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 »

Ha'azinu: Who are we? Q&As About Jews and Judaism

As I noted last week, I am again conducting High Holiday services aboard a cruise ship in Europe.  The ports are beautiful.  Yet, as Barbara and I walk the streets and admire the architecture – especially the magnificent churches and ... Continue Reading »

Nitzavim-Vayelech: The Choice is Yours.

Nitzavim-Vayelech: The Choice is Yours.
This High-Holiday season, I will again, B”H, have the opportunity to lead services aboard a cruise-ship. (Where better to practice self-denial/to “afflict my soul” by fasting?)   The cruise line’s “Instructions t... Continue Reading »

Ki Tavo: "Altaring" our habits

Ki Tavo: "Altaring" our habits
I read recently that the number of calories we eat is determined more by habit than hunger.  To lose weight, therefore, it’s vital to create healthier “automatic” eating habits (e.g., use smaller plates, eat with the non-domina... Continue Reading »

Re'eh: Fame! Remember My Name (for a blessing)!

Re'eh: Fame! Remember My Name (for a blessing)!
Why do we bury damaged or illegible Torah scrolls and prayerbooks?  And why is there a Jewish tradition of not writing out the word “G-d?”  Both practices derive from this week’s Torah portion, Re’eh.  In it, Mo... Continue Reading »
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If charity cost nothing, the world would be full of philanthropists.
Jewish Proverb