Editorial & Opinion | Musings

10/02/2013 | | Musings

Everyone decries extremism but it is hard to turn out crowds for moderation. The satiric Czech novelist Jaroslav Hasek once started a political movement called “The Party of Moderate Progress Within the Bounds of the Law.” If you’ve never heard of it, that’s because it never quite picked up steam.

09/25/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Musings

Years ago I attended a black-tie affair where the keynote address was delivered by the late Ambassador Max Kampelman. Not realizing the formality of the occasion, he was dressed somewhat casually. Noting his sartorial miscue, Ambassador Kampelman began his speech with a story about David Ben-Gurion.

09/17/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Musings

Why do we cover our eyes during the Shema? Our tradition teaches that it is to avoid distraction and focus at this central time in prayer. Moreover, the Shema is a prayer about listening, and we can listen more intently when not looking; the limitation of one sense often makes others keener.  

09/11/2013 | | Musings

"What should I do with my life?” The question pursues us to the very end of our days. The question of fulfilling our destiny in this world is a constant challenge and provocation.

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.”