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By: Rabbi Moshe Don Kestenbaum

A-Maze-Ing Children

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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

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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?‏

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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

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“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

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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?

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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

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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 [...]

Becoming Less Possessive

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Heading towards my deadline, I was sitting in front of my computer for a solid twenty minutes at a complete loss of what to write about this week. It’s no small miracle after all these years that I am still writing articles. Trust me, there are plenty of Tuesday and Wednesday mornings when I am davening for a topic to write about. As I was so [...]

Climbing Out of Our Own Hole

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I would like to continue this week with more chizuk in dealing with nisyonos and how to help ourselves and our children become better avdei Hashem. Picture the following scene: You hire Jack to assemble your brand new deluxe swing set, which should take about five hours, for $250. Jack comes over to your house completely drunk, and not [...]

Asarah B’Teves and Proactive Parentin...

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Next week is Asarah B’Teves, when we remember and mourn the beginning of the siege of the evil Nevuchadnetzar on Yerushalayim. While it may have become a lighter fast in our eyes because of the short winter day, it actually carries profound significance that surpasses other fast days. While no other fast day can fall out on Friday, Asar [...]

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