By: Rabbi Moshe Don Kestenbaum

Seeing Things In Perspective

Recently, we discussed the importance of not getting “hung up” on your child’s current behavior, not becoming negative or despondent over his lackadaisicalness or other shortcomings, but focusing on his good points and trying to create a closer relationship. The next question is: How do we do this? How do we remain positive when our child is [...]

Color War

I happen not to be the biggest fan of color war, especially for younger children, but in order to “legally” be considered a camp, I have to comply with regulations. I do not believe that color war should be brought into davening and learning, for although one can argue that mitoch sheloh lishmah ba lishmah, to me it belittles such sacred acti [...]

Let the Tehillim Continue

As difficult as it is to write about the painful tragedy our holy nation has just experienced, I cannot bring myself to write about anything else. I am certainly unworthy of offering any perspective, but allow me to share a lesson that I hope will serve as an aliyah for the neshamos of the three kedoshim. Boruch Hashem, this summer, besides h [...]

Hung Up

Just this week a frustrated parent called me up about his teenage son. “Tell me what to do. My son is sleeping till one o’clock in the afternoon. I can’t stand watching him do nothing. What should I do? I should just sit there and say nothing to him and pretend everything is fine?” The short answer some would give to this particular fat [...]

Appreciating Process

Many have termed our dor “the instant generation.” We are able, for better or for worse, to access things incredibly quickly. Food can be prepared for us in seconds. Information and communication are transferrable in a heartbeat. Unquestionably, this reality has raised our expectations. We need immediate gratification and we have lowered [...]

The Chutz Lamachaneh Syndrome

I believe that we have allowed the cultivation of an anti-Torah hashkafah that hurts us and others profoundly. We will call it the “chutz lamachaneh” syndrome. We have created – each one on his respective level – a picture of who can be considered part of our club, our machaneh. Those who dress, act and look acceptable according t [...]

Emotional Health and Yiddishkeit

There has been much written about the main cause of children becoming “at-risk.” There are those who point to a lack of marital harmony, there are those who point to weak parenting and schooling, there are those who attribute it to technology and temptation, and there are those who say that there is no rhyme or reason for this challenge. I be [...]

Are We Too Old For Yeshiva?

We are approaching the special Yom Tov of Shavuos. Rabbi Doniel Kalish, menahel of our mesivta, pointed out that Shavuos is so much shorter than the other regalim of Pesach and Sukkos. Wouldn’t it be appropriate to extend the celebration of Matan Torah fora few more days?   Rabbi Kalish explained that perhaps Shavuos is shorter because w [...]

Two People I Know

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I would like to share with you the initiatives of two special people I am fortunate to know. Both are modest and likely don’t want me to mention them by name. Both have no clue I am writing this article and will undoubtedly forgive me, because although that’s not my main objective, I am giving their projects exposure. Both are people we can l [...]

When You Have Nothing To Say

My wonderful stepfather is kind enough to ask me every so often, “How do you keep on coming up with new ideas each week?” I will share with you what I tell him. Very often, the deadline is approaching and I am truly at a loss for an article. I daven for siyata diShmaya and something eventually comes to mind. I do acknowledge, however, that th [...]

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