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WITCHES, BLACK CATS, BULLS AND PLANES

Friday, August 29 2014
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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: ...

 
 

For Hashem Your G-d Will Bless You

Friday, August 22 2014
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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 ...

 
 

A Mitzvah is a Diamond

Thursday, August 14 2014
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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 ...

 
 

Moshiach, Redemption and the Importance of Children

Thursday, August 7 2014
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Five-hundred twenty one 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

Thursday, July 31 2014
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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 ...

 
 

Mourning and Continuance

Thursday, July 24 2014
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A dill pickle is good.

Pistachio ice cream is good.

Together, they are not good.

Good cooking means combining food properly.

Egg and onion is good -- two foods that complement each other....

 
 

Planting In Tears With Joy

Thursday, July 17 2014
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I was at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, some years ago.  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....

 
 

Moses Our Leader

Thursday, July 10 2014
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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 Walk in the Valley of the Shadow

Friday, July 4 2014
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This week was a celebration of the contemporary – with vivid reminders of the past.  This week’s Parsha is an echo of antiquity -- with a distinctly contemporary ring.

I stood in a cemetery in Queens, New York, awaiting my allotted 120 seconds at the Rebbe’s resting place on ...

 
 

Am levadad yishkon, a nation dwells alone

Friday, July 4 2014
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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 ...

 

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