What Did Rabbi Akiva’s Students Do Wrong?

Dear JITC- What did Rabbi Akiva’s students do wrong? Whatever they did, isn’t killing 24,000 of them a bit much? Thanks, Daria Dear Daria- Thanks for your question. Allow me to flesh it out a bit for the benefit of those who may not have the necessary frame of reference. The sefirah period, which lasts […]

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What Do the Middos of Sefira Really Mean?

Dear Jew in the City- Is the self-improvement thing during sefirah kind of made up? What do all the middos mean or where do they come from? All the best, TZ Dear TZ- Sefirah is an unusual… I was going to say holiday but it’s not exactly a holiday, is it? It’s something we do […]

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The Blessings I Found From The ICU

My illness recently left me in the Neuro-ICU of one of New York’s finest hospitals for over a week. The medical care I received there was truly exceptional. That was the good news. All too quickly, it became clear that mine was no ordinary hospital room. There was no bathroom to speak of. There was […]

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Why Do We Have Bonfires and BBQ’s On Lag BaOmer?

The little-known Jewish holiday of Lag BaOmer starts tonight and goes through tomorrow. This day of late-spring fun interrupts a period of national mourning for the Jewish people. How did this annual pre-Memorial Day festival come to be? Two thousand years ago, the great Torah sage Rabbi Akiva, who was considered to be the best teacher of […]

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Wrestling With Suffering: When Should You Question God?

This summer I had the pleasure of hearing Wall Street Journal writer, Josh Prager; he told the story of how when he was seventeen years old, a bus he was riding on got rear-ended by a truck which left him paralyzed. While Josh was in the hospital recovering shortly after the accident, some of his […]

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What If Moshiach (the Messiah) Stood Us Up?

Dear Jew in the City- I have read your blog many times and usually I enjoy it. I am very disturbed by one post in particular: Dirty, Money Grabbing Parasitic Vermin: Anti-Semitism Is Alive And Well. I am more disturbed by the passage from Deuteronomy than by the baseball-loving Jew hater. As a Jew from Ukraine, […]

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