Picture of Rabbi Elazar Muskin

Rabbi Elazar Muskin

Lessons from a prophet on Tisha b’Av

A man visiting from Manhattan introduced himself after finishing a Shabbat afternoon class in Jewish ethics and told me the following story: In the early years of Lincoln Square Synagogue, when Rabbi Shlomo Riskin was the rabbi, he always wanted a certain leading member to serve as cantor for Neilah on Yom Kippur.

Shavuot – Torah for everyone

My daughter, Dina, accepted a summer job here in Los Angeles last year. Before being hired, she explained that she was an observant Jew who would have to take off two days in early June to celebrate the holiday of Shavuot. The manager, respecting Dina’s religious commitment, said it would be no problem.

Pesach 5772: Lessons my grandfather taught me

Every Passover, as I sit with my family at our seder, I inevitably think of my paternal grandfather, after whom I was named. I never met him. He died five years before I was born, and I was born on the anniversary of his burial. But from earliest childhood, I felt that my grandfather was present, teaching me the values that helped shape my life.

Candle power

Anyone familiar with religious practices can testify to the fact that candles play a crucial role in normative observance for many religions. It is not surprising to find an identical phenomenon in Judaism, the mother of so many contemporary beliefs.

Parashat Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1-4:20)

Anyone who has chaperoned high school students knows it can add a few gray hairs. I experienced this very phenomenon a number of years ago while serving as the
rabbinic leader on March of the Living, the annual gathering that takes youth to Poland to commemorate Holocaust Memorial week.


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