Get latest articles and videos with Jewish
inspiration and insights
Prior to converting, I wanted to pick a Hebrew name that would reflect what I aspired to be.
My friend is stuck in an unhealthy relationship. Should I risk our friendship and say something?
4 keys to understanding the crisis facing singles and marriage today.
How do we understand the deaths of Rabbi Akiva’s students?
Celebrating his bar mitzvah with his grandson, Harry Bibla attains the ultimate victory.
I took our Birthright group to Mt. Herzl, Israel’s national military cemetery. Little did we know what was awaiting us.
I have a former best friend who’s now trying to take away my friends!
The student’s offensive remark was not only anti-Semitic, it violated the sanctity of all human beings.
Learning to live with less.
Every Jew is irreplaceable.
Mastering the art of receiving.
It’s not the most talented who succeed. It’s those who never stop trying.
Because happy and healthy mothers make happy and healthy children.
What are we teaching our kids when parents are screaming and cursing during a soccer match?
3 classic toppings to pile onto your Tex-Mex burger.
How to use the challenges of being single to come closer to God.
And other clichés to avoid using with singles.
How to stop worrying about dating and just be yourself.
Appreciating the trailblazing scholarly work of Rabbi Yitzchak al-Fasi.
The significance, customs and mechanics of counting the Omer.
Unique in its universality, intensity, longevity and irrationality: What is the root of anti-Semitism?
Practical and relevant insights on the weekly parsha.
Advanced-level midrashic and Kabbalistic illuminations on the weekly parsha.
Lessons, stories and discussion questions for parents and kids.
Amazing discoveries that clearly show the Jewish connection to Jerusalem.
Must-see sites for every visitor.
This Rosh Hashanah, make the connection. A stirring video to share with friends.
UNESCO’s bizarre criticism is completely divorced from reality.
Telltale signs someone is a religious Jew.
May is a month for Mothers, so in their honor, let’s look at a few Jewish mothers who helped build America.
What is the message of this short film?
A rocking 6-string salute to Israel.
Why you should celebrate Israel Independence Day.
A moving tribute to fallen Israeli soldiers.
November 24, 2011 6:26 PM
Mrs. Hoffman has seen and greatly appreciated your message.
Thank you Lori for your beautiful video about my sister-in-law Linda Hoffman who indeed taught first grade at Chalk Farm Public School. She and her husband still live in Toronto although she retired from teaching many years ago to have a family. You will be glad to know that her husband was on the internet this morning and actually found the video. He excitedly called his wife into the room and she saw it as well. She is most appreciative. She was and is everthing you said, always with a smile on her face and encouraging words. I met her in about 1964 and remember her talking fondly and proudly of her grade 1 students every year. I married one of her brothers and am now also Mrs. Hoffman. As it happens we now live in the United States and celebrate Thanksgiving every year. So Lori, all of the Hoffmans wish you a truly happy Thanksgiving and thanks for singly out our teachers for praise in this lovely tribute.
November 24, 2011 3:40 AM
Thank you Rabbi Rubel
I had some really great teachers in high school, Central Brooklyn. The ones that were the best were also extremely kind people, Rabbi Teichtel, Rabbi Berkowitz and Rabbi Press. The teacher that impacted on me most, however, was Rabbi Rubel. He laughed with me and challenged me. He made me feel worth his time. That is the mark of a truly excellent teacher.
November 22, 2011 6:59 PM
Thankful for teachers who influenced us
Thank you Lori. I can thank many teachers over the years for their influence on my life. One who is particularly memorable is Mrs. Kapelke. She taught me patience, kindness and compassion. I was not an easy second grader. I had what they called "ants in the pants" which I guess today would be called ADD. She was always kind and patient toward me, unlike some of my later teachers. She took special time with me and never treated me harshly. Other teachers were not so pleasant to me and it wasn't until I was in the army that I think I got over their difficult influence. I suppose the military does that. Nevertheless, Mrs. Kapelke was a good and positive influence on me and one I'm especially thankful for. Also thank you Lori for your wise words.
November 22, 2011 6:17 PM
Thank You, Mrs. Housman
It's interesting for me to read this wonderful tribute to a teacher who made such a difference to you, Lori, in grade school. For one thing, her name seems to echo my last name, and for another, I don't believe for a minute that Hoffman marrying a Hoffman, was a random event. I am following a story, and this story, written by G_d, has the earmarks of the most amazing story EVER told.
