Posts by Rabbi Yitzchok Tiechtel

Nurturing Fins and Scales in our Children

Recently, we read on Shabbat about the laws of kashrut, and we learned of the two characteristics which render creatures of the sea Kosher. It is stated in the Book of Leviticus, chapter 11, “These shall you eat of all that are in the waters: whatever has fins and scales.” 

Beyond i…

Who Am I?

Sometimes you have to smile. With all the misery piling up from day to day in the ongoing Ukraine saga, there was one light moment. A newscaster in India was interviewing two guests about the crisis. One was an American analyst, the other an editor from a Kiev newspaper. The two guests we…

My Covid Eulogy, Two Years Later

Wow, who would have ever imagined this, we are just about to mark the second Yahrzeit of Covid19. (Unfortunately, it is still very much here... but you know what I mean). So, here's my eulogy, two years later. 

Dear Mr. Covid, 

It is hard to believe that only a year has passed since…

Labels Mean Nothing when Talking about Jews

One Saturday evening last month, when we put on our phones right after Shabbat, we saw the shocking news of what happened in Colleyville Texas. Four Jews had been taken hostage within their Temple, during Shabbat services. It was irrelevant what community the Rabbi represented, or what sty…

Let’s Talk About an Uncomfortable Topic

There are many conversations that people are comfortable to talk about. There are those conversations that people shy away from. Today, let’s have a conversation about an uncomfortable topic: dying. 

But wait: what is it about dying that makes many of us uncomfortable? Some will arg…


It was late at night. The latkes were long gone.  The kids were asleep.  I went and sat down to do some studying and saw my little flame still going strong.  (Yes, the large glasses of oil tend to outlast the candles).  

And then I stopped to think: 

There's something…

Kosher Takeout Comes to Nashville

On any typical day, several calls come into the office at Chabad of Nashville, all with the same question:

“Hi, I am going to be in Nashville next weekend, and I have no idea where I can get Kosher food.”

“I am coming for a conference, and I need kosher meals.”

“My family is vis…


Just like that, another year is beginning its slow retreat into history. The year 5781 will be one for the records, one of much uncertainty and disarray, and very soon we will welcome the New Year of 5782. The season of the New Year is upon us, a time of stock taking and introspection. The l…

The Surfside Tower & the Founding of Our Nation

It has been several weeks since the East Champlain Tower collapsed in Surfside, Florida. It has been several weeks of anxiety, heartfelt prayers, and an unending wait hoping to finally hear some good news. Families have been waiting to hear the outcome of the search and recovery effort. I …

Pew Study Finds US Jewry is Shifting Profoundly and Chabad is on Rise 

The recent Pew Jewish Population Study finds Chabad involvement is growing. Some 40% of American Jews have some involvement with Chabad, and the younger the demographic, the higher the number. Previously, the study organizers did not look at Chabad as a demographic, but this year it fig…

The Secret of Chabad

One day, my phone rang. 

 “Is this Chabad?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“My name is Lisa from New York. A friend of mine is driving through Nashville and her car won’t start.” 

I have to admit, this was a first for me.

Nashville is a hot spot for tourists and is also a city with …