Monthly Archives: April, 2015

Resentment in Marriage

April 30th, 2015 Posted by Ask the Rabbi No Comment yet

Question:

I have been reading your book Buried Treaure and one of the things you said was that if either partner in marriage feels like a martyr then its very bad.
 
Can you explain further why and what that portends?

∼ Maureen

Answer:

Dear Maureen,

You are referring to the chapter in our book, Buried Treasure, on the Hebrew word, KoRBaN, sacrifice. In that chapter, we say that giving is vital for a marriage, but that the giving is of a joyful, not resentful nature. (Speaking overall – obviously, there are times we need to push ourselves to give when we just want to focus on ourselves. Or when there is only one Godiva chocolate left. At those times, our hearts may not be overflowing with good cheer.)

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I Won’t Stand for It

April 29th, 2015 Posted by Thought Tools No Comment yet

 

“The boy stood on the burning deck

Whence all but he had fled;

The flame that lit the battle’s wreck

Shone round him o’er the dead…”

(Casablanca, Dorothea Hemans, 1826)

“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing…”

(The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe, 1845)

“Stood there and watched you walk away…”

(Haunted, Taylor Swife, 2010)

“How to Handle Getting Stood Up on a Date”

(Glamour Magazine, 2014, 2011, 2004, 1998)

The French captain’s son stood resolutely on the burning deck until he was finally consumed in the furious flames.  Though Edgar Allan Poe claims he stood there for a long while, I suspect that in reality he soon returned to his bed.  Taylor Swift stood there as her lover walked away but one assumes that she managed to replace him quite quickly.  The readers of Glamour who keep getting stood up, well, enough said.

There really ought to be different words in English for stood.  One can scarcely compare my different examples of standing.  One shouldn’t.  I won’t stand for it.

In the Lord’s language there are indeed words to describe two different ways of standing.  One can stand firm like the boy on the burning deck; one might say, stand like a pillar.  Or one can stand there sadly like Taylor Swift, ready to be quickly distracted by someone else.

Let’s see a Biblical example of each kind of standing.

You stand this day all of you before the Lord your God that you should enter into a covenant…that He may establish you today for a people to himself…

(Deuteronomy 29:9-11)

 

And it came to pass at the end of two years that Pharaoh dreamed; and, behold, he stood on the river. 

(Genesis 49:1)

 When the Israelites stood before God to establish a special covenant, it was for all time.  In fact, the Bible makes clear that this covenant is being established not only with those Israelites who were standing there, but also with all the future generations not yet born. (Deuteronomy 29:13-14).  In other words, a permanent standing.  The Hebrew word used for standing is YaTZaV.

However, when Pharaoh dreamed that he stood on the Nile, not only did he not remain there for long, but it was a dream.  The Hebrew word used for stand is the far more common OMeD.

The word OMeD is also used here, implying a lack of firmness:

 

And the magicians were unable to stand before Moses…

(Exodus 11:9) 

However, when the standing is more that of standing like a rock until one’s task is complete, the Torah uses the word YaTZaV.

For instance, “Behold I stand by the water well…” (Genesis 24:13) said Eliezer as he prayed for success in finding the woman who’d become the second matriarch, the wife of Isaac.

The same root word as that for standing firmly, YaTZaV, is used for a pillar that stands immovably forever, such as the pillar that Lot’s wife turned into.

 But his wife looked back from behind him,
and she became a pillar (NeTZiV) of salt.

(Genesis 19:26)

Knowing that there are two different ways of standing helps us translate our spirit into our posture.  When I stand in line at the check-out, I hope it’s not for long and so I don’t root myself to the ground.  However, when I stand up for principle, I want to be utterly immovable and just as importantly, I want to appear to others as utterly immovable.

Deciding which principles one will stand up for unyieldingly is vital for successful living.  It allows one to know in advance which battles are worth fighting and which are better averted.

Some of those battles arise from the political and cultural maelstroms that swirl around the foundations of your family and livelihood.  The best way to acquire a Biblical perspective on these is through my audio CD program Tower of Power: Decoding the Secrets of BabelThe two CDs and study guide explore nine verses in Genesis that lay out struggles that repeat continually through history and which roil the times in which we live. Understanding that struggle allows you and yours to take your stand.

Jeb Bush’s Nigeria Problem

April 23rd, 2015 Posted by Susan's Musings 12 comments

I have no idea if Jeb Bush has ever been to Nigeria or if he has an interest in that country. However, when I read an article about election absurdities taking place in Nigeria, as improbable as it sounds, I thought of Governor Bush.  

On the surface, this sounds ridiculous. It may be no more than a journey in stream of consciousness, but hear me out. Here is some background. Nuhu Ribadu is a crusader who was appointed chairman of an anti-corruption commission in 2001. At that time, his country ranked 274th out of 275 countries on the corruption calculus. He worked diligently, but his work ended when two of  his staff died in unsolved murders, others quit in exhaustion and he fled to a neighboring country to avoid being assassinated. He recently returned and (unsuccessfully) ran for election as part of the party that he once called, “government of the greedy, by the greedy and for the greedy.” He decided that the system is corrupt and that the only way to reform it was from the inside – even if he needed to go counter to his principles and use bribery to get on the inside. 

I don’t see any parallels in this to Jeb Bush. However – the argument I hear from those I would call establishment Republicans, is that we must work within the system. Certainly, Republicans and conservatives on the whole believe in the Constitution and want to defend it. Certainly, our system, with all its flaws, bears no resemblance to Nigeria or many other countries. Yet a sea change has taken place. The current administration does not feel beholden to the Constitution. The Democrat Party bears little resemblance to the Democrat Party of Patrick Moynihan, Scoop Jackson, and John Kennedy, all of whom, I believe, would have repudiated much of the illegal, Obama onslaught. The Republican Party, on the other hand wants, at best, to be the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan. It bears too much resemblance to the Republican Party of Bob Dole and Mitt Romney. 

I have serious disagreements with Jeb Bush on Common Core and on immigration. I find his comments on Loretta Lynch’s nomination to be misplaced. I greatly admired his stand on Terri Schiavo and admire things he did in Florida. In normal times, if he treated our differences respectfully (sadly, I haven’t heard an apology for when he didn’t), I could be persuaded to support him as the nominee even if he would not be my first choice. 

These are not normal times! President Obama, with the support of his party, is turning this country into one that is unrecognizable to many of us. If he is changing the landscape by 140 degrees, Jeb Bush types are only capable of turning the wheel back by 20 or so degrees. That simply isn’t good enough. I don’t know Nuhu Ribadu other than from one or two articles I read. He is working on taking a super corrupt country and moving it in a better direction. Maybe he is doing the right thing by trying to work within the corruption, maybe he isn’t. Our country however, is currently drastically betraying and abandoning a precious and fantastic system. We need a drastic rejection of that betrayal, not someone whose candidacy suggests that we’re confronting normal challenges and that slightly adjusting one gear or another is all that is needed. Even if I’m wrong and Common Core is the greatest educational innovation since the printing press, it is placing a cast on the leg of a patient who is bleeding to death. 

 

I think a successful candidate will need to be powerful, radical, and incredibly wily and articulate. I’m looking for a revolutionary conservative and I think the rest of the country is as well. He or she is going to be tarred and feathered, labeled as racist and evil by an opposition desperate to keep this country from having an intelligent, honest conversation. The attack will bear little resemblance to reality. It will take wisdom, principle, courage and passion to give America a fighting chance. It will take out of the box thinking, charm, pugnaciousness and agility. Above all, it will need a  leader who draws his wisdom and vision from God and who is unashamed of his Biblical commitment. A Republican candidate with a deep bank account in the 2012 election allowed four more years  of destruction. If we again grant the candidacy to whomever has the most affluent donor base and fund-raising machine, we may truly lose the war.

 

 

Hey Good Looking

April 23rd, 2015 Posted by Thought Tools No Comment yet

I enjoy British and European movies because they frequently feature real-looking stars.  The actors in those foreign films often resemble the sort of people you might see in an airport or bus station whereas most Hollywood entertainment seems to star only humans of indescribable beauty and rare good looks.  I enjoy looking at beautiful people of course, but I am more enchanted and more uplifted by actions than by appearances.

This is why the Bible focuses chiefly on those human traits that we can improve.  It hardly speaks of intelligence or raw brain power because there is not much any of us can do about that.  Whatever our parents bequeathed to us in the ovarian lottery is what we have.  What we do with our ability to think, however, is very important which is why the Bible does speak of gaining wisdom. (e.g. Proverbs 16:16)  Personally, I would much rather be governed by people of average IQ who possess great wisdom than by ultra-brainy bureaucrats who are utterly bereft of wisdom.

