Archive for March, 2012

Preparing for Pesach? Let me help you…

According to Joan Nathan, today is the day to start preparing for Pesach, so here are my three contributions:

  1. 10 Plagues, 10 Commandments, 10 Questions for the Pesach Seder 2012
  2. Passover Rhapsody”: The Exodus story set to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, courtesy of
  3. Sell your chometz online! Find this other Pesach resources at

Listening to the “Experts” on Iran … and Jewish Law

Rick Santorum, whoever he may be, said that listening to a speech by President John F. Kennedy made him want to throw up. That’s nothing compared to how I feel! If I read one more article or listen to one more analyst regarding whether Israel should bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, I might go and do it myself … just to get it over with! I don’t think I’ve ever read more about any other subject: from the right and the left, for and against, by Israelis and Americans, from Al-Jazera to Yidiot Acharonot, looking at satellite pictures on DEBKA file to an article in The Economist magazine which claims that the cement Iran produces makes the sites invulnerable. I’ve heard it all from President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, to Manny Lazerov and Gary Applebaum. Who knows who to believe? But because of one man’s words, now I know what to believe! READ MORE

Homosexuality: Can You Change Human Nature?

A few weeks ago a member of our synagogue came to see me and told me their son had “come out of the closet.” He openly declared that he is gay! At first, our member was shocked to hear this news, but soon enough, made peace with the fact. Now our member – and others –are involved in establishing a support group for Jewish parents of gay children. Next Sunday at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation an Israeli movie will be shown on this subject, followed by a panel discussion involving rabbis and an academician. They already had a Conservative and Reform rabbi on the panel and they wanted an Orthodox one. Homosexuality is a very “loaded” issue in the Orthodox community and it was felt that someone from Beth Tfiloh – with our more liberal and open approach – might be best suited to appear. I replied that I wanted to be completely supportive of the endeavor, I recognize this is an issue that the Orthodox community is reluctant to deal with but must, and I said that certainly one of our rabbis would appear on the panel. READ MORE

Purim 2012: Bibi for (American) President!

Some Purim Torah from my friend, Rabbi Jack Riemer:

Purim Torah for 2012

The Republicans have been hopelessly entangled in a never ending race, and no one candidate has yet been able to capture the nomination, and so the establishment is looking for another candidate.

The ideal candidate is:  BIBI NETANYAHU!!!

l. It is true that he was not born in the United States, but Obama surely cannot object to that, since he too was not born in the United States.

2. If the key issue is the economy, he was Minister of Finance, so he has had experience in ruinng the economy.

3. It is true that he has had three wives, but Romney surely can’t object because he is a Mormon, and by them, that is permitted.

4. Each of the candidates has been claiming that he is more pro-Israel than the others are, but he will surely have Israel’s back. In fact, since all the candidates are stressing that Israel and America have shared values, he could bring about a merger. He could be head of both countries at the same time as a step towards merger.

5. He has more experience and more ability than any of the others at debating Obama.

6. He would probably get a fairly good share of the Jewish vote—just like Mordechai, who saved the Jews, rose to high office, and was ratsu LIROV echav, and was approved by MANY of his people.