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Editorial & Opinion | Musings

02/03/2016 - 09:11 | | Musings

Our sages speak of both love of God and fear of God. Fear is more akin to awe. Think of the way people respond in a movie when they first see Godzilla or an alien: They are paralyzed for a moment with amazement that such a thing exists. Similarly, we should have a sense of awe, wonderment tinged by being overwhelmed, at the reality of God’s presence.

01/27/2016 - 09:06 | | Musings

As the Israelites prepare to leave Egypt, Moses remembers the promise to carry Joseph’s bones to the land of Israel [Exodus 13:9). The Rabbis note Joseph’s original double phrasing to his family: “Hashbeah Hishbiah” — “you shall surely promise” — because the promise is to be carried down through the generations.

01/19/2016 - 22:08 | | Musings

‘You shall arise as a lion each morning to do the will of your Creator.” That stirring sentence opens the Shulchan Aruch, the Jewish code of law. It reminds us that at the heart of the Jewish tradition is the conviction that there are things worth fighting for.

01/13/2016 - 08:48 | | Musings

The word describing the basket in which Moses is placed as an infant is “tevah,” the same word used to describe Noah’s ark. Many commentators draw the parallel between the man who saved the world and the man who saved the Jewish people.

01/06/2016 - 09:55 | | Musings

The sages of our tradition were very wary of anger. “Rabbah, son of Rav Huna, said: “When one loses his temper, even the Divine Presence is unimportant in his eyes” [Nedarim 22b]. While not denying the possibility that righteous anger can exist, repeatedly the Rabbis warn against anger, which is like a boiling pot that overspills and scalds everyone nearby.   

12/23/2015 - 08:56 | | Musings

Great love stories have obstacles. Boy meets girl, boy marries girl is not a plot; there must be mishaps, distance, reconciliations, passions overcoming everything that seems to threaten the romance. The chambermaid must find the Prince, or the lovers from two warring families embrace.