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Jewish Thought

NORMALCY 5/22/2016 03:12 PM

One of the most difficult standards to judge or even define is what is considered normal behavior. We all aspire to a sense of normalcy and in fact we wish to live him a society that is considered normal. The problem is how do we judge normalcy? What was abnormal or even abhorrent behavior just a few decades ago is today within the realm of acceptability. So, there is no doubt that any...

BOOKS Redux 5/18/2016 02:03 PM

A dear friend of mine recently immigrated here to Israel and Jerusalem. As is the case with almost all Western immigrants to our wonderful little country, he was forced to downsize. We all somehow learned to live here in apartments and houses half the size of those that we inhabited in the "old home." To those of us who are bibliophiles, this presents an especially painful problem. We...

LOST IN CYBERSPACE 4/4/2016 03:04 PM

To help me with my weakening eyesight I purchased an iPad last week. After having my resident expert set the gadget up with the necessary applications, I began to enjoy this new wonder of our age. One of the applications installed on my iPad is Microsoft Word. I like the keyboard of the iPad as I find it easier to see the letters than on my regular computer keyboard. So I wrote my usual...

BETTER TIMES 3/6/2016 01:07 AM

One of the more memorable sentences in modern English literature is: “It was the best of all times; it was the worst of all times.” This view of life and current society is a variant on the theme of the half empty, half-full glass conundrum. In effect, there are always opposing views as to the state of humanity, society and for us, the Jewish people the world over, in any given generation. In...

BERNIE 2/15/2016 01:49 PM

I rarely if ever write about politicians. Politics always dominates the news because it is at one and the same time very personal and nevertheless very consequential nationally and internationally. But it is a pretty vicious sport, so my pacifist nature overrules my otherwise inquisitive nature. But there is a phenomenon in the American political scene that I feel is worthy of my commenting on...

WINTER BLUES 2/1/2016 12:15 PM

Having lived in Israel for the past nineteen years, memories of winter in Monsey, New York have faded from my memory. That is not all that has faded from my memory but that is a different matter for a different discussion. Finding myself in Monsey at this time of the year, I have been experiencing weather that has been cold and very snowy. It is mid-winter here in the northeastern part of the...

RIVALRIES 1/24/2016 10:31 AM

Being raised as an only child in my parents’ home I was spared the experiences and challenges of sibling rivalries. Not having anyone to compete with I was blissfully unaware that there were others who felt that they were also entitled to parental love, weekly allowances and unlimited bathroom privileges. No one ever dared to wear my clothing, play with my toys or read my books without my...

THE NON-SLIP TALIT 1/17/2016 07:25 AM

A dear friend and rabbinic colleague of mine casually mentioned to me that as a gift for his birthday his wife presented him with a new tallit - the kind that does not constantly slip off of one’s shoulders when in prayerful use. I was intrigued by this revelation on two counts. There are still spouses around who give each other birthday gifts?! And, secondly, is it possible that technology has...

THE IRRELEVANCE OF IT ALL 11/17/2015 01:53 PM

In attempting to be currently relevant, in the long view of history and human events, is the danger of becoming totally irrelevant. This occurs when dealing with transient issues, when a long-term view is what is really necessary. By reading and listening to the media, the bloggers, and the party and convention planners among us, one would believe that the fate of the Jewish people, the State of...

DISAPPOINTMENTS 11/9/2015 01:38 PM

Disappoints are almost always based on the failure of people, technological gadgets or public policies to live up to expectations. Therefore, the higher the expectations are, the greater the disappointments. Because we invest so much confidence and hope in our political leaders, we are invariably doomed to disappointment and frustration when they turn out to be merely fallible human beings. ...