Category: Personal

On August 12, 2014 I landed in Israel as a new immigrant, beginning, a new chapter in my life. For many Olim Aliyah can be a formative change, but this…

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One recurring theme on this site is that no matter how busy or neglectful I’ve been, I usually try to force myself to write something on my birthday. This isn’t…

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After several weeks of intense fighting in Israel and Tisha B’Av fast approaching celebrations will be be more subdued this year. In a sense it’s kind of fitting given how…

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Personal Podcasts

Dear Friends and Loyal Readers,
In shul this past Shabbat I formally announced my intentions to the community to step down as Rabbi of The Stanton St. Shul with the intentions of making Aliyah this summer. 1 For those who know me the decision to make Aliyah itself should not be surprising. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, my immediate family is all there, and of course it’s a religious obligation. 2 But making Aliyah is still a huge step. It’s probably the only time where you can give up a career, family, friends, security, and the entire life you knew for a completely uncertain future and people will still wish you “Mazal Tov” for doing so. 3 The question for me is less a matter of “why” than it is “why now?”

Notes:

  1. Ideally on the August 11th Nefesh B’Nefesh charter flight from JFK, though I’ve learned from experience nothing is final until it’s in writing.
  2. See M. Ketubot 13:11 and B. Ketubot 110b. For an interesting halakhic fact, according to Rabbinic Judaism the halakhic consequence for a woman not wanting to make Aliyah with her husband is that she gets divorced and loses her entitlement to her husband’s estate as defined in her ketubah. This is the exact same consequence if a married woman goes out without a head covering (M. Ketubot 7:6). While it is undoubtedly easier to put on a hat than it is to move to another country, women’s head covering has ironically become an identifier of religious commitment among Orthodox Jews, at least in America.
  3. Tell your parents you’re going to become a rodeo clown and see how that works.

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הָפַכְתָּ מִסְפְּדִי לְמָחוֹל לִי פִּתַּחְתָּ שַׂקִּי וַתְּאַזְּרֵנִי שִׂמְחָה You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy Psalms 30:11 Dear Loyal Readers, Normally when…

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Jewish Culture Jewish Law / Halakha Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava Personal

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