Editorial & Opinion | Musings

09/04/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Musings

We read the paper and learn of deprivation we will never see with our own eyes. It is hard enough to help a neighbor; how can we imagine helping people in other lands, who speak a different language and live in a foreign culture?

08/27/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Musings

When asked how he could slight astrology when the Talmud endorses it, Maimonides responded, “Because human beings are created with their eyes in front, not in back.” 

08/21/2013 | | Musings

In this month of Elul, when we prepare for Rosh HaShanah, we are reminded that our highest destiny is to face life’s pains and prevail, over and over again. Stamina, not giftedness, is the most precious attribute of character. Resilience is the strain of spiritual DNA that distinguishes those who build lives of purpose and beauty.

08/13/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Musings

When God wishes to choose leaders, the Rabbis teach, God looks to see how they tend sheep. Jacob, Moses and David were all shepherds. This rabbinic teaching reminds us how important it is to be kind to those whom we do not need. But let’s take it more literally: how nice are you to sheep?

08/06/2013 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | Musings

The Kaddish may be the best-known Jewish prayer and yet its purpose is mysterious. Though it is the mourning prayer, it makes no mention of death. Rather what it proclaims is the greatness and sanctity of God and God’s name.

07/30/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Musings

My teacher Simon Greenberg once explained the great innovation of the Ten Commandments. He explained that the first four are the justification for the last six. In other words, he told us, the Ten Commandments introduced the world to the idea that God cares most how we treat one another.