Y.L. Peretz

The Ties That Bind

06/18/2008
Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles.

As powerful as the bond that tied the Jewish people to God was the one that tied the Jewish people to one another.  Although Jews certainly quarreled — at times viciously — there was a depth to the care that Jews took of one another in ages past that should still touch and inspire us. In his memoirs, the great Yiddish writer Y.L. Peretz expresses it by capping a sad story with one, memorable line.

When We’re Gone

03/05/2008
Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Temple Sinai in Los Angeles.

Vladimir Nabokov opens his autobiography, “Speak Memory,” by recalling a scene in a home movie in which he saw his own family before his birth; his mother was pregnant and happy, but looking at his crib waiting for him, it had the “smug, encroaching air of a coffin.”

The world prepares for our entrance, and over the course of life prepares us for our exit. Things existed before we appeared and will continue after. Although we cannot know what awaits us, we do know our power to leave the world changed.

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