Thanksgiving: More than a Gratitude Attitude

Thanksgiving: More than a Gratitude Attitude
Gratitude is central to Jewishness.  The very word “Jew” in Hebrew, “Yehudi,” is a form of the word “Todah” – thank you.  It’s not surprising, therefore, that, in our tradition, the first thin... Continue Reading »
Nov 27

Vayishlach: Prayer at Public Meetings

Vayishlach: Prayer at Public Meetings
“A Priest, a Minister, and a Rabbi walk into a bar.”   This week, I experienced a variation on this old joke introduction.  An Iman, a Reverend, and I walked into a meeting of Americans United for Separation of Church and S... Continue Reading »

Vayetze: Is All Fair in Love?

Love is one of the great themes in Jewish Scripture.  The Torah and other books speak of G-d’s love – severely tested -- for the Jewish people; their love of the land; and, of course, many instances of interpersonal love. A promin... Continue Reading »
Nov 08

Toledot: We're Not Doing Them Any Favors!

Toledot: We're Not Doing Them Any Favors!
The Torah’s account of how our patriarch Jacob loved his son Joseph best is one to which every sibling can relate.  We’re told how Jacob’s favoritism fueled his sons’ animosity and created decades of family misery. &... Continue Reading »
Nov 01

Vayera: I'm no angel.

Vayera: I'm no angel.
I’m no angel! In so stating, I’m not commenting upon the negative aspects of my character and behavior, although, unfortunately, I could be.  Rather, I’m referring to how Judaism views angels, why neither you nor I am s... Continue Reading »
Oct 17

Lech Lecha: My Land, But Maybe Yours, Too.

Lech Lecha: My Land, But Maybe Yours, Too.
Having just returned to California, I’m still thinking about the ruins of ancient Jewish communities in Samaria (Northern “West Bank”) that Barbara and I visited last week.  This was our land!  This is again our land! &nbs... Continue Reading »

Noah: Don't "Go With the Flow"

Noah: Don't "Go With the Flow"
Now the earth was corrupt in G-d’s sight, and filled with violence.  (Genesis 6:11).   Thus begins the fateful story, told in this week’s Torah portion, of G-d’s destruction by flood of life on earth, except for Noah, h... Continue Reading »

B'reshit: The Jewish Guide to Investing

B'reshit: The Jewish Guide to Investing
“Now is the time for turning.” “Let us declare the power of this day; it is filled with dread and awe.” “Who shall live and who shall die.” “Man is like a breath, his days are as a passing shadow.”... Continue Reading »
Sep 27

Sukkot: Your contribution to Jewish continuity.

Sukkot: Your contribution to Jewish continuity.
As we assembled our arba minim (four species) to waive the lulav and etrog in six directions, the rabbi said: “If I weren’t Jewish, I would think this is a crazy ritual.  But the more things Jews do that are different from non-J... Continue Reading »

Yom Kippur: Oh, Happy Day!

Is Yom Kippur a solemn day, or a happy one?  It may seem a strange question.  Yom Kippur is the ultimate day of Jewish prayer, humility, repentance, and self-denial, including fasting.  How, therefore, can it be “happy?” &n... Continue Reading »
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If charity cost nothing, the world would be full of philanthropists.
Jewish Proverb