Musings

The Ultimate Offering

02/03/2016 - 09:11

Our sages speak of both love of God and fear of God. Fear is more akin to awe. Think of the way people respond in a movie when they first see Godzilla or an alien: They are paralyzed for a moment with amazement that such a thing exists. Similarly, we should have a sense of awe, wonderment tinged by being overwhelmed, at the reality of God’s presence.

Rabbi David Wolpe

You Can Take It With You

01/27/2016 - 09:06

As the Israelites prepare to leave Egypt, Moses remembers the promise to carry Joseph’s bones to the land of Israel [Exodus 13:9). The Rabbis note Joseph’s original double phrasing to his family: “Hashbeah Hishbiah” — “you shall surely promise” — because the promise is to be carried down through the generations.

Rabbi David Wolpe

The Scars To Prove It

01/19/2016 - 22:08

‘You shall arise as a lion each morning to do the will of your Creator.” That stirring sentence opens the Shulchan Aruch, the Jewish code of law. It reminds us that at the heart of the Jewish tradition is the conviction that there are things worth fighting for.

Rabbi David Wolpe

A Mother’s Gentle Push

01/13/2016 - 08:48

The word describing the basket in which Moses is placed as an infant is “tevah,” the same word used to describe Noah’s ark. Many commentators draw the parallel between the man who saved the world and the man who saved the Jewish people.

Rabbi David Wolpe

Anger Management

Controlling our fury is one of the most important disciplines of character.

01/06/2016 - 09:55

The sages of our tradition were very wary of anger. “Rabbah, son of Rav Huna, said: “When one loses his temper, even the Divine Presence is unimportant in his eyes” [Nedarim 22b]. While not denying the possibility that righteous anger can exist, repeatedly the Rabbis warn against anger, which is like a boiling pot that overspills and scalds everyone nearby.   

 Rabbi David Wolpe

Obstacle Course

12/23/2015 - 08:56

Great love stories have obstacles. Boy meets girl, boy marries girl is not a plot; there must be mishaps, distance, reconciliations, passions overcoming everything that seems to threaten the romance. The chambermaid must find the Prince, or the lovers from two warring families embrace.

Rabbi David Wolpe

Bits, Bytes, Being

12/16/2015 (All day)

Speaking to another human being, one brings a fullness to the encounter. We look each other in the eyes and relate person to person. With a machine, we are inevitably partial; most of us remains hidden; it is an event of bits and bytes, not of being.

Rabbi David Wolpe

A Light Down Through The Ages

12/08/2015 - 19:00

Chanukah is post-biblical and there is no scriptural mention of the holiday. Why then does the blessing say God “commanded us” to light the Chanukah lights? Where does that command come from?

Rabbi David Wolpe

The Long Wait

12/01/2015 - 19:00

You have a full day of leisure, so you set aside several tasks to perform around the house or in the neighborhood. At the end of the day, you’ve done barely half of what you planned. That is a result of forgetting the distilled wisdom of computer scientist and author Douglas Hofstadter: Here it is: “Hofstadter’s law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s law.”

Rabbi David Wolpe

A Time To Dance

11/24/2015 - 19:00

After the Israelites cross the sea, Miriam and the women dance. Moses leads the people with song, but Miriam leads them with dance.

Rabbi David Wolpe
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