By: Rabbi Moshe Don Kestenbaum

Against Discipline?

Against Discipline?
From varied comments I have received over the years of writing parenting articles here in the Yated, it seems that some people think I am against disciplining one’s children. Absolutely no rules. Just one big party! No bedtime. No curfew. Let your kids do whatever they want and everything will turn out great. That’s what some people think I b [...]

Building Tips

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This week, I would like to discuss the second question recently posed to me by a fellow mechanech: “If I am making a kumzitz or the like, what should I do with the numerous boys who are not joining in? How do I get everyone involved?” The answer to this question I have learnt from observing Rabbi Doniel Kalish, menahel of our mesivta, over th [...]

Whose Problem Is It?

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I was speaking to a fellow mechanech recently and he asked me the following question. He wants the davening in his yeshiva to be loud and geshmak, but he is faced with the challenge of having a small group of bochurim relative to the spacious size of the room. How can he get the bochurim to daven with extra vigor in order to create a pass [...]

Getting Old and Grumpy

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Boruch Hashem, my picture no longer appears with my column, thus hiding my recent influx of gray hairs. The other day, I attempted to play basketball and tired way too quickly. I guess I am indeed getting old. Clearly, Hashem gave us the aging process as a gift. Among the positives is the fact that aging serves as a reminder to us to wo [...]

The Heat of the Winter

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Last week, early on Monday morning, I stepped out of my house to the embracing chill of mid-thirty degree weather. It was my first taste of the winter ahead and, to be honest, I was not all that thrilled. I am a little embarrassed, but my initial thoughts were something profound like: “I hate the winter. Why does it have to be so cold?” [...]

The Power of Experience

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The Yomim Noraim have passed. Sukkos is over. We are back to our regular mundane routine. We are left to ponder: What changes have we made? What spiritual acquisitions are we taking with us into the winter ahead? Am I any different than I was a month ago or am I the very same person? Hopefully, we indeed feel more elevated. Hopefully, we can [...]

Sukkos – Beyond Our Walls

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On Sukkos, we leave the comfort of our homes and settle tachas kanfei haShechinah. Rav Shamshon Raphael Hirsch zt”l, in his classic work Chorev, explains that it is precisely in this season, after the crop has been gathered, that we take on this initiative. The one who harvested plenty may feel secure with his abundance of produce, which [...]

Rosh Hashanah – Deafening Silen...

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Every day of Elul we are awakened by the blast of the shofar calling us to do teshuvah, yet the very last day of Elul we are greeted with silence. We are taught that this is kedei le’arveiv haSoton, to confuse the Soton. Personally, I am struck by a different message that perhaps we are meant to learn as well. I picture a student in his dorm [...]

My Magic Cables

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I hesitate to relate the following story, as it slightly embarrasses me, but I’ll share it nevertheless. My car boasts a smashed-up fender, a missing handle, and a special feature that warns people that I am heading down the block. These attributes all give my car a unique personality and charm.  I was recently having some problems starting t [...]

Where’s Our Rush?

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This is certainly not a new problem I am facing, but I am becoming increasingly aware of the irony and oddity of that which is taking place before my eyes. I am eating my meal in no apparent rush, but all of a sudden, when it comes to bentching, I am in a huge rush to take care of my next chore, no matter its insignificance. I have all the ti [...]

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