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Rabbi’s Blog - Sept. 23 - The Iron Dome

09/24/2021 11:55:45 AM


Dear OZ family,


Moadim L’Simcha!


As is so often the case, the venomous hatred of those who despise Israel is stronger than their support for the people they purport to favor. This was the case when these haters...Read more...

Rabbi’s Blog - Sept. 23 - The Iron Dome

09/23/2021 11:52:45 AM


Dear OZ family,


Moadim L’Simcha!


As is so often the case, the venomous hatred of those who despise Israel is stronger than their support for the people they purport to favor. This was the case when these haters...Read more...

Rabbi’s Blog - Erev Yom Kippur 5782

09/15/2021 05:18:15 PM


Dear OZ family,


The 1st Temple was completed just before Yom Kippur and Tanach relates that King Solomon celebrated this achievement for two weeks (Melachim Aleph 8:65). Divrei Hayamim Bet (7:10) relates that these two weeks of celebration  ended on the 23rd of  Tishre. Our sages understood this to mean that the Temple celebrations overrode the...Read more...

Rabbi's Blog: Sept. 10 - Prelude to 9/11

09/10/2021 05:58:15 PM


Shabbos Bulletin:

Rabbi Schwartz will host 2 Shuva Drashas:

In-Person: Shabbos, Sep. 11 @ 7:05pm - 9/11, Repentance, and Reflection: Looking Back to Move Forward (following Shalosh Seudos and Mincha) On Zoom: Monday, Sep. 13 @ 8:00pm - Jonah & Hosea: Finding Meaning in the Readings of Yom Kippur...Read more...

President's Message - New Year's Message

09/06/2021 02:37:54 PM


Dear Friends of OZ


This is my last Rosh Hashana message as president. Thank G-d, right?


It is very difficult to be president - it doesn't fit well with my personality. (I'll never forgive Mendy Gross for encouraging me to do it!). I don't like asking anyone for money; like Ben Shapiro, I believe that "facts don't care about your feelings," so I tend to ignore emotional factors when engaging in any...Read more...

Rabbi's Blog: Sept. 6 - Welcome to Flight 5782

09/06/2021 02:03:01 PM


Dear OZ family,


Welcome to flight #5782. We are preparing for take-off into the New Year. Please make sure your gratitude and blessings are locked and secured in an upright position. All self-destructive devices should be turned off at this time. All negativity, antagonism, and discord should be stowed away....Read more...

Rabbi's Blog: Sept. 3 - 26 Elul, Division & Determination

09/03/2021 12:16:02 PM


Dear OZ family,


Following on yesterday's comments, today, the 26th of Elul, is the second day of creation according to Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer. On this day, in addition to what is written in the Torah, Chazal say that Gehenom was created on the second day as well. That is because the second day twice refers to separations. The connection to Gehenom is that unresolved dispute and division is a clear path to the lowest...Read more...

Rabbi's Blog: Sept. 2 - Shana Tova on 25 Elul

09/02/2021 03:40:19 PM


Dear OZ family,    


Shana Tova Umetuka!


According to Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer, today (25 Elul) is the real Rosh Hashana.


That is to say that the 1st of Tishre is actually the 6th day of creation.



Rabbi's Blog: Sept. 1 - Chofetz Chaim + Covid Update

09/01/2021 05:25:22 PM


Dear OZ family,


Today, the 24th of Elul, is the 78th yahrzeit of Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan HaKohen z'l, also known as the Chofetz Chaim. A long obituary that appeared in the New York Times put his age at 106. He received the name Chofetz Chaim because of his incessant battles against slander, gossip and...Read more...

Rabbi's Blog: August 27

08/27/2021 12:03:21 PM


Dear OZ family,


This week’s Parsha is called Ki Tavo, and begins with a description of the ritual of Bikkurim, first fruits, which are only brought from trees growing in Israel. Ki Tavo refers to entry into the land, and the Mitzva that is immediately stressed upon such entry, is one that engenders...Read more...

Rabbi's Blog: August 26

08/26/2021 03:21:51 PM


Dear OZ family,


I taught live in person students at YU today for the first time in almost a year and a half. This semester, I’m also teaching at Stern College, and both schools are maintaining high levels of safety standards. They are both allowing vaccinated students to maintain close to normal pre-Covid...Read more...

Rabbi's Blog: August 23

08/23/2021 12:25:32 PM


Dear OZ family,


I am grateful to Glenn Richter for pointing out to me a commemoration that took place this past weekend in the Ukrainian cities of Chernowitz & Lutsk. These events remembered the liquidation of the ghettoes in these two cities 79 years ago. My father always kept the Hebrew date of the liquidation...Read more...

Rabbi’s Blog - 8th of Elul

08/16/2021 10:00:00 AM


Dear OZ family,

Today, the 8th of Elul, is the Yahrzeit of Rivka Goli, who is remembered by her friends as a profoundly proud Jew and a prolific ba’alas chesed.

Rivka lived a full and extraordinary life. She was born in the Western African nation, Ivory Coast, and embraced the religion of her choice with vigorous fervor. She spoke many languages and traveled the world as a peacekeeper for the United Nations. In this...Read more...

Rabbi's Blog - Aug. 11: Birthday Wishes

08/11/2021 01:26:27 PM


Dear OZ family,


When I first came to OZ, Mrs. Bertha Trepp, who ended up working at OZ for over 40 years, showed me an old ledger book with the birthdays of OZ members, dated back to 1889. I had always considered it important to remember birthdays, and this was an excellent opportunity to connect to the long-time members of the shul. When I arrived in 1988, the shul still had the custom to allow anyone a public forum to...Read more...

