Yearly Archives :



Peace Offerings | A Guest Post

A guest post by Rabbi Aaron Fink (my father), Dean of Ateres Bais Yaakov on Monsey NY. Part of a weekly Dvar Torah (Torah “Thought”) series. Parshas Vayigash Yaakov’s Shlomim Following the dramatic news of Yosef Hatzaddik’s survival in the flesh pots of Mitzrayim, Yaakov Avinu readies himself to visit his long lost son. With vigor and alacrity he packs his bags. Taking his entire…

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How to Issue a Condemnation of Violence

Thugs and hoodlums from extremist religious groups in Israel have been terrorizing fellow Jews for some time now. They have done so without fear of condemnation or retribution from the religiously adjacent charedi community. This recent wave of violence is not new nor is it shocking or surprising. Spitting on young girls, calling women whores, forcing segregation at bus stops and on buses are all…

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Chanukah Party 2011 Photos and Wrap-up

Pacific Jewish Center enjoyed another excellent Chanukah party planned and executed by Jeff Liss and his wonderful helpers. The party featured delicious Chanukah foods and treats, dreidel contests, a moon bounce for the kids, entertainment for everyone courtesy of Derek the Mime a speech from the rabbi and most of all, lovely company. As usual, the party was open to the Pacific Jewish Center community and…

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Hasmonean Coin

Chanukah 2011 Address: What Doomed the Hasmoneans?

Hasmonean Coin In case you are wondering what I said at the Chanukah party, wonder no more. You can listen to my 20+ minute address right here on the blog. Just click the play button at the bottom of this post. I spoke about the fatal flaw that doomed the Hasmonean dynasty. I think the approach is novel. I have never seen or heard anything…

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Chanukah and Separation of Church and State

Separation of Church and State is widely regarded as a modern concept. For most of the world this is an accurate assessment. In some places in the world there remains no separation. What I mean by a separation between church and state is that quite simply there are two different and exclusive bodies that legislate religion and politics. Political leadership is vested in one person…

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Book Review | Between Worlds: Dybbuks, Exorcists, and Early Modern Judaism

I don’t remember where or how I came across this book, but when I saw Between Worlds: Dybbuks, Exorcists, and Early Modern Judaism referenced somewhere, I knew I had to snatch it up. I saw it just after I wrote about the modern day exorcist here: Demons, Dybbuks, Devils and Exorcism. Buying this book was a smart decision. I read the book a little while back and neglected…

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♫ The Driver on the Bus Says “Move on Back” ♫

In the United States of America the Supreme Court has held that “separate but equal” is inherently discriminatory. Back in the dark ages, I mean 60 years ago, white and black people in many states and cities were required to dine, shop, use the restroom and ride the bus separately. Riding in the back of the bus has become identified with discrimination. Is it any…

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Suggestion: Read “Judaism as a First Language” (right now)

On Cross-Currents, Rabbi Adlerstein recommends a recent article written by Dr. Moshe Koppel. Seeing as Rabbi Adlerstein rarely makes recommendations, I decided to see what the fuss was about. The article is a 36 page masterpiece. Honestly, I think it is the best article I have ever read and I read a lot of articles, especially on Judaism. Dr. Koppel proposes an elegant theory of…

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Chanukah Posts of Note So Far

Chanukah Words Yosef and the Light of (Economic) Wisdom and Kindness – Drasha Miketz A New Chanukah Message My Chanukah Message To You: Light Knows No Friend or Foe PJC Chanukah Party 2009 Address PJC Chanukah Party 2010 | Rabbi’s Speech When Religious Holidays Lose Their Religion Chanukah Music Hanukkah in Santa Monica How Do You Spell Chanukah? The LeeVees | Jewish Holiday Music The…

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Rambam Class 12/18/11

The Rambam class continued today. Today we began Chapter 4 in Hilchos Deyos. We tried to get through it quickly. The chapter is a memorandum on medieval medicine. The Rambam advises his readers to follow contemporary medicine to live a healthy life. While the manner by which 11th century physicians advised their patients to live is no longer applicable, we should seek out the same…

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