off stride completely. I guessed the paper hadn't come yet. Maybe the guy who flips the papers through all the windows of his car wasn't feeling well or more likely maybe his car just refused to start. That can happen and is expected to happen a few times during the year. But clear bags instead of those handsome blue ones, now that knocked me off stride.

How Much? How Long? Print Email

Even if I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me;
Sefer Tehilim, Psalm 23

When John Kennedy was shot and killed in 1963 I was sitting at the table of the dinette of the kitchen table eating a slice of pizza. I had come home from Yeshiva less than an hour before the news broke, I couldn't believe that this kind of thing could happen---how could they kill a President and what did it all mean. It was a bright sunny day. After sitting and listening with my mother I then went out to play punch ball with my friends.

Those Great and Little Miracles Print Email

The Jewish people have been the recipients of fantastic miracles from time immemorial. In ancient times after the long awaited euphoric exodus from Egypt we found ourselves at the mouth of the Red Sea with the angry and determined Egyptian army in hot pursuit of us, their former charges.

A Tale of Two Tales Print Email

It was indeed the best of times and the worst of times. Here we are in a beautiful modern and technologically advanced world. In just a few hours we can be anywhere in the world we desire. Children fly off to study in Israel, we visit them, they come here to visit us. We worship freely, build homes and shuls dedicated to beautifying G-dliness, which considering the history of the world is no simple thing.

Food For Thought Print Email

It was Sukkot. Beautiful, deeply meaningful, not enough. Truth is I'd like more Sukkot-more of the closeness to G-d that a Yom Tov like this affords us. Coming on the heels of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur we are taught that those things that are hidden inside the observances of the high holy days manifest themselves in an open fashion during the holiday of Sukkot.

Remembering Kahane Print Email

Several acquaintances have voiced to me their concern about whether I will have a problem manufacturing enough news to fill this paper on a regular two week---and very soon---weekly basis. They are not concerned about the possibility that there will not be enough business to sustain this effort (chas v'sholom) or that I will get a severe case of writers block (chas v'sholom). Frankly I never thought that a news shortage would ever be a problem. I mean have you looked at the New York Times or the Daily News and all the nonsense those papers are filled with daily? How could it be possible that there be a shortage of news especially in the Jewish community and particularly in a community like ours?

My Father, The Rebbe and Me Print Email

In just a couple of weeks we will observe the 12th Yahrzeit of my father, Nison Gordon a"h. My father passed away at home on Montgomery Street in Crown Heights some hours after lighting Chanukah licht on the sixth night of Chanukah in 1989. The last time I saw him was three nights before, on a Sunday, as we gathered together at home to light candles of the third night. He had experienced (I really can't call it suffered because he wasn't sure until the doctor told him) a mild heart attack just a few weeks prior to Chanukah. He was told no stay at home until the doctors could chart an approach to both diagnose and treat his condition.

Heard In Snag City Print Email

It's not pretty out there. Years ago, maybe ten years ago, when the Rebbe was alive and the push for Moshiach was at a fever pitch I was walking home from shul one Shabbos when I heard encouraging words.


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