In June, MyJewishLearning.com won the American Jewish Press Association's award for most “Outstanding Website.” Yasher Koach! We have great respect for CEO and Editor-in-Chief Daniel Septimus, who has led the effort to create an accessible and relevant source of Jewish wisdom on the net.
What do you get when you Google “funny jew?” Marvin Silbermintz. More specifically, Marvin showing off a few hilarious inventions of his own devising – a Kiddush fork, a challah-doubler and a special Jewish comb, among others. A prize-winning comedian who wrote Jay Leno’s monologue for 19 years and appeared often as Jay’s Rabbi, Marvin currently does stand-up, lectures, writes and stars in the Chabad telethon (www.FUNNYfromBIRTH.com).
For Father’s Day, JInsider offers practical advice for dads on cultivating an inspired life for their children.
Reflections on an Ideal Dad
I think that the most important lesson of being a father is to lower the bar into the human realm. I will never be the perfect dad. There are times when I embarrass myself by losing my patience or temper. I also regularly mortify my children now that they are older just by being near them in front of their friends.
The Baal Shem Tov explained: “Every event that occurs is controlled by Hashgachah Protis (Divine Intervention). ...Everything a Jew sees or hears contains a lesson useful in the service of God.” With this perspective, the unfolding of everyday current events takes on a whole different meaning. What happens every week, every day, every moment — there is a hidden subtext. It’s just a matter of interpreting events on a deeper level. Last week the unfortunate flotilla incident occurred.
With university commencement season upon us, assorted pundits are appearing on local campuses to offer their self-help spiels. In reality, some of the best advice for graduates comes from our own Jewish wisdom. So in the spirit of America’s sound-bite culture and Hillel’s famous feat of summing up the Torah in one sentence (“What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor”), JInsider offers some concise bits of Jewish wisdom in this week’s column. Here’s a taste on how to find one’s own purpose:
It was with dismay and disappointment, and some frustration, that I read the JInsider column entitled “March Meshuga 2010.”
Yes, I know it was tongue in cheek, and meant to be a humor column, and a take-off on the college basketball tournament. Mark Pearlman attempted to “parse all of Judaism 2010 into one Elite 8 bracket.” However, one of the “brackets” was “E. Jerusalem Settlements,” and it was described as follows: “Israel has taken yet more land in the face of international opposition.”
David Solomon is a brilliant scholar and highly sought-after lecturer in the Jewish community. His wide range of general knowledge, deep textual scholarship and great sense of humor allow him to be a hugely charismatic educator. We acknowledge David as a Top Jew for his unselfish effort as a one-man teaching machine — in 11 countries over the past few years — with no organized fundraising or institutional support. Watch the videos on Jinsider or visit his teaching site www.inonehour.net.
Some of the best applications of Jewish wisdom are not necessarily found in our own community but rather in the broader secular community —from Jeffrey Sachs’ work on poverty to Eli Broad’s support of charities and the arts. A great example from the tri-state area is Andy Ackerman, who has made a major impact as executive director of the Children’s Museum in Manhattan (www.cmom.org). He was honored this week for his 20 years of service by the museum and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. We spoke with Ackerman about how he applies Jewish wisdom through his work.
It’s not often New Yorkers open their homes to strangers, but many will be doing just that on Sunday, April 25 as part of Limmud Across NY, a day of “simultaneous intimate learning sessions.” Throughout the metropolitan area, individuals will be hosting participants in celebration of Jewish life, learning, and community.
What are the biggest mistakes in Jewish history? We asked Rabbi Charlie Buckholtz, senior editor at the Shalom Hartman Institute and author, to describe regrettable moments in Jewish history where a do-over might have been helpful. Part 1 of our Regrettable Moments series ran a few weeks ago and we received great feedback. Here is Part 2. What do you think? Any regrets on our regrets? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.