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Editorial & Opinion | Musings

08/23/2016 - 23:45 | | Musings

We are all in favor of kindness, unity and accord. But let us pause for a moment to praise gruffness, disunity and argument.

08/16/2016 - 22:04 | | Musings

Growing up in my parents’ home, there was only one thing that was permitted to be thrown inside the house — challah.

Each Friday night after the blessing on the bread, my father would break up parts of the challah and throw it around the table. He began with my mother, who became very adept at snagging her piece. Some memorable catches were executed, as well as some incomprehensible misses. But by that simple gesture we began each Shabbat meal in an atmosphere of joy.

08/09/2016 - 22:05 | | Musings

On Tisha b’Av, we are reminded of the destruction of the Temple and other tragedies in Jewish history. Ritual is both an aid to memory and an insistence that our sorrow be within limits.

08/03/2016 - 09:00 | | Musings

The Roman poet Horace wrote, “It is your affair when your neighbor’s house is on fire.” For two kinds of people, it is of concern for two types of reasons.

07/27/2016 - 09:34 | | Musings

Judaism is often called a tradition of deed, not of creed. It is certainly true that Judaism emphasizes one’s actions. The Torah assumes that the heart will always be divided, and no one can erase the negative thoughts or bad intentions that accompany us throughout our lives. We show our nobility not by being consistently pure in thought, but by choosing to act in accord with our higher ideals.

07/20/2016 - 00:36 | | Musings

Jacob fools his father and steals his brother’s birthright. Esau swears to kill him. Decades pass. Jacob hears that Esau is coming with 400 men. Yet when they meet, instead of vengeance, they fall on each other’s necks and weep. Why?