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New York is back: a day in the life summer 2021

My daughter liba is off to summer camp in two weeks and she asked me If we could head to the city one time before shoe goes away for two months To which I gladly relied in the affirmative. Little did I know that I might just enjoy the day More than her. We started out at midtown and walked down town to Strands books store. Strands is a unique place as it had old new and used and vintage books all in one spot. After picking up a few good reads on American Jewish history we made out way to a park. As a native of Forest Hills I don’t spend much time in the city But eventually I found out the name of the park. Union square park , what a place . People of all walks of life. All ethnicities and colors and types. Eventually I takea… Read More »

A Mask For Privilege


שקופים אטומים: חלק א'

A Mask For Privilege

Rosh Hashanah 5781

by Mordechai Zev Hecht

In the Code of Jewish Law (Shulchan Aruch HaRav) Section 301,16, a section of laws referring to carrying in a public domain on Shabbos, it is written:

“One does not go out with an Ankotmin - and this is a type of donkey costume that performers wear and it looks like one is riding it as one wears it and walks with his feet.”...[ there is an opinion in the Gemora, Rashi, who says it’s actually a form of mask].

“One also does not go out with Farmi - a mask that has artwork on it that one wears on their face to frighten children. Masui Heim - they are a burden and they are not considered clothing or jewelry [and not… Read More »

Not Like anything else before - Covid 19, May 1,2020


Not Like anything else before - Covid 19, May 1,2020

Mordechai Z. Hecht, - Queens, NY

March 18, 2020 - a day that will go down in infamy. 

It came - and we were commanded to “Shelter in place”. 

Wait what?! 

None ever even heard of such a term. We all jumped to figure this out. We scrambled for a precedent of sorts to grasp what was happening. Immediately we jumped on the Spanish Flu. Sheww. Now we have a president, wonderful! How did that help us? Did it employ us, pay our bills, take care of elderly, provide ventilators, school or shul us?! What ensued were endless press conferences and conflicting statements from our leadership, time and again and gain.

Albeit, knowledge is power and someh… Read More »

Selichot Mindset 5780

*THE SELICHOT MINDSET 5780*: This Saturday night (Sunday morning), we Ashkenazim will begin saying selichot. I’ve always seen that as the “opening ceremony” of the High Holiday season – when I stand in shul on the first night of selichot and the chazzan begins by reciting Kaddish in that special tune reserved for this time of year, that’s when I know that Rosh Hashana is shortly upon us. I have been saying selichot every year since I was a child but this year I came to a stark conclusion about doing it with joy. You see what I’m speaking about today is the difference between Ashkenazim and Sephardim and the difference in the attitude towards selichot. I for one grew up Thank God in Sephardic shul, under the leadership of my dear fa… Read More »

8 questions every parent can ask themselves


She Was Doing So Well, And Then...

8 questions every parent can ask

with Rabbi Mordechai Z. Hecht 

During the summer here in New York, many children go to camp—be it day camp, sports programs or summer school, and for the lucky ones, sleepaway camp.

Parents missing their "little squirts," boychiks, meidelachzeeskeitsetc., move on as their children are away, and parents actually make some long-awaited time for themselves, and kudos to them indeed.

However, it's also that time when we receive report cards—which brings us to reflect on a full school year's accomplishments and, in some instances, the challenges and even failures of our children.

… Read More »

On saying I love you & Reb Levi Yitzchok Schneeron


On saying “I Love you” & Reb Levi Yitzchok Schneerson

by Mordechai Zev Hecht

I vividly recall how, as a child, 'Pizza' was a treat. It was exciting to go out and eat pizza and fries and if you got a falafel you (I) were (was) rich. Even to order-in pizza, especially on Thursday nights, or from time to time Sunday nights, instead of eating the leftovers from Shabbos we got pizza, it was exciting. (Exciting; like when my father bought us prizes each day, when my mother went away for a week to Australia to attend a simcha).

I also recall hearing time and again “pizza isn’t healthy”, regardless whether or not it was healthy it was an easy dinner for my mother - of 14. Quite… Read More »

On Something No One Wants To Talk About


with Rabbi Mordechai Z. Hecht

Horseradish & Children


with Rabbi Mordechai Z. Hecht ~

If you ask anyone that has ever been to a Passover Seder - what was the most memorable part they would very possibly tell you unequivocally - the Horseradish.

Growing up as a kid in Queens, I remember always going to visit my Bubby and Zaydie in East Flatbush (E. 53rd St. in the basement (where the cow was)) where Bubby would hand grind, in those good old metal-meat-grinders with the wooden hasher, her Passover Horseradish. You pretty much knew you were on the right block already because you smelled Pesach in the air – the Horseradish that is.

In New York everyone knows Horseradish, whether it Benz’s, Bubby’s recipe, or Golds – white (pure, without beet… Read More »

The ALTER REBBE, Trump & The Temple

Mordechai Z. Hecht - 12/6/17 ~ Kiselv 19, 5778

The world is in disbelief.

Our Friends are dancing for us. Our foes, ehhh, who cares.

