"We are closer to G-d when we are asking the questions, than when we think we have the answers" Heschel

Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Shiur: Lag B'omer origins and messages

FNQ - Shiur

In preparation for Lag B'omer, this Sunday, I wanted to post this shiur.  I gave this shiur three years ago in Yu and was hoping to give an updated version this year but that didn't happen.  I went through a few different sources for this day (which has no source earlier than rishonim) and some meaningful lessons that can be taken from Lag B'omer. 

Lag B'omer Shiur
Lag b'omer source sheet

What do you think?

Binyamin - always looking for a good question?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The roller coaster of life

FNQ - special

Some who are reading this post may have more intimate knowledge of my family's personal roller coaster ride over the past month, some may have less and some may not even know who I am. But I am sure that all can relate to the metaphor. Although it is impossible to figure out the whys of G-d for He is much smarter than us, I do think we are required to challenge ourselves and consider the for what's.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Miller and Pearlman Families and Jewish People welcome מתניה ישראל to the tribe

FNQ - simcha announcement 

With great joy and pride we celebrated our son's bris this morning in the Holy city of Jerusalem.  There is much to say and much has already been said.  The questions will have to wait for next week but for now I have put links to my speech and the Ema, Aviva's, speech.  There is also a link to a poem composed at the bris by my Rebbe Rav Bednarsh.
Mazel tov and may we share in many more smachot.

Good shabbos

Aviva's speech from the bris
Binyamin's (my) bris speech
Poem for Matanya Yisrael
Source sheet for Binyamin's dvar torah

what do you think

Binyamin - always looking for a good question (and at the moment speechless with joy)

Monday, April 12, 2010

The paradox of pain

FNQ – thought for the week

I recall walking around the ruins of Auschwitz-Birkenau and feeling nothing. Perhaps it was because it was the last day of an emotionally taxing week of seeing the horrors of the Holocaust and I had nothing left to feel. Or perhaps it was because on that day the sun shone, the grass was green and Auschwitz resembled a beautiful park so what I saw simply didn't jive with the dark, bleak reality that I always envisioned. Or maybe, the pain and death of that place was so great that its comprehension was beyond my emotional capacity. The sheer scope of the tragedy made me incapable of feeling the pain.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Questions on Yom Ha'shoah

FNQ – questions for the week

Welcome back. I hope you all had a wonderful Pesach. Mine was incredibly meaningful. How could a chag spent with family and friends in Jerusalem not be. Now that vacation is over it is time to get back to work which for me means a return to the wonderful world of thought provoking questions. For my first two installments I will be discussing the special days of Yom Ha'shoa, (Holocaust Memorial day), Yom Hazikaron (Israel's Memorial Day for fallen soldiers) and Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel's independence day).

The thought of asking questions about the Holocaust is a daunting one. But we must ask for to remain silent is to be aloof and distant which is unacceptable when faced with the nightmare of the 6,000,000. We ask to connect to their holy memory. We ask so taht the Master of the Universe will know we haven't forgotten and the pain is still real. The questions may be old but our feelings when asking them must be as one who just heard of the horrific tragedy. Only in this way can we have any hope to connect to the power of the day. Come back (hopefully tomorrow) when I will try and give my thoughts (there are no answers) on some of these questions.