Editorial & Opinion | Musings

04/23/2008 | | Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. | Musings

Napoleon is reputed to have asked only one question in hiring an officer — “is he lucky?” While hard work and piety can do much good in this world, mazel is indispensable.

04/16/2008 | | Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. | Musings

On Passover children ask questions and parents provide the answers. At times parents must also learn to stop providing answers.

The mystical concept of tsimtsum posits God’s self-limitation in order to create the world. For anything else to come into being there had to be a space of not-God, a space available for creation to flourish.

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.