Editorial & Opinion | Musings

08/31/2010 | | Musings

Where can one go to see both freedom and unity in action? Go the morning minyan.  


Jews pray in a peculiar way. Walking into the service one would think that each individual is wrapped not only in a tallit but also in his or her own world. Each is mumbling, turning pages, swaying and then, miraculously, everyone stands and says the same thing in temporary unison. Each then lapses back into private prayer.


08/25/2010 | | Musings

We are deluged by rumor, gossip, tall tales masquerading as truth. Good names are sullied and reputations ruined at the careless push of the “send” button. In an age of loose talk, Jewish teachings on improper speech have never been more important.

08/17/2010 | | Musings

Of all the possible places in the world, why Israel? There are many more attractive sites to which God could have led the Jewish people. Surrounding lands are richer in natural resources and more secure from invasion. So why Israel? 

08/10/2010 | | Musings

Among the signs of brutality, writes the Polish Nobel Prize winning poet Wislawa Szymborska, a clear conscience is number one.

08/03/2010 | | Musings

‘Judge everyone favorably,” teaches the Mishna. In my years in the rabbinate I have found this is a principle we observe very strictly when it comes to ourselves. We always put our own actions in a favorable light: “I was only trying to help!” or “I only said it out of concern” or “I’m not mean — you are too sensitive!” But when it comes to others, we are too willing, even eager, to assume unflattering motivations. 

07/27/2010 | | Musings

Israeli President Shimon Peres once offered his view on the greatest Jewish contribution to the world: “Dissatisfaction.”

Talk shows and preachers peddle calm and peace of mind. But Peres reminds us of the message of our prophets: Isaiah could not feel satisfied while living amidst anguish and war. Jeremiah could not ignore the widow, the orphan, the corruption around him.