David Wolpe

Sacred Is The Family

08/07/2007
Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Temple Sinai in Los Angeles.

In the Shema we are commanded to love God. What are we then to do with that love?  Should we love God and therefore conquer the world? Love God and live in perfect purity?

No, we are told to love God and teach our children. Speak these words when walking, lying down, in all the humble ways of ordinary life. This is the sacred quotidian — not to be mountaintop saints, but to live every day with love.

In God We Trust

02/19/2009
Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Temple Sinai in Los Angeles.

Recently a series of books by scientists and polemicists have argued that religion is pernicious and God unprovable.  While it is true that religion, like every great human passion and drive, can be both life giving and destructive, it is worth conceding the central claim: God is indeed unprovable.  Thank God.  That is part of the glory of bitachon.

Up Close And Personal

10/27/2009

Judaism so treasures words one might think you could get a righteous person out of a book. Yet beginning with the Bible, Judaism taught that laws come to life in people. Role models speak louder than rules.

Their Eyes Were Watching God

01/26/2010

This past Shabbat I had the great joy of addressing my daughter on her bat mitzvah. I pointed to the phrase in her parasha (Torah portion) “a night of watching (Ex. 12:42).” It occurs twice in the Bible, both times in the same sentence. The first time it refers to God’s watching; the second to the Israelites watching.

The Love Of Learning

02/02/2010

Knowing where to find information is not the same as possessing it. Each fact we learn is arranged in the matrix of all we already know. One who knows how to Google “Shakespeare sonnets” cannot be compared to the one who has memorized Shakespeare’s sonnets. The latter carries the words with him. The former is an accountant of knowledge; he knows where the treasure is, but it does not belong to him.

In A Silent Way

01/21/2010

How much time do you spend with yourself? All the time, obviously, from one perspective. From another, less and less. What were once interludes of solitude — at home alone, in a restaurant, in a store, walking, driving — are now filled with other voices: screens, radios, iPods and cellphones. The Greek philosopher Anitsthenes said that what he had derived from philosophy was the ability to converse with himself. And perhaps Pascal was not far off in saying that society’s problems derived from people not being able to endure sitting alone in a room.

Begging For Forgiveness

09/22/2006
Staff Writer
A man who likes extinct languages, Mel Gibson had a chance to practice his Latin this summer — he made several mea culpas.Following his drunken, sexist, profane, anti-Semitic tirade in Malibu in July, the actor-director apologized to the police officers who arrested him. He apologized in a general public statement for saying “despicable” things.

You've Got Mechila

09/29/2000
Staff Writer
It's a question rooted in an age-old practice but made new by the vicissitudes of modern technology: Is it kosher to ask mechila by e-mail? Asking forgiveness, or mechila, for wrongs committed against others is emphasized during the month of Elul, and given particular attention during the 10 Days of Repentance from Rosh HaShanah to Yom Kippur.

Musings: Sleepers Awake!

The shofar on Rosh HaShanah is intended to wake us up to a life of goodness, of care, of compassion. Perhaps it is intended not only to wake the sleepers, but those of us who are only pretending to be asleep.

11/04/2009
Special to the Jewish Week

In “Eating Animals,” Joanthan Safran Foer’s remarkable new book, he describes what has happened to the way we raise animals for food in our country. With wit and power Foer lays out before us what it means to consign billions (yes, billions) of animals to horrific suffering so we can eat the antibiotic laden meat and feed it to our children.

Begging For Forgiveness

09/22/2006
Staff Writer
A man who likes extinct languages, Mel Gibson had a chance to practice his Latin this summer — he made several mea culpas.   Following his drunken, sexist, profane, anti-Semitic tirade in Malibu in July, the actor-director apologized to the police officers who arrested him. He apologized in a general public statement for saying “despicable” things. He apologized “specifically to everyone in the Jewish community,” to “those who have been hurt and offended by those words.”  
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