Shake the cage a little more a little less, the same rats fall out. Our enemies will always look for an excuse to hurt us and destroy the rights of free world and democracy, how much more so, the Nation and Homeland of Israel and the Jewish people.

"During the day of the nineteenth of Kislev the Alter Rebbe was freed from the Peter Paul's Fortress in St. Peters-burg and then, due to a mistake, he found himself in the home of one of the misnagdim-opposers to the Chassidim-for several anguished hours. He was reported to have said that those hours, during which he was forced to listen to his … Read More »

A mountain, a field, a house & Elazar Bar Kapara

A mountain, a field, a house & Elazar Bar Kapara: 

On Men, women and Children

With Rabbi Mordechai Z. Hecht: 6/52

A student of the great 19th century codifier, the Chasam Sofer notes in a brilliant essay that the sages Abraham, Isaac and Jacob correspond to (3) different stages in the order of descent of humanity via the way in which they refer to the place of the Holy Temple.

Abraham refers to it as Har – the mountain, as in the verse: “He called it the mountain of G-d and…on the mountain of G-d you shall be seen”. (Bereishis 24,14) For it was Abraham who introduced the idea of monotheism for all, into the world. Yet, people were still steeped in paganism and idolatry and honor and ego were necessary … Read More »

"On not going back to sleep"



with Rabbi Mordechai Zev Ben Harav Sholem Dovber Hecht

Anshe Sholom Chabad, Kew Gardens, NY


ויקרא לאחיו לאכל לחם (רש"י) אוהביו

(Bereshis 31,44)

ויאמר לאחיו לקטו אבנים (רש"י) בניו שהיו לו אחים נגשים אליו לצרה ולמלחמה

(Bereshis 31,46)


There are those who come to Shul לאכל לחם – “to eat bread”, perhaps for the coffee and cake, the kiddush, the hot cholent, they will attend functions and dinners and truth be told that’s very nice, participation in any and every form is wonderful. In turn, there are those, as Rashi so eloquently puts it, the אוהביו - the friends and patronizers of the shul or community center.

But what does a shul really need, what r… Read More »

Every U.S. State a Gunman?!



Hear this:
"וְיָצְאוּ ישְׁבֵי עָרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבִעֲרוּ 
וְהִשִּׁיקוּ בְּנֶשֶׁק וּמָגֵן וְצִנָּה בְּקֶשֶׁת וּבְחִצִּים וּבְמַקֵּל יָד וּבְרֹמַח וּבִעֲרוּ בָהֶם אֵשׁ שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים" (יחזקאל לט, 
פסוק ט)

"And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall make fires of the weapons and use them as fuel, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the hand-staves, and the spears, and they shall make fires of them seven years". (Amen)

This is a verse which is a source in ancient Biblical Hebrew for the word Gun or weapon.

Ironically, it is also the same letters and is the same root word of the word in this following verse, which me… Read More »

Lineaglessness, Ibn Saruk & Rashi 2/52


On Menachem Ibn Saruk, Rashi

and Lineagelessness 2/52


with Rabbi Mordechai Zev Hecht


G-d Promises Avram Children

This weeks Torah portion of Lech Licha is a monumental one where G-d continue to test Avram in so many ways, and at the same time promises him soo many blessings in the most profound way ever recorded. One of these dialogues between G-d and Avram goes like this, in Bereshis chapter 15:

(1)  “After the words, of Avram who verbalized his worries about losing his future reward, the word of G-d came to him in a vision saying:”Don’t be afraid, Avram!” I am your shield, (to protect you from being punished for the people you killed in battle) – “Your reward is extreme… Read More » </!--[endif]--></!--[if>

On Social Behavior & Leadership 1/52


-      Rebbe Yehoshua Ben Perachia -</!--[endif]-->

On Social Behavior & Leadership

1/52 : By Rabbi Mordechai Z. Hecht


He was the head of the Jewish Court (Nasi Sanhedrin) in the 2nd century CE. He was a known zealot in establishing law and order in the Jewish community. Some even attribute him as being the one who denounced the infamous Yochanon the High Priest (Kohen Gadol) as a Sadducee- (Tzidokee) and had him impeached after 70 years of service in the Temple.

Some further attribute him as the one who pushed away Yehoshua the Notzri, learning from his mistake and becoming the author of the following statement. One of the very few statements in the entire Talmud quoting him.

 “Yehoshua ben P… Read More »





By Mordechai Z. Hecht


This article is not one of those perfectly sized or perfectly placated ones. You’ve been warned.

This article is different.

I'm gonna ask a series of questions and then, well then the ending is in your hands. Like your life. Well atleast part of it!

Have you ever read the Rabbeinu HaRav Meiri on Teshuvah? The Rambam's Laws of Teshuvah? How about Shaarei Teshuvah of Rabbeinu Yonah? One more, Misechtas Yoma or the Avodas Yom HaKippurim Hamevuar?



If you answered yes to any of these questions, this article is not for you. At this point I'm going ask you kindly to please close your online-internet service provider and move on. Because… Read More »

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