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Jewish Thought

Auto Emancipation 11/17/2019 11:29 AM

In the late part of the nineteenth century, Dr. Leo Pinsker, one of the leading lights of the Lovers of Zion movement, wrote a book called Autoemancipation. The theme of the book was that the Jewish people should no longer wait for others to come to their aid and free them from the bondage of the long exile that they were still enduring, but rather that the Jews, by their own volition and...

GRIDLOCK 11/10/2019 12:15 PM

One of the most dreaded situations motorists are forced to face is that of complete gridlock. This usually occurs when there is very heavy traffic, with the inherent frustration involved in trying to move forward, when motorists find themselves in the middle of the road with traffic blocked on their left and right. This inevitably leads to loud honking from all sides and only further frustrates...

HOME COOKING 10/27/2019 02:17 PM

Over the recent holiday of Sukkot two of my grandsons spent the joyous holiday with me in my home. They are very talented young men and among their many gifts, they fancy themselves to be very good cooks, if not even in the category of chefs. They made me solemnly promise that I would not order any food for the holidays from my usual suppliers and that they would purchase all the necessary raw...

IT LOOKS GOOD 10/20/2019 11:51 AM

We are all aware that looks can be quite deceiving. When the Torah describes for us the concept of knowledge in the Garden of Eden, it refers to it as being most desirous and pleasant in the eyes of our mother Eve. As we all know, this became the source of human mortality and the bitter sin that led to expulsion from Paradise. So, the lesson should be obvious that not everything that looks...

THE POWER OF THE INDIVIDUAL 9/15/2019 12:54 PM

Historians over the past few centuries have been heavily influenced by a Marxist view of the world and of human events. In this understanding of the past, present and future, great external forces such as the competition of the classes, stages of economic development and powerful historical and sociological forces somehow determine human behavior and explain human history as well as current...

PASSAGE OF TIME 9/8/2019 12:28 PM

It is common to mark our lives by measuring the passage of time. This is completely natural since we are mortal, and time has become the most precious of all worldly commodities. As we stand at the end of the old year and the beginning of the new year, we certainly think of ourselves in terms of time – past, present and future. Yet, we realize that we do not really control our time but rather...

LOOKING FOR OURSELVES 9/1/2019 12:13 PM

There is a natural curiosity within each of us as to our origins and ancestry. There are even many organizations, professional, educational and commercial enterprises as well that are solely devoted to ancestral and genealogical searches. Building family trees is a very popular avocation in our world. All of this is very true in general society, but it is also a frequent occurrence in Jewish...

A PARKING SPACE 8/26/2019 09:48 AM

Some people asked me – well, not too many people, in fact only a very few – how do I come up with topics to write about every week. And looking back at the situation, I must admit that I have been doing so for decades. So, it is reasonable to think that there really is nothing new that I could write about. But human society and individuals are so fascinating that there always is something...

PICTURES 8/18/2019 11:09 AM

I am certain that all of you are aware that because of the ubiquitous camera, which is built into our mobile phones, many people now take a picture of anything and everything even if it does not really concern them or impact their lives. We live in a generation where everyone lives in the present and everything must be immediately recorded and disseminated as widely as possible. Because of this,...

PLURALISM AND HISTORY 7/14/2019 06:36 AM

Throughout Jewish history every era or number of generations has had its own buzzword that encapsulates within it the apparently new idea that was to replace the tradition of Torah study and observance as the core of Jewish life. In our generation the great buzzword that afflicts us is pluralism. Even though the word is hard to define, the idea that it represents is clear and dangerous. It...