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Reversing A Trend | A Kiddush Hashem Story

Lately, all the Jews in the News have been getting into trouble with the law or dying. It has been troubling.

Sometimes, we wonder what other people are saying about us. In light of the last few weeks, it just can’t be good.

This recent (true) anecdote is a change of pace and hopefully it can start a new trend. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Post Stained With Tears | Moish Gluck Of Blessed Memory

I have not been to a lot of funerals in my life. I have been blessed.

Yesterday evening my family celebrated Sheva Brachos for a cousin in my parents home. It was a joyous occasion.

Immediately following its conclusion, I walked the 200 feet from my parent’s home to the neighborhood shul. At about 11:00 PM a very moving funeral began.

The juxtaposition of these two events and the nature of the deceased brought tremendous emotion. What follows is an attempt to do those feelings justice in writing.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Rabbi Zelik Epstein, Of Blessed Memory

Yesterday, the Jewish world lost a spiritual giant (good article worth reading). Rabbi Zelik Epstein, Rosh Yeshiva of Shaar Hatorah in Queens passed away. He was 97.

R’ Zelik was a relic of the past. He studied Torah in Europe with some the greatest Torah scholars of recent American Jewry, including Rabbi Moshe Feinstein and Rabbi Yaakov Kamanetsky.

Perhaps even more significantly, he was above the fray. He did not get involved in politics and instead, studied, taught and advised and preached Torah and its values.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Mourning The Living On The 9th of Av

A few years ago I was a campus Rabbi for the Jewish Awareness Movement (I even made the video on their home page) at USC. One of my primary responsibilities was to lead large groups of Jewish college students on inspiring trips to Israel.

Of course, the personal inspiration for me, was very often, greater than the inspiration for some of the students.

One episode has inspired me since the moment it occurred and it is directly related to today’s Tisha B’Av fast.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Have You Been Invited To A Brachos Party Or An Amen Party?

This post has been cross-posted to DovBear – more discussion there.

The newswires have been full reporting the massive scandal in NY / NJ the last few days. There is a strong correlation between the scandal and something prevalent in contemporary Orthodox Jewish society.

You may think you are far from a money-laundering, tax evading, kidney-dealing, FBI snitching, tax-evading, “knucklehead”. You may even be have the cleanest books on Wall Street and third party audits to prove it. Yet, our entire generation is infected with the same virus that the”knucklehead”are carrying.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Solar Eclipse In Judaism

Last week the world witnessed another wonder of our universe, the Solar Eclipse. This eclipse was visible from Southeast Asia and was the longest eclipse in 18 years and will remain the longest for the next 123 years.

The eclipse has long been associated with mythology and supernatural acts. If you are a fan of the TV show, Heroes, you know what I mean.

In Southeast Asia, many Hindus were gripped by fear. According to Hindu  tradition, the eclipse can cause harm to unborn children. Many ancient cultures attached mythological meaning to solar eclipses. Today, we know that the eclipse is part of the solar pattern that is predictable to the second.

What about Judaism? What do we say about the solar eclipse?

Read the rest of this entry »

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How Many Is Too Many?



The writer, a woman, calls upon all Orthodox Jews to reject “the evil feminists” of Kolech and “have as many children as possible, as soon as possible”. For there is no greater joy in life than having many children.

Her arguments are weak (read it for yourself) and the ending says it all: “Trust me”. Why should I trust her?

As a proud father of 2 beautiful boys (a 6 year old and 8 month old) I can attest to the joys of parenthood. Giving the gift of life to one’s offspring is both very powerful and oftentimes emotional. I cannot imagine my life without my family.

I must take issue with this woman’s assertion that “the greatest gift we can give our families is a big family. Very big”.

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Shame on Gizmodo | Shame on Us Too

One of my favorite gadget blogs ran a discpicable headline for a post yesterday. Gizmodo is a great blog when it comes to getting information, reviews and opinions on the latest technology and gadgets. Unfortunately, yesterday they disgraced their reputation with a pretty offensive headline.

The headline garnered enough attention that they ultimately changed it to something less offensive.

Read the rest of this entry »

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A Happy 2009 Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday.

