What do you get when you Google “funny jew?” Marvin Silbermintz. More specifically, Marvin showing off a few hilarious inventions of his own devising – a Kiddush fork, a challah-doubler and a special Jewish comb, among others. A prize-winning comedian who wrote Jay Leno’s monologue for 19 years and appeared often as Jay’s Rabbi, Marvin currently does stand-up, lectures, writes and stars in the Chabad telethon (www.FUNNYfromBIRTH.com).
Special to the Jewish Week
For Father’s Day, JInsider offers practical advice for dads on cultivating an inspired life for their children.
Reflections on an Ideal Dad
I think that the most important lesson of being a father is to lower the bar into the human realm. I will never be the perfect dad. There are times when I embarrass myself by losing my patience or temper. I also regularly mortify my children now that they are older just by being near them in front of their friends.
The Baal Shem Tov explained: “Every event that occurs is controlled by Hashgachah Protis (Divine Intervention). ...Everything a Jew sees or hears contains a lesson useful in the service of God.” With this perspective, the unfolding of everyday current events takes on a whole different meaning. What happens every week, every day, every moment — there is a hidden subtext. It’s just a matter of interpreting events on a deeper level. Last week the unfortunate flotilla incident occurred.
Israel’s disputes with its neighbors have a long history — but there’s also a less tangible, but no less important front line: the media. Public opinion in the United States is an important area of concern for Israel, especially considering Israel has not always been great with its own public relations. Fortunately, there are a number of American-based groups that help make the case for Israel, and one of the best is The Israel Project (TIP).
With university commencement season upon us, assorted pundits are appearing on local campuses to offer their self-help spiels. In reality, some of the best advice for graduates comes from our own Jewish wisdom. So in the spirit of America’s sound-bite culture and Hillel’s famous feat of summing up the Torah in one sentence (“What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor”), JInsider offers some concise bits of Jewish wisdom in this week’s column. Here’s a taste on how to find one’s own purpose:
Rabbis aren’t usually rock stars, but British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks isn’t your average rabbi. A one-of-a-kind spiritual leader — and this week’s Top Jew — Rabbi Sacks consistently attracts overflow crowds all around the Jewish world. Last month, he thrilled attendees of a standing-room-only Shabbat weekend at Lincoln Square Synagogue with his insights, intellect and scholarship. His new book “Future Tense: Jews, Judaism and Israel in the 21st Century” is a must-read. Here are a few highlights: