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By: Rabbi Moshe Don Kestenbaum

What Is My Mission?

Businesses often have mission statements that depict their goals, as well as guidelines they are committed to following to get there. The question the average person should find himself asking from time to time is: What is my mission in life? I understand that the rosh yeshiva’s mission is disseminating Torah and the philanthropist’s is suppo [...]

Spiritual Misdiagnosis

A perplexed doctor is assessing disappointing medical test result.
Just a few minutes ago, I was sitting in a meeting of rabbeim. Rabbi Kalish, the menahel of our mesivta, related a phenomenal thought that I must share with you. Allow me to embellish the message with a short introduction. As a bochur learning in Eretz Yisroel, I noticed some discoloration on my skin. I went to a local doctor, who told me tha [...]


Imagine being told every day over and over again, “Don’t eat papaya; it’s dangerous to your health”. “Really, you have to know how bad papaya is for you. Don’t go near it”. After enough of these warnings, even those who previously had no interest in eating papaya are going to be very curious and tempted to try it. Before we go further, let us [...]

A-Maze-Ing Children

As of late, my morning routine begins with an early pickup just prior to 6 a.m. at the dorm of our yeshiva in Waterbury. It is truly one of the highlights of my day. It began a few weeks ago with one bochur, and by this morning, boruch Hashem, the number hit five. These boys joined two other bochurim who were already in the ye [...]

Purim – Winning the Lottery

I like to say that while one lottery ticket can be purchased with emunah, two lottery tickets can only be purchased with a shtickel kefirah. Why? For if one really believes that Hashem is the One who decides who wins, why would he need to buy a second ticket? For those who answer that you need hishtadlus, it is a stretch to say that improving [...]

Being Taken Advantage Of?‏

Many a time, we find ourselves in situations in which we feel we are being taken advantage of. Whether it is the roommate who is always shnorring food, the neighbor who is always borrowing things, or the co-worker who is constantly relying on us for rides, how do we deal with such situations? Certainly, there are times when you may need to sa [...]

The Perfect Shidduch‏

“Oy, do I have a shidduch for your daughter! The boy comes from a prominent and distinguished family. They are very well known and respected. They are also affluent. Everyone would dream of marrying into this family.”“Sounds very tempting. What about the boy himself? Is he a good boy?” “Well, of course, he is a good boy. Just [...]

Hanging My Coat

Every Shabbos morning, as I enter the Waterbury Yeshiva building, I go straight to my office, take off my coat, and hang it on the nail protruding from the wall. After davening and learning Daf Yomi, I return to the office to get my coat and head home. One recent Shabbos, though, I was surprised and concerned to see that my coat was not there [...]

Why Do Kids Fall Into Bad Friends?

We know and hear the all-too-common scenario of a child struggling in school or at home falling into a group of bad friends. The child, although not currently up to anything wrong, quickly becomes pulled down by his new chevrah. He begins to imitate their behavior. Obviously, there are many factors here, but there is one factor in particular [...]

The Pink and White Medicine

While our pediatrician affectionately calls it the “bubble gum medicine,” our children never seem too fond of the pink amoxicillin. It has been a rough week battling my three-year-old and forcing him to take his medicine. While he still had fever, we had been giving him the far more tolerable white-colored Motrin. He was so desperate not to t [...]



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