Monthly Archives: December 2015

Article about Chaverim of LA

Here is my latest article in The Jewish Home, about Chaverim.

Also, heads up: my next story in Inyan is scheduled for January 6th.

Have a wonderful Shabbos!

How do you define success?

I am clearly not succeeding in finding more time to post. Or more time to write, for that matter. I used to think that when my kids got older I’d be able to get more writing done. But now that I have teenagers, they keep needing to use my computer to type up their essays for school. And not only that, they actually want me to help them with those essays! And they don’t go to sleep early either.

So as I was contemplating success, or lack thereof, Hashem sent me an amazing shiur by Rav Moshe Weinberger just on that subject. You can listen to it at here. I found it very inspiring. Who is called “ish matzliach,” a successful person, in the Torah? Yosef Hatzaddik. But if we think about, his life was just the opposite of success — hated by his brothers, thrown into a pit, sold into slavery, unjustly imprisoned. Yet, by Hashem’s standards, he was successful.

I don’t want to give away the point of the shiur. But I’d like to wish everyone much success!

Happy Chanuka!!

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There is a lot to be said about Chanuka. Having spent over two years researching Chanuka history for a novel I’m working on, I’ve come to the conclusion that not much has changed since then. Sure, the details of everyday life are very different. In this generation, we are blessed with technological advances that allow us to buy ground flour and ground meat and to travel across the world in a day. Though that might not have helped the Makabis to prepare pure olive oil sooner — according to one opinion, they had to wait seven days in order to purify themselves before squeezing the olives. So even with all the modern technology we still need miracles. But I digress.

The battles of Chanuka are still taking place, within our minds and our hearts. Because Chanuka was much more than a military victory. It was a victory of Torah over Hellenism which took place deep inside the Jews living at that time. Once the Beis Hamikdash was rededicated many former Hellenists returned to Judaism wholeheartedly. Then again, many didn’t.

Since Chanuka, Hellenism has morphed into various philosophies and took on many disguises, but it is alive and well. As it should be — when utilized correctly, within the tents of Shem, in service of the Torah, it could enhance our avodas Hashem. But when human logic is valued above holiness and faith then it becomes an end in itself rather than a means of connection to Hashem and to the purpose of our existence. But anyway, I shouldn’t be giving away the theme of my novel ;).

Happy Chanuka!