logo

Some Suggestions for Lakewood, NJ

standard post
rabbifink  -  
37 Comments  -  

All across America, fewer young people are choosing to keep the faith in which they were raised. Orthodox Judaism is familiar with this phenomenon. For about two decades, this issue has been at the forefront of our collective consciousness. It’s safe to say that every American Orthodox Jewish community, including the most insular communities, has seen this happen. I think almost every community has adopted some measures as attempts to solve this problem.

Each community reacts differently. Some have relaxed academic standards, others have encouraged non-conformist schools, and others have retreated inward to protect from the perceived onslaught of the outside world sucking people into a vortex of darkness. For every problem, there are multiple solutions. Every solution can create new problems, but this is life. There is no silver bullet. The best solution might be simply that solutions are being sought.

We’ve also learned about trauma, abuse and triggers, poor parenting and dysfunctional relationships, bad education and harmful teachers. Many communities are vaguely aware of some of the factors that can turn a young person away from Judaism. Some communities have even organized seminars to uproot entrenched ideas that can damage our children. Read…


Yom Yerushalayim | Od Yaishvu

standard post
rabbifink  -  
0 Comments  -  

I was inspired to make this video for Yom Yerushalayim. The song is Od Yaishvu by Mordechai ben David. The words are from Zechariah:

 “.עֹד יֵשְׁבוּ זְקֵנִים וּזְקֵנוֹת בִּרְחֹבוֹת יְרוּשָׁלָ‍ִם וְאִישׁ מִשְׁעַנְתּוֹ בְּיָדוֹ מֵרֹב יָמִים. וּרְחֹבוֹת הָעִיר יִמָּלְאוּ יְלָדִים וִילָדוֹת מְשַׂחֲקִים בִּרְחֹבֹתֶיהָ”

“There shall yet old men and old women sit in the broad places of Jerusalem, every man with his staff in his hand for very age. And the broad places of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the broad places thereof.” (Zechariah 8)

Amen. Read…


Finkorswim Live on the Stunt Show: The Decline of Religion in America

standard post
rabbifink  -  
0 Comments  -  

Presenting another episode of Finkorswim Live on the Stunt Show. Today we brought another discussion and conversation that is dominating the religious conversation in America to these radio waves.

The show aired at 1 PM ET today on NachumSegal.com and the NSN App. The show has been archived and is available as a podcast on this page.

Read…


Lessons We Can Learn From #momoftheyear

standard post
rabbifink  -  
5 Comments  -  

When things are too difficult to comprehend, we have a tendency to focus our attention on a smaller detail that is part of the story. The Baltimore riots and their social environment are incomprehensible to many people. But within the broader story are mini-stories that we do understand. To me, the anecdote that has become the distraction from the Baltimore riots is the story of how one mom, Tory Graham, saw her son joining the rioters so she ran out to pull him away. As she pulled her son away from the mob, a camera captured her passionately yelling at him and striking him with her hands on his upper body and his head.

The public and the media fell in love with her and her story. It wasn’t long before she was being called #momoftheyear for pulling her son away from the rioters. Read…


Both Sides on the Kosher Switch Debate and Some Commentary

standard post
rabbifink  -  
79 Comments  -  

The Kosher Switch has been in development for several years. According to the inventor, the device replaces the standard light switch and through the magic of technology and Jewish law allows Shabbat observant Jews to switch their lights on and off. Last week, the company launched a campaign on Indiegogo to raise funds to satisfy minimum manufacturer requirements and begin production. The promotional video claims that leading rabbinic authorities approve the device for Shabbat use. In response, a proclamation signed by prominent American rabbinic authorities warned residents of Flatbush that the device was not kosher for Shabbat use and it should not be brought into one’s home.

A lot of the subsequent discussion has been somewhat juvenile. Questions about motive, credibility, and consistency have been raised in all directions and accusations of impropriety have been levied as well. To me, this is all just a distraction from the real issue here: Is the Kosher Switch Kosher? [Please show your work]

Instead of delving into the religio-legal issues raised by the Kosher Switch, I find far too much of the discourse to be declarative and even in the rare case that arguments are made in favor or against the device, the articles read like persuasive briefs instead of dispassionate legal jurisprudence. I have read everything I could find and would like to present both sides of the issue as I see it.

Needless to say, this discussion is for educational purposes only. If you are looking for a psak, ask a posek. Read…