Editorial & Opinion | Musings

04/09/2008 | | Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. | Musings

Since we have destroyed the experience of solitude — the television hums, and you can chat with a hundred people online and believe you have a community — we are making it far too easy to be alone. It is now harder to risk the real friction of closeness and relationship. Why trouble yourself when you can have a smooth, deleteable friendship online with someone you need never really know?

04/02/2008 | | Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. | Musings

In his essay on the great Jewish scholar, the Vilna Gaon, Louis Ginzburg wrote that the Gaon “declared it to be a religious duty and inviolable obligation of every person to fix a certain time of the day for reflection and meditation.” Ginzburg, himself a great scholar, and the Gaon agree: both insist there comes a time to put the books away.

03/26/2008 | | Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Temple Sinai in Los Angeles. | Musings

God says to Moses: “You cannot see My face, for man may not see Me and live” (Ex. 33:20). There is danger in God’s exaltedness; to presume to look upon the Divine is to court destruction.

Yet at the end of the Bible, we are told that Moses saw God “panim el panim” face to face. How can such an encounter be both possible and impossible?

03/19/2008 | | Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Temple Sinai in Los Angeles. | Musings

Most Jews believe that Judaism encourages confession once a year on Yom Kippur. They are unaware of the confessional that is part of the daily service.

03/12/2008 | | Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Temple Sinai in Los Angeles. | Musings

Hanging on the walls of my synagogue for the past two months is the art of the children from Sderot. There are crayon pictures of rockets trailing red fire blasting through roofs; stick-figure parents and children running for shelter; families huddled together in tears.

03/05/2008 | | Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Temple Sinai in Los Angeles. | Musings

Vladimir Nabokov opens his autobiography, “Speak Memory,” by recalling a scene in a home movie in which he saw his own family before his birth; his mother was pregnant and happy, but looking at his crib waiting for him, it had the “smug, encroaching air of a coffin.”

The world prepares for our entrance, and over the course of life prepares us for our exit. Things existed before we appeared and will continue after. Although we cannot know what awaits us, we do know our power to leave the world changed.