Parashat Hashavuah

1638370_origParashat Balak
In Parashat Balak, we read about the evil prophet Bilaam, who was employed to curse the Jews. Bilaam was an expert in finding the weak link in his victim’s spiritual armor and viciously exploiting it. On his way to curse the Jews, Bilam climbed a mountain and gazed down at their camp below him. Overwhelmed by the spectacle of respectability arrayed before him, he could not curse them, in fact, all he could do was praise their virtues.

Pirkei Avot – Ethics of Our Fathers

1Rabbi Yossi said, “Whoever honors the Torah will himself be honored before others. But whoever disgraces the Torah will himself be dsgraced before others.
(Chapter 4, Mishna 8)

This Mishna discusses the importance of honoring the Torah and its bearers, promising us that the honor will reflect on ourselves as well. The commentators understand honoring the Torah as referring to showing small signs of respect for sacred books and Torah scholars.

The Sephardic Nursing Home Celebrates Rabbi Amar and Moroccan Jewry

amarHonored guests from Israel, Morocco, the US and Canada recently gathered at the Sephardic Nursing Home to pay tribute to Rabbi Avram Amar, for his 25 years as the nursing home’s spiritual leader.
Rabbi Amar was born in Casablanca, where he attended yeshivah. After serving in the Israeli army, he was ordained as rabbi with smicha at Yeshivah Merkaz Harav in Jerusalem, as well as certified as cantor at Heichal Shlomo in Jerusalem.

Brooklyn News – March for Stricter Gun Control

emtsActivists marched across the Brooklyn Bridge recently, demanding reforms to the country’s gun policies. The demonstration was organized by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown for Gun Safety. In a press release, Moms Demand Action said they want common-sense reform that includes closing loopholes that allow some gun buyers to skirt background checks.
This wasn’t a little event, approximately 1,000 activists showed up in downtown Brooklyn to march across the bridge to City Hall to advocate for tougher gun control laws.
The two groups at the center of the protest are partially funded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has become a prominent supporter of more stringent gun control.

The Israel Disabled Organization – Bringing Awareness to the Public

thumbEstablished in 1999, by a group of friends affected by different disabilities, the Israel Disabled Organization has been advocating for the handicapped ever since.

Ben-Gurion Village – From Huts to Research Facilities

hpWhen the State of Israel was just four years old, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion was traveling with his driver-bodyguard through the Negev Desert and noticed a few tents pitched alongside the road to Mitzpeh Ramon. He asked his driver to stop and investigate.

Great In Uniform

Lt. Col. Ariel Almog

Lt. Col. Ariel Almog

IDF Project For Young People with Special Needs

In 2001, IDF Lt. Col. Ariel Almog was driving near Sde Trumot Junction in the Jordan Valley. Ahead of him was a bus, which had stopped to take on passengers. This is his story.

Uncle Isaac’s Shabbat

Uncle Isaac Betesh, in his 30s

Uncle Isaac Betesh, in his 30s

For many years, I had a summer Shabbat routine of waking up at sunrise and going with my father to the first minyan at Congregation Ohel Yaacob (Lawrence Avenue Synagogue). Each week, he and I would walk together on Ocean Avenue for about two miles to get there.

Who’s Stressed? And What Can They Do About It?

hp-stressBelieve it or not, New Yorkers are not the most stressed residents in the United States. That title goes to the people who reside in Washington, DC, according to a recent  survey.

How to Prepare Chicken and Diminish the Likelihood of Food Poisoning

chicken-2It seems like a good idea to wash chicken before cooking it, especially since we know that raw chicken can contain bacteria. However, that’s the very reason that most heath experts warn not to wash raw chicken.

Napping – Good or Bad?

sleepy-driverI remember vividly being in kindergarten and having nap time. When my teacher announced this lovely time of day, we would go to our little cubbies, get our blankets and mats, lay the mats out on the floor and lie down on them. I have no idea how long those nap periods lasted, but they were wonderful. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have nap time at work?

Enabling or Disabling?

Untitled-2You’ve likely heard the terms enabling and enabler, but may not know exactly what they mean.
While these words may be used in many contexts, they are most often used when speaking of one’s relationship with someone who is battling an addiction.

Mosquitoes Are Spreading A New Virus

mosquitoChikungunya (pronounced chik-en-gun-ye) virus is a new infection spread by mosquitoes. There have been 28 cases brought into the United States by travelers from 17 countries—mainly the Caribbean—where more than 103,000 people have been infected since last fall.