By: Rabbi Moshe Don Kestenbaum

A New Pesach Chumrah

“You drink Coke on Pesach? I am surprised. We only drink Mayim Chayim.” “I can’t believe you actually buy potato chips. We are makpid to make our own.” “Be careful! Don’t put the fork near the radiator. It’s not covered.” Pesach is a time when individuals and families take upon themselves various chumros. It is beautiful to behold how scrupul [...]

Superficial Looks

Superficial Looks
One of the most troubling phenomena that I witness all too often is the way people judge others, particularly by the way they dress. Many times, the person being judged is not wearing anything wrong according to halachah, but since his or her style does not conform to the more typical mainstream frum dress, the onlooker automatically iden [...]

Shanah Rishonah

The Torah (Devorim 24:5) tells us, “Noki yihiyeh leveiso shanah echas vesimach es ishto asher lokoch – He shall be free for his home for one year and he shall gladden his wife whom he married.” The first year of marriage, a man does not go out to war. Nor is he responsible for many communal obligations. He is to devote his time and focu [...]

The Artist

Let us say that your eleven-year-old daughter has an affinity for art. She likes to draw and possesses artistic talent. One day, she excitedly tells you that she wants to take up painting. You go out and buy her all the supplies she needs and she is ready to go. Walla! A few hours later, she excitedly brings you her very first painting. You t [...]

Standing Alone

Standing Alone
There are so many lessons in the Purim story, but there is one that is

Do Our Children Care What We Think?

Do our children care what we think? Many parents will say,

Unconditional Love

I generally avoid using the term

Brushing Teeth and Aunt Esther

When it comes to encouraging our children to perform mitzvos, I strongly advise not to use force. When supper is over, I remind my children, often more than once, to bentch, but I do not stand over them until I see them bentch. I don

Embarrassed of Our Children?

Good or bad, opposite signs
Our children have a wonderful habit of embarrassing us in public. The tantrum for the candy in the store, the wildness at the Shabbos seudah, and other types of antics often make us wish that we can dig a hole in the ground on the spot.When my brother was little, he was with my mother in shul near another mother who was holding her baby. My m [...]

He Won

There are people we encounter over the course of our lives to whom we wish we could explain what they are doing wrong in the way they are behaving or dealing with others. So why don

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