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Editorial & Opinion | Musings

07/16/2012 - 20:00 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Musings

Some advice for people visiting shiva houses.

Mourning is very personal. Some will weep, others will be stoic. Do not measure the depth of love by the degree of evident emotion. There is no “right” way to grieve. You are there to comfort, not to judge.

07/02/2012 - 20:00 | | Musings

Some wisdom is so often repeated that it must be both true and not easily heard. Here is a message that echoes through all spiritual teaching:

The Baal Shem Tov told us when we find a fault in the world we must first look for that fault inside ourselves. Shakespeare emphasized that the fault is not in the stars but in ourselves. And the English Jacobean Webster put it this way: “Whether we fall by ambition, blood or lust/ Like diamonds, we are cut with our own dust.”

06/25/2012 - 20:00 | | Musings
Some have argued that Jews are optimists and others that Jews are pessimists. I think Jews are struggelists.From the outset the Torah teaches that the world is not paradise. One afternoon in Eden is all we get and then we leave the womb to wail and walk. This is the eternal story; the very name of the Jewish people, Israel, means to struggle with God. Each generation is beset with challenges and both overcomes and succumbs.
06/18/2012 - 20:00 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Musings

Some have argued that Jews are optimists and others that Jews are pessimists. I think Jews are struggelists.

From the outset the Torah teaches that the world is not paradise. One afternoon in Eden is all we get and then we leave the womb to wail and walk. This is the eternal story; the very name of the Jewish people, Israel, means to struggle with God. Each generation is beset with challenges and both overcomes and succumbs.

06/11/2012 - 20:00 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Musings

My father’s father died when my father was 11. His mother was a widow at 34, and he — an only child — bore much of his grief alone. In accordance with traditional practice, he began to walk very early to synagogue each morning to say prayers in his father’s memory, a practice lasting for a year after a parent’s death.

06/04/2012 - 20:00 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Musings

The most famous tale spinner in the Jewish tradition was Rabbi Jacob Ben Ze’ev Kranz, the Maggid (storyteller) of Dubno, born in Setil, a town in the district of Vilna, in 1741. He was asked by his friend, the great scholar the Vilna Gaon, why he always answered questions with stories.