WORDS OF RABBI ELI J. MANSOUR

JUST ONE SMALL STEP FORWARD January 2018

It is told that the Hafetz Haim once visited a certain place where he met a Jew who had abandoned religious observance.  This fellow ate non-kosher food, did not observe Shabbat, and engaged in illicit relationships.  He was widely condemned and ostracized by the local Jewish community. After hearing about the man’s story, the Hafetz Read More »

ILLUMINATING THE DARK TUNNELS OF LIFE December 2017

I am not a fan of segulot – “charms” that allegedly have some mystical power to bring a person what he needs, be it money, health, a shidduch, or anything else.  The tradition I’ve received from my rabbis is that there are no shortcuts in life.  If we have a need that is not being filled, or a Read More »

A TRUE AND TESTED SEGULAH FOR SUCCESS November 2017

This month, we once again read the fascinating stories in the Book of Beresheet about our avot and imahot – our saintly patriarchs and matriarchs, the men and women chosen by Gd Himself to lay the foundations of His beloved eternal nation.  These stories are told for us to study so we can learn about what these foundations are, Read More »

NEW WINE IN OLD BOTTLES October 2017

We all recognize Noah as the righteous hero who courageously withstood the flood of corruption and depravity that swept the Earth during his time, in the merit of which he survived the flood of water which Gd brought to destroy the Earth.  Whereas most people fall prey to widespread cultural influences, and get swept in Read More »

THOU SHALL KEEP YOUR PHONE ON AND FULLY CHARGED September 2017

It is, quite literally, out of this world. We referto teshuvah, repentance, the process which is to be our point of focus during this time of year. Our sages write in the Midrash that repentance preceded the world’s creation; it was already in existence before the universe in which we live came into being. What they Read More »

IT’S TIME TO REPEAL AND REPLACE THE ‘BUSINESS IS BUSINESS’ MANTRA August 2017

There is a bad joke told of a man who comes into a wealthy synagogue to collect charity for the needy.  A certain member of the synagogue, a successful businessman, takes a $100 bill out of his wallet and puts it into the box.  Everyone in the synagogue looks at him with admiration for his Read More »

BACK TO THE BASICS July 2017

It’s among the more mysterious episodes in the Torah, and it might seem remote and esoteric.  But the truth is that we have much to learn from the story of Bilam, the gentile prophet who tried – desperately, but ultimately in vain – to place a curse on our ancestors and have the Nation of Read More »

THE PROPER WAY TO ARGUE June 2017

There was once a wonderful elderly man in our community who started coming with me to the bet midrash (study hall) in yeshiva.  He had not received a yeshiva education, so this was his first exposure to a bet midrash.  What he saw at first caused him great distress.  He saw havrutot (study partners) shouting at each other, each partner Read More »

THE POWER OF A HANDSHAKE May 2017

There once lived a poor, homeless beggar who had no home, no job, and no source of income, and his only means of sustenance were the coins occasionally dropped into his cup by compassionate pedestrians.  One day, however, he had not a cent with which to purchase food.  He waited, patiently at first, until eventually Read More »

THE MYSTERY OF THE BROKEN MATZAH April 2017

There’s a funny, or perhaps not funny, joke that says that the Torah (Devarim 16:3) refers to matzah as lehem oni – “bread of poverty” – because the price of matzah for Pesach leaves many of us impoverished. There’s a lot of truth to this witty piece of Jewish humor, and like many jokes, it conveys a serious message.  If nothing Read More »

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