!)  In an earlier post we discussed the wording of Roedelheim in the Areshes Sifaseinu prayer wherein during malchios it says “מבין ומאזין…לקול תרועותינו”, whereas after zichronos and shofaros it has it as “Lekol Tekiaseinu”. I later found a meideval Spanish Kabalist (Joseph ben Abraham Gikatilla) (brought in the popular mussar sefer “Sifsei Chaim”) who […]

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I have gone through many papers sitting on a shelf, gathered through the years by my father z’l, all pertaining to our community and its history and personalities. Added to this is a collection that Mr. Joseph Katzenstein z’l had collected over many years- consisting of koleinus, newspaper clippings and some KAJ Newsletters (the “Kach”). […]

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Every Yom Tov as I reach the bracha of kedushas hayom in the shemoneh esrei I enter a world of safek. Most reading this are surely fluent with the pieces in the early volumes of Shoroshei Minhag Aschkenaz of Rabbi Binyamin Hamburger Shlita. In his first volume he brings solid support for the nusach aschkenaz to say “veyismechu vicha Yisrael Ohavei Shimecha” in all the Shabbos Amidahs. The nusach is described by Roedelheim as “Minhag Frankfurt”- but, actually […]

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Here is a story about a local kashrus scandal that did not involve the fault of any local people, but began at the slaughter house. It was told to me by the then supervisor of shechita Rabbi N. Bernstein. My father added the details at the end of the account. There were strict controls over […]

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A woman in the community once told me this story: As you may know there was a time when we ate leafy green vegetables and the like in the United States without checking for insects. It is not because we were not as stringent then, but because the pesticides did a near perfect job. With […]

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I was shopping in Shoprite today, where all the chicken is from Empire. I took a minute to examine the packaging and confirm that there is someone out there who prefers the novice (first time giving to shechita I think) to KAJ in hashgocho. Of course, Chasidim might. But which Chasid is buying Empire chickens, which […]

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This past week was the Agudah – virtual-  convention. In my adolescence I remember that the convention had a polemical side to it . There were barbs launched at Modern Orthodox leaders- sometimes in response to barbs launched from that community. Rav Gifter would get up and speak to the importance of Bnei Torah and the growth of […]

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In a post in my lesser touted, more personal blog space, I noted that my late father disliked it when people smacked their Hoshanos against the floor with force or even anger. It is a mystical minhag of the nevi’im and since its meaning is sublime why would you do it angrily?  He would say that this shows people’s […]

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Rav Schwab ZtL used to say that since we are in the minority vis a vis other communities, we tend to assimilate to their minhagim. Recently I encountered a few circumstances in which our minhagim have escaped recognition. An article in a Queens, NY paper mentioned blowing shofar twice a day in Elul as an […]

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  Was it appropriate to celebrate the birthday of a deceased ” gadol b’yisrael”? In the Orthodox world of today an event such as the shalosh seudos of 2008 can only be found among the Lubavich tzibur. No one else refers to the birthday of a deceased individual as a milestone. King Solomon placed the […]

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