You have to go back to Spiro Agnew and his bullyboy ventriloquists, Pat Buchanan and William Safire, to find this kind of sneering contempt for educated people.
An ethical will is an informal, written document in which a parent bequests, not property or assets, but wisdom, values and spiritual understanding. It permits a parent to transmit a spiritual legacy to his or her children through stories, examples and meaningful life lessons in the hope that they will embrace those values in their own lives. It is meant to inspire, enlighten and encourage but never to punish, harass, blame or control a child "from the grave."
How do we build a House of God? How do we achieve the spiritual mandate that God placed upon the community when asking of them to build the Mishkan, the dwelling place of God? Anybody who serves a community as its spiritual leader understands that the nature of my question has little to do with the architectural plans of the building, rather it addresses the religious and spiritual atmosphere we are challenged to create within the four walls that we call our "House of God."
If your life could change in a moment, what would you want it to be?
Propelled by curiosity, I asked, "By the way are you Jewish?"
"Not at all," he answered. "I was born Presbyterian, and now I am a Baptist. Maybe one day I will become Jewish. What do you think of that?"
Deciding it would be best not to answer, I acted Jewish and responded with a totally different question: "How do you know so much about Judaism and Chanukah?"
With total seriousness he said, "You can't claim to be a religious Christian without knowing Judaism. All religious wisdom starts with Judaism."
Tri-ing to Raise Funds for Israel; Gems of Wisdom for 5767.
I worry about children who are told they must get every answer correct. I worry about kids told there's no room for second best. I worry about the child who must always be the star. If we demand success each time, and leave no room for failure, our children's dreams will shrink to fit their certainties. They will play it safe and never try too hard, never reach too far, never put too much of themselves into any pursuit. It is entirely possible to exalt the mind while crushing the soul.
If dating was a simple game, we'd all travel effortless paths to love, and we'd enjoy the dating process so thoroughly as to rush toward it with glee it when it's time.
The Torah has no title page. It has neither an author's introduction nor a preface -- nothing to tell us why the book was written or how it is to be read. The very first line begins with a complete lack of self-consciousness: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1).
On this line we find a remarkable comment by the most famous of Jewish Bible commentators, Rashi, Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac of 11th century France. Rashi cites a classical midrash: "Rabbi Isaac asked: Why does the Torah begin with Genesis? The Torah should have begun with the verse (Exodus 12:2): 'This month shall mark for you the beginning of the months,' which is the first commandment given to Israel. For what reason does the Torah begin with Genesis?"
Rashi's commentary on the Torah provides the Jew with a broad survey of law, theology and wisdom -- a basic curriculum of Jewish learning. Rashi's genius is to state the most penetrating questions in the most concise idiom. This one is a gem. Within this innocuous question is a world of debate on the nature of Judaism and purpose of the Torah.
The message is a universal one and it is directed to all mankind. How much better would the world be if we looked at people and thought first of what we have in common with us instead of analyzing how they differ from and are therefore inferior to us?
First, there was the red string kabbalah bracelet popularized by Madonna; then, the yellow "LIVESTRONG" wristband supporting the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Now, there are blessing rings, which may just become the next national craze in message-imbued jewelry. (If they do, you heard it here first, folks.)
The Midrash on this Torah portion contains a fascinating note.
The last episode of "Friends" airs May 6, and while we may all express a collective sigh of relief at the end of more than a year of shameless hype and exploitation, it doesn't mean that we can't stop to reflect on this moment in American cultural history.
At first glance, the title of Esther Jungreis' new book, "The Committed Marriage," seems a bit redundant. After all, isn't commitment
the whole point of getting married?
I have no dating advice. None. I won't suggest clever phrasing for your personal ad or how to choose a photo to post on JDate. I'm not an expert on any of these things, but without bragging, I will admit I'm truly excellent at one thing: how not to date.
For Avi Davis, truth is a blazing light threatening to blind the unprepared.
There are no moderating factors or gradations, just a division between those who can handle its assault and those who can't.
In contrast to Davis' unitary absolutism, traditional Jewish wisdom tends to frame things in twos and threes. So we read in Pirke Avot 1:18, the teaching of Rabban Simeon ben Gamaliel, that "the world is established on three principles: truth, justice and peace."
Work is one of the strongest Jewish values. God provides the ultimate example: He worked a six-day week to create the universe. And when the Tabernacle was built, every person contributed according to his skills and talents. The Talmud reminds us that, "No labor, however humble, is dishonoring."
A TV show taping might mean a lot of things to people in Hollywood, but it doesn't necessarily scream: "Killer mate-hunting opportunity!"
In 1981, Rabbi Harold Kushner wrote a 150-page book, published with little fanfare, that changed the lives of the more than 4 million people who read it and made its title, "When Bad Things Happen to Good People," part of the vernacular.
have learned from the Clinton affair how unprepared our technologically sophisticated society is to deal with moral issues, and specifically how to transmit moral wisdom to our children.
My brother called the other day and asked whetherI had noticed how many people are putting things behind them andmoving on.
"Does that mean they have no baggage?" Iasked.
"Well," he said, "either people have no baggage oran invisible semitrailer is following them around."
Why is it that when Jews seek spiritual wisdom, they'll go almost anywhere except their own traditions? Look into any cult, any radical new therapy, any metaphysical society or meditating community, and you'll find Jews far beyond our proportion in the population. And should they come to Judaism, there is a thirst for the esoteric. "I want to learn your spiritual secrets!" an impassioned searcher says to me.