I am not huge “birthday guy”. I love my children’s birthday more than my own birthday and my mother loves my birthday more than I do.

A lot of people know my birthday. Co-workers, family and friends all know my birthday. This year I got a ton of birthday wishes.

But itwas different.

Read the rest of this entry »

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The Sales Pitch

This post is cross-posted to DovBear – more discussion there.

I read an important column on a good website yesterday.

It wasn’t on NYTimes.com or Yahoo.com or ESPN.com (some of my favorite sites to link from) this article was on Vosizneias.com. VIN is a Orthodox Jewish blog with editorials and news. I recommend checking it out when you have a chance.

The column I read was a great perpective on Baal Teshuvas and their integration into the Frum community. In particular the column focused on various reactions of the BT (I use the term adoringly) when encountered with other (supposedly) Frum Jews who are not living up to their own standards.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Manny Being Manny | Some ‘Gladwellian’ Insight

This is Manny. Manny Ramirez.

Manny RamirezBelieve it or not, Manny is one of the greatest right handed hitters in Baseball history. He is also a 2 time World Series Champion and 1 time World Series MVP. Manny was also recently suspended from baseball for 50 games for violating the league’s Substance Abuse Policy when he tested positive for a substance used to hide performance enhancing drug use.

In other words, he cheated. And yet, he is adored and loved, cheered and ballyhooed. Why?

You don’t need to be a baseball fan to continue reading.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Book Review | DovBear on the Parsha

Over Shabbos I had the privilege of reading an excellent book. On Thursday my DovBear on the Parshaarrived at my summer residence and I was hoping to look it over on Shabbos.

At just over 175 pages I thought I would peruse the articles and formulate a general opinion of the book over Shabbos. Instead, I was so tired by the time Shabbos came along I decided to just read the first couple of chapters before heading to bed Friday night.

To my surprise I was unsuccessful in my goal… I started the book after the Friday night meal and I went to sleep at 11:30 PM, after I had read the entire book cover to cover (not just the first couple chapters). DovBear on the Parsha is a true page turner. Read the rest of this entry »

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Which Of These is the Nobel Peace Prize Winner?

Last week Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison. In the early days of my blog I wrote a couple of Madoff posts (check them out if you have not seen them).

His recent sentencing reminded me about something that I did not post in the fallout from the scandal. This post is not “news” but its message is timeless. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ron Artest Is Going To The Lakers | What Do I Think?

Yes, the red-headed step child of the NBA is going to the Lakers.

There are folks who will be up in arms over a known “thug” joining their beloved Lakers.

The same Ron Artest who was suspended for one full year from participating in NBA games for his egregious actions when he was a young up and coming star with the Pacers.

As a Parent and as Rabbi you may want to know: What do I think?

If you read my blog you should know what I think. Read the rest of this entry »

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Onymous Blogging

This post has been cross-posted to DovBear. – more discussion there.

Social Networking has been around for a long time. The term is nearly two centuries old and the concept perhaps 30 times that.

With the internet explosion around the new millennium social networking became all the rage on the world wide web. MySpace and others blazed the trail. Now, blogging, Facebook and Twitter are an integral part of our social landscape.

Naturally, I was drawn to these new age ways of using technology to create social networks. I’ve been on Facebook since its inception five years ago and joined Twitter a while ago and have only recently begun to blog.

Over the last few weeks some incredible things have happened that are direct results of social networking online. Read the rest of this entry »

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This Is My Blog

You have arrived at a place in cyberspace featuring the thoughts, ramblings, musings and Torah of Eliyahu Fink.

If you like what you have found come join us at the The Shul on the Beach. You know the Shul on the Venice boardwalk - you've seen it, right?

Scroll down to the bottom of this sidebar to see some of my pictures of the Pacific Jewish Center just before sundown on a Friday Evening.

Well, we are there every Friday Night and Saturday Morning for services.

Come check us out! You will feel something special in the air. I guarantee it.

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If you have any questions for the Rabbi please click here to privately and confidentially send me your question.

Please include, gender, religion, level of observance and age in your question.

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- Eliyahu Fink

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