Rosh Hashanah Survival Guide–Updated for 2015/5776

I first wrote the checklist below seven years ago. I'm republishing it as a new post, for the second time. I've also set up a page with the best posts about Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. Some of the tips below only apply when Rosh Hashanah is on Shabbat or leads into Shabbat. Don't … [Read more...]

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How to Make 550 Shidduchim

In yesterday's Makor Rishon, Yael (Freund) Avraham published an entertaining interview with matchmaker Tova Schmessian. Despite being bedridden because of paralysis, she has fixed up some of the most hopeless prospects and made 550 matches over the last 40 years. Many of her clients have … [Read more...]

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Lev Tahor Members in Guatemala Contracted Typhus

Back in April, I wrote about the squalid conditions of the Lev Tahor members who fled Ontario, Canada, to the small town of San Juan la Laguna in Guatamala beginning in March of this year. They chose the particular town because of a small community of locals, known as Torat Jesed, who observe Jewish … [Read more...]

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Sex Offender Elon at Event with City Chief Rabbi, Children

On my way to my daughter's elementary school to pick up schoolbooks for next year, I spotted this flyer. It seemed fresh, although the event was scheduled for several weeks ago. Here is a translation: On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, Rabbi Mordechai Elon will give a talk and G-d-willing merit all of us, … [Read more...]

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21 Ways to Help Israel

The following guest post was contributed by Naomi Feinmesser. Israel is at war, and over the last few weeks, I have received requests from across the globe from friends, family, friends of friends and friends of family, asking me if I know any ways that they can help Israel in her time of need. … [Read more...]

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High Schools Fail to Notify Grads of Seminary Sex Abuse

The following guest post was sent to me from a father in New York. For more background on the Meisels sex abuse scandal, see these posts by Frum Follies: Rabbinical Court Accuses Seminary Operator Elimelech Meisels of “Unwanted Sexual Contact” Israeli Beit Din Announces Removal of Meisels … [Read more...]

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Only Men Safe from Rockets at Ashdod Rabbinate

In which exclusion of women doesn't stop for for war. Visiting the rabbinate can be a joyful time, like when you are registering for a wedding. But it can also be traumatic in case of a funeral, divorce or custody battle. These days, just leaving the house involves calculating how close you will … [Read more...]

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Guiding Couples Through Infertility

This post originally appeared in February, 2010. I am republishing it today because Racheli Sprecher Frankel, whose talk I summarized below, is the mother of 16-year-old Naftali Frankel. Last Thursday, Naftali and two other young boys were hitching rides home when they were kidnapped by Hamas … [Read more...]

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A Daughter’s Tribute to Shimon ben Shraga

I recently finished The Watchmaker's Daughter, a sensitive  and touching memoir by Sonia Taitz. Taitz grew up as the child of Holocaust survivors in Washington Heights, New York City, where my husband and I also lived for a time. It turns out that we attended the same synagogue as her … [Read more...]

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Is Cohen a Good First Name for a Jewish Boy?

A while back I wrote a post about the up-and-coming baby name Cohen. A reader writes: I've been reading your baby name blog and it has been so helpful!  We just had a baby boy last year who we considered naming Cohen and ultimately decided not to because it might be offensive to some.  We are … [Read more...]

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