One-Week Workshops
view counter

Editorial & Opinion | Musings

06/21/2016 - 22:27 | | Musings

The great chess master Savielly Tartakower used to say that the winner of a game was the one who had made the next to last mistake. Note he did not say the one who makes the most brilliant moves. Tartakower knew that brilliancy depends on error. 

06/15/2016 - 08:16 | | Musings

The three major chagim, holidays, of the Jewish year — Pesach, Sukkot and Shavuot — all commemorate deeds that took place in the wilderness. They have agricultural significance as well, tying them to the land, but their origin reminds us that we were shaped by the desert.

06/08/2016 - 08:17 | | Musings

When I was a child we lived next door to a very evil woman. At least, that’s what my brothers and I believed. We knew she was evil because when a ball we were playing with sailed over the fence into her yard, she always refused to return it. She was apparently upset that balls from the neighbors’ kids kept landing, splat, right in the middle of her carefully cultivated garden.

06/01/2016 - 08:33 | | Musings

The mind does not obey itself. My arm will rise if I “tell” it to, but I cannot want what I think I should want. Shelves of self-help books promise to make us desire less junk food, exercise more, release ourselves from obsessive love for the wrong person, renew our affection for the “right” person. But still, we cannot seem to want what we want to want.

05/25/2016 - 08:21 | | Musings

In the Jewish tradition a desecration of God’s name is called a “chilul Hashem.” R. Chaim of Volozhin teaches that “chilul” comes from the word “hallal,” meaning empty or void. The greatest desecration of God’s name is to believe the world is meaningless, without purpose.

05/18/2016 - 09:19 | | Musings

One of childhood’s great pleasures is to populate the world with imagination. It does not require elaborate equipment to engage a child. As the Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi said, “Children find everything in nothing; men find nothing in everything.”