Picture of Rabbi Elazar Muskin

Rabbi Elazar Muskin

Life’s Journey

The renowned Oxford professor Benjamin Jowett, the great 19th century translator of Plato, was the ultimate paradigm of the ivory-tower scholar. Once, as he was walking across the commons at Oxford, he stopped a student and asked, “Please can you tell me, am I walking toward or away from the cafeteria?”

Fruit of the Vine

I led a summer Jewish history trip through Central Europe several years ago, which took us to Bratislava and its famous Jewish cemetery, where the great 19th century rabbinic leader, the Hatam Sofer, is buried. Our first stop in Bratislava was at the Danube Hotel, where we were to meet our local guide.

Old But New

A number of years ago, when my two daughters were 8 and 6, we had the pleasure of spending a family summer vacation in Israel. We stayed at my mother-in-law’s home right near Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan. One day while eating breakfast we heard a truck pass outside with a loudspeaker making announcements. At first the words from the loudspeaker didn’t make any sense to us.

Correct priorities

Parshat Matot (Numbers 30:2-32:42). But the question remains: What justification did Moses have that allowed him to denounce them so fiercely? How could he compare them to the scouts?

Letter from Jerusalem

Condolence visits are part of a rabbi\’s life, but no one ever taught us how to make nine visits in a 48-hour period. We arrived in Israel on the morning of Tuesday, March 11, and left Israel the following night. Our mission, representing the Rabbinical Council of America, was to express solidarity with the families of the victims of the terror attack at yeshivat Mercaz Harav, comfort the injured in the hospitals and visit the yeshiva.

Brotherly Love

With Chanukah recent history, I came across a fascinating review of a new book, \”The Business of Holidays.\” The book\’s editor, Maud Lavin, notes that 81 percent of U.S. households celebrate Christmas with a tree in their homes, and not everybody is Christian. The line between Christmas and Chanukah has become very blurry in recent years, according to Lavin.

Journey of a Lifetime

Every human being is on a special journey; the secret, however, is to realize it. This, perhaps, is the Torah\’s message when it recounts the details of how the first Jewish house of worship, the Tabernacle, was constructed and dedicated.

The Parent Trap

Why are children deaf to the advice parents offer, and why does it take so many years before we understand the true value of our parent\’s wisdom?

Mr. Nobody

Often we give excuses of not being involved in Jewish life because we have strong and even valid criticisms against organized religion. We only see the negative in our Jewish institutions, forgetting that such an attitude produces Peloni Almonis, nothings and nobodies. We have no choice but to accept the challenge to become a generation of Boazs, whose creative thinking will guarantee the future of our people.

There Is Nothing Like Home

By the time they left the synagogue, Abraham Foxman had made up his mind. When he returned to the nursemaid\’s home he announced that he wanted to be Jewish because he liked the \”Jewish Church.\” There he said, they \”celebrate life.\”


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