Articles by Eli Schlossberg


It has been over six months since the petira of my mother, Greta Schlossberg, Gelah bas Ze’ev, a”h. I experienced a year of aveilus (mourning) when my father passed away 15 years earlier, and now I am in the year of aveilus for my mom.

The purpose of this article is to discuss general issues on the practice of aveilus and describe my experience. However, I would like to stress, before I begin, the importance of always discussing any questions and issues with one’s own rav to receive proper guidance on halacha and minhag. In Pirkei Avos it is said, “Asei lecha rav – Establish a rav for yourself. A strong relationship and rapport with one’s rabbi is always important, but it is during aveilus, especially, that one needs clarity on how to observe it properly.

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Death of a Salesman: A Tribute to Fred A. Schlossberg, Avraham ben Menachem Mendel Halevi, a”h, my Dad


I have to laugh when I hear the current wisdom about sound business management. Executives nowadays are supposed to be friendly; they are supposed to inspire and empower employees rather than boss them. In this respect, my father was way ahead of his time. Although Dad was owner, president, and later chairman of Castle Food Corporation, our family business, he never considered his position in the company to be very significant during the almost 55 years he worked in the business. Dad didn’t enjoy rank or power. To him, everyone in the workplace was important, and the main thing was that each employee did the very best at his or her particular job.

In his quiet and humble way, Dad regarded himself as a salesman. He loved people and loved the interaction with his customers and employees. With the twinkle in his eyes, his European charm and class, his fabulous sense of humor, and his fascinating stories, he captivated those around him. He was ehrlich and unassuming, and had a sweetness about him not typical of a hard-driving, aggressive businessperson. Yet when he combined all these personal qualities with the detailed and superior knowledge of his product and a strong resolve to be successful, Dad possessed everything a good salesman needed. Dad was a fabulous sales professional who made himself and his company very successful, with Hashem’s help. 

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Always Maalin B’Kodesh Greta Schlossberg, a”h


November 7, 2016, Baltimore, Maryland

This Shabbos Breishis, we lost our Mom, Gella bas Ze’ev, Greta Schlossberg, a”h.

Mom was not well and has been out of the public eye for many years, but old-time Baltimoreans will remember well her beautiful smile, happy disposition, kindness, and, of course, her music. For over 20 years, she led Bais Yaakov school choirs and played the piano accompaniment at Bais Yaakov and TA events and graduations. She also taught music to thousands of children in the Beth Jacob Sunday school. She wrote plays and cantatas as well as poetry and songs. Many readers will also remember her amazing garden. In everything she did, Mom was maalin bekodesh, using her talents and energy to rise ever higher on the ladder of holiness.

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We Had to Read the Label: Kashrus in the 1950s


If you watch shoppers in supermarkets, you will see them carefully studying the labels on products they are not acquainted with. Are they checking if the baked beans contain pork, perhaps, or the cookies lard? No. Today most people read labels to stay healthy! Once upon a time, however, the main label scrutinizers were Jews. Few products in the 1950s had a hechsher on the label. The observant consumer therefore carefully studied the ingredients. If the product said contained gelatin or lard, it was of course treif. But with labeling rules lax, if a miniscule amount of lard was in the product, the manufacturer did not have to list it. Or the manufacturer may have greased the pans with animal fat. There was no way to tell.

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Common Sense and Dollars


There are only two ways to balance one’s budget or, even better, to make it possible to add to one’s savings each month. They are: Increase your income or to cut your expenses.

Increasing Income

If you are paid by the hour you might be able to work more hours, and if you are in sales, you can work harder to increase your sales commissions and earnings. If you are salaried, however, unless you take an extra job, you will probably have to wait for a bonus or salary increase. And if you are retired, you are most likely on a fixed income. Should your expenses increase, you will be truly challenged in balancing the budget.

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Windfall! What to Do When You Win the Lottery


I often get calls from individuals or couples who find themselves coming into a windfall of some sort, b”H. Although we all dream of winning the lottery, such sudden wealth is more likely the result of an inheritance, a retirement package, or a lucky investment. Whatever the source of the mazal, these people are in a position they were never in before. While many people are quite sure that an influx of money would solve all their problems, it is not that simple. The newly rich are often unprepared to take on the challenge of managing their money. In their haste to do something, they can make serious errors that result in unfortunate losses. Money management must be learned, and it is crucial to surround oneself with an experienced and trusted financial team.

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