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Editorial & Opinion | Musings

03/19/2012 - 20:00 | Musings

There are some colorful anecdotes about “helicopter parenting,” the practice of parental hovering to monitor children’s every movement. Colleges complain that when students matriculate, they are often lost — they don’t know how to budget their time, handle disappointment, cook their own meals, and even laundry defeats them.

03/12/2012 - 20:00 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Musings

‘The jealousy of scholars increases wisdom.” (Talmud Bava Bathra 21a.)

03/05/2012 - 19:00 | | Musings

‘The jealousy of scholars increases wisdom.” (Talmud Bava Bathra 21a.)

02/27/2012 - 19:00 | | Musings

When asked if he wanted the King of Rome one day to replace him, Napoleon declared, “Replace me? I could not replace myself! I am the child of circumstances.” That idea was dramatized by Stephen Vincent Benet in his story “A Curfew Tolls,” in which an Englishman residing on the Mediterranean coast of France meets a retired, frustrated French artillery major. It turns out to be Napoleon, born a few decades too early to conquer.

02/20/2012 - 19:00 | | Musings

In Vasily Grossman’s vast, magisterial novel of World War II, “Life and Fate,” he pauses for a moment to speak of the power of music:

“People in camps, people in prisons, people who have escaped from prison, people going to their deaths, know the extraordinary power of music. No one else can experience music in quite the same way. What music resurrects in the soul of a man about to die is neither hope nor thought, but simply the blind, heart-breaking miracle of life itself.”

02/13/2012 - 19:00 | | Musings

After the opening declaration of the Ten Commandments, “I am the Lord your God,” we get action. All the commandments mandate some behavior: keeping the Sabbath, honoring parents and so forth. Then comes the final commandment — “Do not covet.” This is not a behavioral prescription. How can the Torah tell us what to feel?