Rabbi’s Blog: August 3 - Giving & Getting

08/03/2021 02:05:05 PM


Dear OZ family,


The Torah in this week’s Parsha commands us to tithe whatever our land produces. The double expression of “Aser T’aser” (Devarim 14:22), is understood by some commentaries to include the command to tithe our income as well. Rav Moshe Feinstein even included the standard of tithing our...Read more...

Rabbi’s Blog: July 29: Eyes Wide Open

07/29/2021 01:36:53 PM


Dear OZ family,


The end of this week’s Parsha points to a difference between Israel and Egypt. The stress in this difference is an agricultural one. In Egypt, there is an automatic watering of plants from the Nile, but requires human agency in diverting the water to where it is needed. Israel, in contrast,...Read more...

Rabbi’s Blog: July 27: Crossing the Threshold

07/27/2021 02:26:09 PM


Dear OZ family,


By now in Sefer Devarim it is becoming clear that the book’s main agenda is to prepare the nation of Israel for crossing the Yarden into the Promised Land. The commandments that are repeated, and the new commandments all point in the direction of a new generation starting a new chapter of...Read more...

Rabbi’s Blog: July 23 - Covid HaBrios

07/23/2021 11:27:08 AM


Dear OZ family,


Since Covid started I have sent over 250 messages to the shul and only a few have been political in nature, but those are the ones that engender the most robust response. What I sent out yesterday about Ben & Jerry’s ice cream  kept me busy reading responses for quite a while. These responses...Read more...

Rabbi’s Blog: July 21 - A "Rocky Road"...

07/21/2021 02:21:54 PM


Dear OZ family,


I usually try to stay out of politics with these words, but I am reacting measure for measure. Ice cream is also normally removed from politics, but when Israel is concerned, few things are normal. Ben and Jerry’s ice cream this week declared an announcement which reeks of overt anti-Semitism....Read more...

Rabbi’s Blog: July 16 - 7, 79, 96... + 9 Av Guide

07/16/2021 11:57:51 AM


Dear OZ family,


Today, the 7th of Av is the day the Bible records as the day that the Babylonian general, Nevuzradan entered the Temple Mount. The Talmud explains that they pillaged and looted for three days and at the end of the third day, on the 9th of Av, he put the Temple to flames. The 3rd century Amora,...Read more...

Rabbi’s Blog: July 15 - Your Countenance Counts + 9 Av Guide

07/15/2021 03:39:09 PM


Dear OZ family,


Last week I pointed to the crucial Biblical verse that speaks of consistency and constancy, and I have seen many examples of such standards in my life. My father, z”l worked at the same hospital for 54 years. I have been going to school as a student or teacher on 185th or 186th St. off of...Read more...

Rabbi’s Blog: July 14 - Meaning after Meron

07/14/2021 10:59:58 AM


Dear OZ family,


Another glorious day is before us. I remember the messages I sent out last spring and summer when so much of what was ahead was unknown to us. My messages were meant to strengthen the reader and writer for resolute conviction to face the challenges ahead. Alisa and I continue to face every...Read more...

Rabbi's Blog - July 8: Another Glorious Day + Rally Info

07/08/2021 12:10:21 PM


Dear OZ family,


Another glorious day is before us.


42 years ago this day, the Rebbitzen and I went on our first date. I won her a small stuffed animal at an amusement park, and every day since I do the things that...Read more...

No Fear Rally Against Anti-Semitism in D.C.

07/07/2021 10:52:07 AM


Dear OZ family,

There will be a rally "Against Anti-Semitism and in Solidarity with the Jewish People" in Washington, DC, on Sunday, July 11 at 1:00pm sponsored by a collection of our local and national Jewish organizations. 

Information about the "No Fear Rally" can be found...

Rabbi’s Blog: July 6 - Idealism & Realism

07/06/2021 12:30:07 PM


Dear OZ family,


Last week I listed a number of Biblical verses that encapsulate the essential message of the Mitzvot of the Torah.  These verses speak of love, justice, mercy, humility, empathy and kindness. They speak of doing the right thing, living up to our Godly potential, and being consistent in pursuing...Read more...

Rabbi’s Blog: July 5 - Medina Shel Chesed

07/05/2021 10:17:50 AM


Dear OZ family,


On this long Independence Day weekend, let us acknowledge the Hakarat Hatov that we as a people owe what Rav Moshe Feinstein called a “Medina shel Chesed”. From the time of our first exile, over 2,500 years ago, we have never been as welcomed as a people as we have been in this country....Read more...

Rabbi’s Blog: July 2 - Korban & Consistency

07/02/2021 12:03:25 PM


Dear OZ family,


The 929 chapters of the Bible contain hundreds of verses that encapsulate our vision of Godliness and holiness. I paraphrase below a few choices of what appears in various sources, about that all-encompassing verse.


God created the human in...

Rabbi’s Blog: June 29 - A Personal Thank You

06/29/2021 02:43:27 PM


Dear OZ family,


Shalom U’vracha.


I join Alisa in extending our heartfelt gratitude for all the good wishes from the community. We have always lifted ourselves up to meet challenges, often with the help of others....Read more...

Rabbi’s Blog: June 25 - A Personal Message

06/25/2021 11:12:16 AM


Dear OZ family,


Some of the events of the past weeks have left us searching for meaning and direction. The Meron and Giv’at Ze’ev tragedies in Israel, the huge sinkhole in a parking lot at Sha’arei Zedek hospital on the week of Parshas Korach, and now this horrible tragedy in Surfside, Florida. Our...Read more...

Rabbi’s Blog: June 22 - Optimism + Petition

06/22/2021 10:43:39 AM


Dear OZ family,


There are two Biblical dates on the calendar this week.


The prophet Yechezkel acted out a number of prophecies that served as omens and signs for his people, to instruct them how to navigate the years...Read more...

Mon, June 27 2022 28 Sivan 5782