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Editorial & Opinion | Musings

12/08/2015 - 19:00 | | Musings

Chanukah is post-biblical and there is no scriptural mention of the holiday. Why then does the blessing say God “commanded us” to light the Chanukah lights? Where does that command come from?

12/01/2015 - 19:00 | | Musings

You have a full day of leisure, so you set aside several tasks to perform around the house or in the neighborhood. At the end of the day, you’ve done barely half of what you planned. That is a result of forgetting the distilled wisdom of computer scientist and author Douglas Hofstadter: Here it is: “Hofstadter’s law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s law.”

11/24/2015 - 19:00 | | Musings

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

11/17/2015 - 19:00 | | 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.

11/10/2015 - 19:00 | | 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:

11/03/2015 - 19:00 | | Musings

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