Pop Culture Just Doesn’t “Get” Us

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Pop Culture Just Doesn’t ‘Get’ Us.”Of course, when Jews are hypocrites, act holier than thou, or do bad things, they give the rest of us a bad name, and this can breed not only confusion about Jews but also, in the extreme, hate and anti-Semitism. One Chabad Rabbi said today that the Rebbe hardly ever used the word anti-Semitism or spoke of it; instead, he focused on the idea that Jews should do good and perform acts of G-dliness and righteousness in the world.

I believe we can all agree that Jews behave differently; sometimes they do good, sometimes they don’t, but regardless, we’re a little bit of a mystery to many non-Jews, which is sometimes shrouded in a large dose of fiction and conspiracy. For many, I put it this way: they still can’t understand why the fiddler was ever playing on the roof to begin with.

(Credit Photo: ericbarns via https://pixabay.com/photos/dancing-clubbing-dancers-nightclub-206740/)

When Unhealthy Sexuality Becomes an Addiction

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “When Unhealthy Sexuality Becomes an Addiction.”

Let’s face it, even for those in society who are proponents of pornography, not everyone would admit it if they had an addiction like that. A porn addiction invokes all sorts of social fears and anxieties about “perverts, rapists, and sexual offenders.” In fact, in a Youtube video, The Blessing of Porn Addiction, featuring Beny Schonfeld, as he walks into a recovery meeting, he describes fearing the other people he will meet there and asks, “Is that who I am?”

People in our communities are going through all sorts of problems and addictions. Beny’s message is not to suffer in silence: “If you feel ashamed about what you’re doing, speak up and ask for help.”

(Credit Photo by Charcoal Soul via Flickr Creative Commons: https://flic.kr/p/7ZxCPG)

Waffle On Over This Hanukkah

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Waffle On Over This Hanukkah.”

If you love fresh waffles and you love chicken and beef, you’ll love Mordy Menkes and his new South Florida kosher food truck business called Wild Flour Waffles.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Giving the World a Hand

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Giving the World a Helping Hand.”

While we ourselves can do positive things to learn and grow as individuals, it’s a bigger and greater mitzvah when it’s shared with others! Just like Joseph, who rose above being a slave and prisoner to save the world, we can all rise above ourselves and our life predicaments to do good that spreads far and wide, perhaps even beyond our wildest imagination.

(Source Photo: https://pixabay.com/photos/hands-world-map-global-earth-600497/)

Facing Hardship, Finding Humility

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Facing Hardship, Finding Humility.”
Like Celine Dion, no matter how much fame, fortune, or power any of us amass in our lifetimes, none of these things make an iota of difference in the time of G-d’s eternal judgment of us. The only thing that matters and carries on are our good deeds!

When we are young and vibrant and the world seems so small in a way, we can tend to think we are invincible, but as we get older and more mature, we learn that everything we do in life that strays from the Almighty’s path for us has a price to be paid and a humbling before our Maker.

(Credit Photo: Anirudh Koul via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celine_Dion#/media/File:Celine_Dion_Concert_Singing_Taking_Chances_2008.jpg)

Hanukkah Is About Fortifying the Family

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Hanukkah is about Fortifying the Family.”

Modern Hellenism is when Judaism becomes less and less Jewish and more and more like another “value system” that is “politically correct” or “in style.”

To be clear, not every Jew is going to be “religious” in the same way, but still, each of us can contribute to the welfare of the whole. The point of Hanukkah is that Torah-true Judaism exists, even if we as individuals struggle to fulfill it. The task at hand is for each family and each of us to model proper behavior (thought, word, and deed) and to educate our children in the same so that the Greeks of our time do not win.

(Credit Photo: The National Guard via https://flic.kr/p/BBXA4R)

Chutzpah Dating

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Chutzpah Dating.”It used to be that young men and women went on dates and generally treated each other respectfully and civilly as they explored whether there was a spark between them and potentially a match to be made. But somewhere along the lines, too many Prince Charmings have turned into real ugly toads.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Mutual and Eternal Love

Please see my new poem in The Times of Israel called “Mutual and Eternal Love.”

Like Abraham, we are tested to do “what is right and just,” and history is our witness.

For “we are dust and will return to dust,” but our souls will rise to heaven and be reunited with our everlasting, loving Father.

(Also, please remember to listen to the Jewish music video as you read the poetry.)