Rochel Chein

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Mrs. Rochel Chein is a member of the chabad.org Ask the Rabbi team.
My family and I met with an Orthodox rabbi and his wife the other day. I noticed that the rabbi shook hands with me but not with my wife, and that his wife shook hands with my wife, but not with me. What’s the big deal about men and women shaking hands? I...
Dear Friend, Bundled into his coat and hat, backpack at his side, my son would sit beside me each morning, waiting for the school bus to arrive. During those precious snatched moments, I would read to him a page or two from our current book choice. One of...
Dear Friend, They say that the best way to learn is to teach. My second-grade students and I have been studying the lives of Abraham and Sarah, and the stories have taken on a new significance to me as I view them through my students’ eyes. Woven through ...
Dear Friend, This Shabbat is the 17th of Tammuz, a tragic day in Jewish history, and the start of a three-week period of mourning for the destruction of the first and second Holy Temples. The day is usually marked with fasting, repentance and prayers. But...
Dear Friend, A recent coffee break found me rereading some of my favorite Passover stories. I read of Passovers celebrated during the Holocaust, in the Siberian Gulag, and in dim cellars during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. The faith and courage th...
Dear Friend, Winter has made its appearance in this part of the world. My office window frames a breathtaking landscape of falling snowflakes, pounding rain, and tiny hailstones that ping sharply as they land. This week’s Torah portion describes another h...
Dear Friend, On Simchat Torah, I usually put on comfortable shoes for hours of dancing and lively festivities. My most memorable Simchat Torah, though, was spent in a quiet hospital room. In the wee hours of the night, my husband softly sang a holiday tun...
Dear Friend, Weeks before Purim, the holiday spirit fills my home, as bits and pieces of costumes come on and off my children; Purim tunes fill the air; and the little voices beg for just one more hamantash. The dining room table has become Mishloach Mano...
Dear Friend, As this week’s Torah portion unfolds, all the signs point towards a disastrous confrontation. After twenty years in Charan, Jacob returned to the Holy Land to find a still-furious Esau approaching along with four hundred men. Fearing for hims...
Our retelling of the Exodus on Passover ends when we close the Haggadah text. But when did the story really end?
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