By Rabbi Shawn B. Zell Memorials are great “sanitizers”, especially when it comes to the Holocaust. As incredible as it sounds, Holocaust memorials go one step further than the Torah. “Our hands did not shed this blood” proclaim the elders who live closest to where our corpse has been found (Deuteronomy 21:7). Holocaust Memorials proclaim that while we bear no […]

Sweet Revenge by Rabbi Zell

     As one who believes that it is difficult to restrain or even temper anger, I have always been one to dismiss the adage “revenge is sweet”. Until now. With the 82nd anniversary of Kristallnacht being observed this week, I believe that revenge, is very much in order, as we are summoned to recall a heinous event that would culminate […]


As one with a great deal of respect, admiration, and gratitude toward veterans, I cannot help but feel that there are other veterans in society, specifically Jewish society, who are far too often taken for granted and unfortunately underappreciated and overlooked. Unlike the veterans we hopefully bring to heart and mind every November 11th, these underappreciated and overlooked veterans were […]


Last week marked the Shloshim observance of the revered Rabbi Moshe Tendler, who departed this world on September 28th at the age of 95. Rabbi Tendler was a veritable giant among Orthodox Jewry in this country. I was privileged to find myself at the same table for lunch with Rabbi Tendler back in the late ’80s, at a conference dealing […]


At first, I thought it was a friend/congregant sending me a spoof article to provide me with a chuckle to start my day. Any Group called the Goyim Defense League is at best fodder for Monte Python depicting an indignant and irate Jew venting his wrath at the leadership of the Goyim Defense League – henceforth to be referred to […]


Let me be charitable. Gina Peddy, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Carrol ISD in Southlake may have been misquoted, taken out of context, or possibly not have realized what she was saying when she advised teachers that if they had a book about the Holocaust in the classroom, they should also have a book in their classroom with […]


By Rabbi Shawn Zell No cigar for the Torah personality of this coming Shabbat, the heathen diviner Balaam son of Beor. As exceptional as he was with his enduring Mah Tovu, when he exclaimed, “How goodly are your tents O Jacob. Your dwelling places Israel”, Balaam would have been even more prophetic, had he proclaimed, “Hinei Mah Tov U’Mah Na’im […]


By Rabbi Shawn Zell I read obituaries. Every so often, I find material useful for a Dvar Torah. Rarely does an obituary grate on my nerves. Recently, I came across one of those rare obituaries. A month ago,  Richard Rubenstein, a rabbi, theologian, and a denier of G-d’s existence, died at the age of 97,  in Bridgeport, Connecticut.The death of […]