"Life is a one room schoolhouse", a phrase often used by a woman who is a deep and loving part of my life through my son's marriage. And she also points out, that no matter where you cut a magnet there is always a north and a south pole.
I am writing a story that is coming my way, every single day, and actually I can't write it all down, because the synchronicity, the astonishment of story is THAT intense, and I am saying, This story, has to be, The MOST amazing Story Ever Told. Told by whom? By G_d.
I have the Proof. It's on paper, and coming to your beautiful Thanksgiving message is part of an ongoing, neverending story, that will bring us all, into a new state of consciousness.
My life is NOT random.
Thank YOU, Lori, for your luminous smile and your words of thanks.
To G_d who wrote this entire story, I say, "Thank YOU for bringing me to this place at this time."
My father died just before Thanksgiving, and I say, he lives. He really lives, and that it's not over, when, it's over. The AV in LOVE. Listen and you will hear this. Yes, a language-based story.
The Hay Library, Brown University
The Mel Yoken Collection of Letters
Barbara Rose Weisman,
November 22, 2011 6:03 PM
loved your message
As a teacher, I loved this message because it is so gratifying to hear firsthand the kind of impact that teachers can have on a child's life. I take that responsibility very seriously. Whenever I have to correct a child's behavior, I remember that to be gentle and not embarrass is so important. It's an important Jewish value. And on a personal level, I appreciated the reminder to be grateful to those who have touched our lives in so many ways. Happy thanksgiving Lori! Be well!
November 22, 2011 5:36 PM
Thank YOU, Lori !!!!!!! You are my role model.
November 22, 2011 5:33 PM
It's a lovely message, but with the internet making everything so accessible, why doesn't Lori look up the school and call or find out Mrs Hoffman's email address, if she really wants to express her gratitude to this woman? Lori's message gets a bit diluted with the request for someone else to forward this message if they happen to know her whereabouts. It's highly unlikely that she's still teaching 45 years later, but the school might have contact information for her.
November 22, 2011 3:17 PM
Wow, lemme think...
Like Lori, I don't remember kindergarten, except for one time when I told a teacher who tried to tell us that bees stung w/their noses that, no, they stung w/their butts. Yes, I was too smart for my own good even at age 5.
* Mr. Brownstein, 5th grade. He awakened in me a love of poetry, both reading and writing it. He also, indirectly, was the reason I learned to type so early, as he told my Mum "teach him to type, or nobody will ever read a *thing* he hands in."
* Mrs. Cantor, 9th-10th grade Algebra Geometry. Before 10th grade, I positively hated mathematics- everything about it. But, in 10th grade, w/Mrs. Cantor, something clicked- and I spend most of the year in the back corner of the class w/my friend Steve writing proofs theorems and passing them back and forth with him. We each aced the course, very much due to Mrs. Cantor.
* Mr. Lanzalotti, 9th-10th grade French. Due to Mr. Lanzalotti, I'm able to read Le Monde today- more than 20 years after graduating HS. When he died in 2008, that was what I wrote on the virtual guest book at his funeral- that he was that good of a teacher.
* Prof. Caws, philosophy (many courses). He wasn't a teacher per se- he rambled, and wasn't structured at all. But I've never been exposed to someone who got you to think as much as Prof. Caws did. My favourite course in college was him teaching Freud and Psychoanalysis, not as a psychologist with a theory, but as a philosopher with a philosophy. Brilliant man.
My thanks to all of them.
November 22, 2011 2:18 PM
What a terrific video! I want to thank you very much for providing close captioning, so that people can read as well as listen to you. You have done a TREMENDOUS mitzvah for individuals with both partial and total hearing loss.
November 22, 2011 7:12 AM
Continuation of previous comment
Years later, as a sophomore in High School, I was serving refreshments at district teacher's meeting. Miss Beyer walked in. Boy, was I embarrassed! She came over to me, as soon as she saw me, gave me a big hug, and said with a big smile and very proudly, "I taught her and her sister!" I don't think she is living anymore, but I am very grateful for her kindness then.
November 22, 2011 7:07 AM
What a great video, Lori! I love these trips down memory lane. My first grade teacher's name was Miss Beyer. I was in 1st grade in 55-56. She was in her early 40's, tall, and unmarried (she got married a few years later). From what I heard, I was not an easy child in those years and she was a strict disciplinarian, which was good for me. My sister was also in her class 4 years later. Years later, as a sophomore in hig
November 21, 2011 7:13 PM
My mother always mentions its good to fill out those cards in stores if an employee is helpful. My mother used to fill up with gas in the same station a few times a week since she had a long commute to work and the woman behind the counter was always so nice and cheery in the mornings. My mother wrote a note to the head of the gas company letting them know. The woman was so appreciative- the head of the company called her, a cashier in a gas station, to let her know about the note. Just a small gesture will go a long way.
