Musings

Judgment Day

03/01/2016 - 22:33

How often do I hear people praised for not judging others? I know the point — such people are not harsh, they are not unkind, they do not judge character by reckoning irrelevancies. But there is no merit in not judging; rather there is great merit in judging fairly and kindly.

David Wolpe

Children Of The Book

02/24/2016 - 10:30

In Judaism, learning is part of piety. While the ideal of the simple, righteous person exists in Judaism, far more common is the person whose reverence flows from erudition. A Talmid chacham, a learned individual, is also assumed to be a good person. 

Rabbi David Wolpe

Jewish Renewal

02/18/2016 - 12:25

If you serve God in the same fashion as you did yesterday, it is regression, taught the chasidic master, the “Yehudi” (Jacob Isaac ben Asher.) “For a person is always in the aspect of becoming, and not standing.”

Rabbi David Wolpe

God Is Not Your Business Partner

02/10/2016 - 09:33

The first chapter in the Bible in which God’s name does not appear is the 23rd chapter of Genesis. The chapter recounts the deal that Abraham strikes with Ephron to buy Me’arat ha-Machpela, the land on which Sarah and Abraham and their descendants will be buried.

Rabbi David Wolpe

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
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