Author: The Thinking Yid

Theologically Speaking


For some reason there is a common occurrence found among people who enter into a debate or discussion. You will often find that at some point the conversation shifts from discussing the actual topic, to discussing people. This usually occurs when someone feels flustered or frustrated and “loses their cool”. They then begin to lash out at the individual who says something, instead of at what they actually said. Usually little children, and sadly politicians, will resort to this method of debate. But I have found that it has also snuck its way into our discussions about religion.


Remember Who Runs The Show


The past few weeks have been kind of rough. I have spent much time worrying about what will be and how things will turn out in the end. Money is always a concern for most people. How much we have? How much we make? How much we are going to make? How much are we spending and on what? Can we buy the stuff that we want? (more…)

Is Greek Wisdom Jewish?


Jews, in the words of Tolkien (he of Lord of the Rings fame), are a “gifted people”. John Adams was fulsome in his praise. “They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this Earth. The Romans and their Empire were but a Bauble in comparison of the Jews. They have…  influenced the affairs of Mankind more, and more happily, than any other Nation ancient or modern.” Mark Twain: “His contributions to the World’s list of of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers.” (more…)

Improper Religiosity


I was recently at a Shabbos sheva brachos, and the chosson and kallah arrived almost 45 minutes late to lunch after deciding to go home after kiddush. As a friend of theirs, I met them outside and mentioned that I understood they are the chosson and kallah but it is not correct to make more than 50 people wait to start the sueda. The kallah responded, “We are the chosson and kallah, there are cheshbonos”.  I was shocked by that response. (more…)

The Chareidi “Emes”


There must be many thousands of Jews in the United and States and elsewhere who get their news from chareidi websites. I confess to reading these websites myself throughout the day. About a week ago, a story of a “Kiddush Hashem” appeared on a well-known chareidi website. It concerned the Korean Ambassador to the United Nations and his daughter who worked for a well-known Agudah leader. (more…)

Tzedaka: Blind Trust?


I thought long and hard before writing the following words. For a couple of years, I dithered and I paused. For many months, I questioned whether I had the right to be critical of those seeking our assistance. But events that happened recently in Eretz Yisroel convinced me that some things had to be said, regardless of their sensitivity. (more…)

The Skver Vote


The following is not a joke, it actually was recorded on their hotline

On Friday night in the big Shul in Square Town, the gabbai (sexton) called out “everyone must go out and vote for Hillary Clinton”. Since it was announced in Shul it was with the Rebbe’s guidance. When Trump was the winner, a rumor started that the Rebbe really knew (a Rebbe knows everything) Trump was going to win (more…)

The Berland Scandal


With this latest conviction of Rabbi Berland, where he admitted to several counts of groping woman and kissing them. Let us not kid ourselves, this was a plea bargain where at these things, the perpetrator admits to lesser charges as to avoid more jail time. It is now clear to us, that with his admission of “just” fondling and kissing, we see that these claims by all the other women of what he did to them are completely true. (more…)

Shlomo Carlebach: A Tribute


The Jewish people arose as a nation many millennia ago. From the dawn if its birth, at the time of the Revelation at Mount Sinai, events occurred that influenced the march of its history and were indeed the hinges that changed the course of our nation. At these junctures, people arose who became, sometimes unwittingly, the instrument of those historical changes. (more…)

Pray For Israel, And The Donald


Now that the bitter and nasty fought election are over and there is a new President, we should all pray for his success. Still many are frightened, concerned, and some angry enough to take to the streets. This fear by so many is not that the “Right wing” won and there will be more conservative policies over next few years here, the fear is a totally different fear. The Republican agenda is much closer to my thinking then the Democrats, but I stayed home and did not vote this year, as I felt we were left with choice of either a macshefa (nasty person) or a mishugana (a nut job). (more…)

True Simchas Hatorah


Something that always irked me but I never really spoke about was the current state of Simchas Torah in our community. To me, Simchas Torah was represented by the usual assortment of rowdy individuals, many of whom picked up a Gemara* maybe 12 times this year, dancing in a raucous crowd of giddy, inebriated, and puerile adults.


Kol Nidrei: Redux


I must admit, that as each year passes, on Yom Kippur at the Chassidsha Shul where I regularly daven (pray), it got more and more “less enthusiastic”. As I get older, it seems the schlepping (drawn out), screaming of the chazzan, hitting the bimah (lectern) got the better of me. I know Yom Kippur is a time for intense praying, and many people are indeed inspired by this way of praying. However, people are not the same (more…)

Neturei Karta Argumentation


Sep 26, 2016 was when the Republican and Democrat candidates debated for the first time this cycle. While the candidates were arguing inside Hofstra University, the Neturei Karta had a protest outside. Rabbi Weiss, who is one of the chief agitators of the gang, gave an interview. I thought I would provide a point by point rebuttal to the drivel. (more…)

The Tetragrammaton

Note: This article is missing Hebrew lettering that has been replaced with English lettering, we will fix A.S.A.P.shema

Each year Yom Kipper night before Kol Nidrei in many shuls, including ours, we ask forgiveness from each letter of Hashem’s name. Many people don’t understand the significance of each letter and think it is some secret prayer for forgiveness. The following is a little better understanding of what we are saying.


Keep The Faith, Lose The Chassidus

Belz Hasidic Dynasty Wedding

People write about pet peeves all the time but I couldn’t call this issue a pet peeve. Firstly, the very word “pet” connotes something beloved, cherished and possibly furry. When I think of this matter, that if I wouldn’t care about my blood pressure, would have me exploding all over the place, the only furry thing I see is Bigfoot – the most apt description I can think of when trying to describe the crude, humorless, uneducated, unkempt, “chossid”. (more…)

Zionism: Defeating the Slave Mentality


Zionism: Defeating the Slave Mentality

The Prophets of old inspired the Jewish people: speaking of pursuing justice, admonishing kings for their sins, and exhorting their listeners to drop their evil ways and pursue Godliness and righteousness. It is with some interest, then, that we read the book of Nachum (Nahum), which deals primarily with the non-Jewish Assyrians and their capital, Nineveh. The Assyrians had been brutalizing and subjugating Israel for a long time, culminating in the reign of Sargon II, when the Northern Tribes of Israel were expelled from the land. (more…)

Bein Hazmanim, Do It Right!


Bein Hazmanim, Do It Right!

The torah tells in Bereshis 49:14 Yissachar Chamor GorimYissachar is a strong-boned Donkey. Rashi explains this is referring to a Torah Scholar, as bearer of the yoke of the torah. Rovetz Bein Ha’misfasayimCrouching down between the Boundaries.  Rashi further explains; just as a donkey broods along day and night merely crouching down to get a brief rest between the city limits, so is the way of the Torah Scholar.

The Chofetz Chaim, based on this verse write – The way of a True Torah Scholar is, he wearies day and night in studying Torah, (more…)

Whitewashing Gedolim


Whitewashing Gedolim

Why do we whitewash the lives of our gedolim? Why is that we feel that if we say a gadol made a mistake, or wasn’t the smartest person in the room, or wasn’t always ecstatic that it in some way takes away from their greatness? Why does every gadol story go something like this: He mastered chumash by age three, Mishnah by age five, and Shas by age ten. He never was unhappy a day in his life. (more…)

Recapturing the Spirit of Zionism!


Recapturing the Spirit of Zionism

How to discuss Zionism? The apathy among Jews on the question of Zionism is a listlessness that has spread throughout the Jewish people. Few could even remember of the tremendous energies and passions that were the hallmarks of Zionism just some decades ago. Perhaps there is no longer a need for remarkable energy and passion in our support of Zionism. (more…)