November 21, 2011 2:36 AM
Lori, the message to thank the people in your life is great! My favourite teacher was my grade 4 teacher. My twin sister and I were in the same class in grade 4, so we both had her. We were talking about her in May this year and found her work email address online (she still works for the Queensland education department). We emailed her to tell her that she was our favourite teacher and gave a few anecdotes about when she was our teacher and how she encouraged us to be the best we could be, and we also sent a photo of us now :) We got an email back shortly after, and it turns out that us contacting her was very timely! In January 2011, south-east Queensland suffered some devastating floods, and my teacher's house was flooded. She had kept every single (non-edible) present and card from all of her students, and she lost all of it in the floods! So us sending her an email at that time to say how much she means to us absolutely made her day :D So I think it is important to thank the people in your life because it really does mean a lot :)
November 20, 2011 7:24 PM
She was my favorite teacher too.
Harry S. Pearle,
November 20, 2011 3:14 PM
I Found My Favorite Teacher: Dr.Rich. Find Your Favorite Teacher
Dear Lori, My favorite was my high school math teacher, Dr.Barnett Rich. Twenty five years after graduation, I looked him up. Then I organized a special reunion at his home with most of the students in my class.....It was a wonderful experience....Sadly, he passed away a few months after the reunion....Another twenty five years went by and I helped to organized a 50th reunion in his memory. That too was wonderful....Avos tells us to honor our teachers and our Rabbis. THANKS FOR YOUR TEACHING LORI Harry in Rochester NY
November 20, 2011 2:39 PM
In abusive relationships, one should get out and protect oneself--this includes parents. Loving others is important, but in order to love others, you do truly have to love yourself.
November 21, 2011 1:05 PM
I wonder how this comment relates to this article? Certainly the advice given -- about getting out of an abusive relationship and loving oneself -- is good. But why attach it to the "thanks" that Ms. Palatnik speaks about in this article. Did the author suffer an abusive relationship that prevented or prevents his or herself from thanking some one in a relationship that is/was good?
November 23, 2011 6:27 AM
Lori says that we should "thank our parents." This rests on the assumption that all parents act out of benevolent motives and that abuse never happens. At its core, the video's message says to revere people in specific roles simply because they occupy the role, irrespective of how they fulfill (or not fulfill!) those roles. Abuse is wrong and it is real. I don't know why so many Orthodox Jews don't admit this. Good role models are good, but good boundaries are even better.
November 25, 2011 3:15 AM
True - and still confused
You are right.
Should Lori have said, "thank your parents, but not if they were abusive?" I truly am sorry if you've had a bad experience - I'm just still not quite sure where your comment fits into the video.
As a side point, which I know absolutely will be objected to - abuse is wrong, real, and 100% needs to be dealt with. With all that said, parents, whether they are acting as they should or not, still gave their child life and brought them into the world. Just thought I'd throw it out there.
Have a great one!
November 26, 2011 2:44 AM
I think in the case of abusive parents, the highest form of honouring them is recognising the cycle and breaking it. My father was physically, emotionally, and sexually abusive to me, and my mother knew about much of it and did nothing "to keep the family together." I do thank my parents for what they've given to me, primarily appreciation for the arts and culture (my mother moreso than my father, although my dad read me Poe and other fine lit before bed). My dad has hurt many people in his life and accepts no responsibility for it. Real adults accept responsibility for their actions.
Children are gems from G-d. The role of the parent is to refine each child's character and instill him/her with a sense of belonging in something great, while simultaneously affirming each child's individual worth. Children are not chattel or commodities, and they are not little adults. A recognition of this, in tandem with a recognition that adults have a responsibility to make sure children are SAFE and own up to their mistakes and plan so that it doesn't happen again, would go a long way in stopping child abuse. Finally, let's not make excuses for abuse. If an Orthodox couple abuses their children, it's not about religion--my parents were atheists. Abuse is about control and nothing else. Parents should enjoy their children for who they are, and not try to "fix" them.
November 26, 2011 2:46 AM
On a final note, I will agree that this thread is a bit tangential. But it still is an important clarification.
Display my name?
Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.