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Editorial & Opinion | Musings

11/25/2015 | | Musings

After the Israelites cross the sea, Miriam and the women dance. Moses leads the people with song, but Miriam leads them with dance.

11/18/2015 | | Musings

As Israel prepares to cross the sea, Moses cries out to God, who responds, in Exodus 14:15, “Why cry out to Me? Tell the Israelites to go forward.” Rashi reverses the meaning of the verse, suggesting God is saying, “Why cry out? It’s on me — tell the Israelites to go forward.” Rashi lived in an age (1040-1105) when Jews had little power and reliance on God was the only conceivable strategy. He understood the Passover story as one of total dependence, not human initiative.

11/11/2015 | | Musings

Menachem Mendel of Vorki said you could tell a true Jew by “upright kneeling, silent screaming and motionless dance.” Here is one possible take on that enigmatic phrase:

11/04/2015 | | Musings

Here is the secret that Israelis know: Life in Israel is both more normal and less normal than the world assumes.

10/28/2015 | | Special to the Jewish Week | Musings

The enemy of the Jew becomes the enemy of the world. That simple, albeit mysterious, historical rule has been repeatedly demonstrated. Regimes and ideologies that target Jews never stop there; they are imperialistic by nature, and begin by identifying the “other” — and Jews have been the quintessential other — and move on to target ever-larger circles.

10/21/2015 | | Musings

Why do the central prayers of Judaism require a minyan, a quorum of 10? That is true of the Kedusha in the Amidah and the Kaddish, among others.