Showing posts from December, 2021

Happy 70th Birthday Abba

M y father recently had his 70th Birthday. We were up in LA to celebrate with him. I want to publicly wish him a happy birthday, and as we Jewishly say, until 120 years of happy birthdays with health, wealth and nachas from the entire family. In his honor, I’d like to share a message, which hopefully is relevant for all of us. Pirkei Avos lists different age milestones, starting with “five years to start reading Torah… thirteen to mitzvos (Bar mitzvah)… twenty to hustle (job)… sixty to “old age” and seventy to “ripe old age” (שיבה in Hebrew)…” Commentaries on the mishna explain that seventy is the age at which King David passed away. King David was an accomplished man. He didn’t die early (even if 70 is young in todays standards). He lived to a ripe old age, and was able to enjoy witnessing the fruit of his labor. On the Rebbe’s 70th birthday, the Rebbe spoke at length about the waste of retirement. People had asked the Rebbe if he would start slowing down and taking it easy as he reac

On Thanksgiving

This past year was eventful; to say the least. There is a lot to worry about. Inflation. Oil. COVID. Politics. Israel. Antisemitism. We also have a lot to celebrate. Locally and globally. Thanks to zoom, opportunities for Jewish engagement are at an all-time high. Now more than ever before people are connecting with each other and Hashem. “So,  Is Thanksgiving a Jewish Holiday?”  (It’s not.) But it kind of is because The name “Jew” comes from Judah, which means to thank. We are a nation that constantly thanks. And we can learn from Judaism how to give thanks in 2021. There is a special prayer that we say before the day even begins. It’s called  Modeh Ani  - we thank G-d for giving back our soul, refreshed and alive. We thank even before we get out of bed! Why? What happens if we have a bad day? Because we know that even when we don’t see the good, we still thank G-d for the good that is hiding. One more thing, I want you to know that I thank G-d for you. I value you, your friendship, a

School Boards

Lately, there has been a lot of news and debate about school boards and parents. It really boils down to what the job of school is. Should curriculums be limited to reading, writing and ‘rithmetic or should morals and values also be imbued? For a very long time, it’s been limited to information. Morals and values often come from religion, which opens the church and state can of worms. So they’ve kept education vanilla. It hasn’t worked out so well. People know how to read and write, but know nothing about life. They are confused, depressed and without direction. Lately, school boards have become a bit more bold, and are inching their way into the field morals and values. Parents don’t agree with many of the values being imbued. So they want to change things back, and the kids will only learn the three R’s. That would be a shame, because, like many progressive ideas, I totally agree. Education has to be more than information. It has to be about direction and purpose. Isn’t purpose more