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Friday, August 28
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Shabbat, August 29
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Knowing When to Walk And When to Talk

Thursday, August 27 2015
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"We're getting divorced.  But we're doing it amicably, 
with mutual respect." 
When ex-spouses (or ex-es) describing their divorce 
sound like "we're withdrawing our offer on the house we looked at Thursday", you can get the idea 
that they never ...

 
 

WITCHES, BLACK CATS, BULLS AND PLANES

Wednesday, August 19 2015
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Black cats don't bother me any more than white or brown ones do. The thirteenth floor is fine as long as the elevator is working. Horoscopes remain unread -regardless of whether we Tauruses need to think bull market or bear. 

So I read this parsha's admonitions with a detachment of sorts: ...

 
 

Having Too Much Good Isn't Always Good

Wednesday, August 12 2015
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One of the more exotic and less tempting places Chabad brought me was a Jewish old-age home in Morocco.  It didn't smell pleasant: not by old-age-home standards, not by third-world standards.  A few of the residents were neither senile nor blind.  Some even acknowledged us when we ...

 
 

The Torah Demands Passion

Thursday, August 6 2015
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It was a wintry Friday night in Brooklyn. A roomful of Jewish college kids in the Sixties, challenging the young rabbi chairing the roundtable; how can you believe in G-d when science has proven... why keep kosher in an age of government inspection and refrigeration, isn't it racist to speak of the ...

 
 

Children As Problem Solvers

Wednesday, July 29 2015
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Five-hundred fourteen years ago this week, Ferdinand and Isabel ensured their country's homogenous character by disengaging the Jews of Spain -- in an emotionally draining, historic move facing stiff resistance and at considerable political and economic cost. 

That same week, Cristobel ...

 
 

Cookbooks

Friday, July 24 2015
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If the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, then the spyglass of a nation's soul is their cookbooks.

Jewish cookbooks have changed.  Cholent is no longer "a slow-cooking stew of potatoes, beans and meat".  Cholent has "deep emotional significance, a Sabbath ...

 
 

He who plants in tears, with joy he shall harvest

Friday, July 17 2015
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I was at the Holocaust Museum in Washington. It tells the horror and it tells it well.  I've seen Schindler's List; in a sense, it portrays the horror more effectively than any documentary has.  Both are missing a crucial element - the magnitude of Jewish response. 

For this I ...

 
 

Moses Our Leader

Wednesday, July 8 2015
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"Money," a holocaust survivor declared at one lunch-n-learn, "is only appreciated when you lose it."  

Parting, then, is a sorrow.  And whatever sweetness might be present is only an accentuated memory, now made tender because it is lost. 

So goodbyes ...

 
 

A Nation Which Dwells Alone

Thursday, July 2 2015
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Are you a statistics person? Do you remember the numbers you read; can you retain and when necessary retrieve them? Or are you more the graphics type that relates to visuals of pies and colored blocks and zigzaggy lines to make a point? I like anecdotes, little stories that (as someone once put ...

 
 

The Call of the Hero

Friday, June 26 2015
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Have you ever heard of Reb Mendel? He smuggled Jews out of the Soviet Unionat the end of World War Two. The Communists gave him fifteen years in the Siberian gulags. 

Ever heard of Mume Sorah? She did the same, but they never bothered sending her away. For decades her family never ...

 

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