Similarly, only a few Biblical personalities are described in terms of their physical appearance because what our bodies look like is again, largely the result of the genes we inherit from our parents.  However, the good we do with our bodies, the deeds we accomplish and the people whose lives we enhance, is what really counts.  It is probably delightful to be beautiful, but the truth is that what we look like is just not that important.  For the most part our happiness is birthed not by our looks but by our actions.

Whenever Biblical characters like Sarah or Rebecca, Saul or David are described in terms of physical appearance, ancient Jewish wisdom assures us that their winsomeness always implies a moral dimension.  This connection between someone’s ‘heavenly’ or ‘divine’ appearance and their angelic qualities was even captured when Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra sang “You (She) look(s) like an angel…”

For instance, Joseph is described as very good-looking. (Genesis 39:6)   Here’s something really weird: the previous person to be described as good-looking in exactly the same Hebrew words is none other than Joseph’s mother, Rachel.  (Genesis 29:17)  You just know that this is not a coincidence, right?

To probe this puzzle we must first ask another question.  Where in the Biblical account of Joseph’s life should we be told that he was good looking?  Surely the information about his striking appearance would most logically belong when we first get to know him as a young man in the first few verses of Genesis 37.  Yet we are told nothing until the very moment, when for the first time in his life, he achieves some prominence and prestige as the chief-of-staff for his boss, Potiphar.

Though his handsome appearance does help to explain Mrs. Potiphar’s infatuation with him (Genesis 39:7) we nonetheless wonder why the information about his comeliness is withheld from us till now.  Here is another baffling enigma:  why did Joseph never bother to notify his grieving father that he was alive?  But, wait! When might he have conceivably done so?  His brothers sold him as a slave to the Ishmaelites (Genesis 37:28).  Slave traders would hardly have accommodated Joseph’s desire to dispatch a message to his father.  From there he passed through the hands of other slave traders until he was finally sold to Potiphar (Genesis 37:36). Eventually, with the passage of time, he won his master’s trust and was promoted. (Genesis 39:4)

This was the first moment at which Joseph had the ability to send a message back to his father, yet didn’t do so.  It is also the moment at which the Torah links Joseph to his mother by describing him in exactly the same terms as it described Rachel ten chapters earlier.

What possible connection could exist between Joseph at this moment and his mother at the moment before Jacob declares his love for her and his intention to marry her? (Genesis 29:18)

Ancient Jewish wisdom records that Rachel was under no illusions regarding her roguish father. Back at the well, she and Jacob had conversed about Laban’s tendency to deceive everyone with whom he dealt.  Certain that Laban would try something, Jacob and Rachel set a secret password between themselves.  The idea was that Jacob could confirm the identity of his veiled bride by means of a whispered password.

As the wedding got under way Rachel was forcibly detained by her father’s assistants. She saw her sister Leah being led to the marriage canopy, and to the inevitable disgrace that would follow.  It was clear to Rachel that Leah’s ignorance of the password would make Jacob disrupt the wedding.  Rachel realized that she could not allow her sister’s public humiliation. It would be immoral and wrong. Her father’s depraved ways was no reason for her sister to suffer. Rachel revealed the password to her sister.  Thus she postponed her marriage to the man she loved, putting her sibling ahead of her own desires.

The Torah is informing us that Rachel’s son Joseph is doing exactly the same thing and also deferring his own desires.  Though he felt desperate to let his father know that he was all right, Joseph realized that there was no way of doing so without disclosing his brothers’ perfidy.  Upon hearing from Joseph, Jacob would certainly confront his other sons and get at the truth. He’d discover that they were the cause of his many years of mournful agony.  In fact, there was every possibility that by contacting his father, Joseph might well restore one son, himself, back to his father at the cost of Jacob’s relationship with ten of his sons because he’d never be able to forgive them for what they did to the son he loved so well

Joseph realized that the ultimate good was family unity and that the reunification of the family would need to be carefully engineered.  He put aside his feelings of wanting to blurt out the news to his father in favor of a greater good.

Now we have a more complete picture.  Selfless behavior sculpts beauty into the human form.  Rachel was beautiful because of her selfless love for her sister.  Years later her son, Joseph, looks attractive because of his selflessness.  And his selflessness is rewarded when he finally succeeds in unifying his family in a way that prevented his father from ever discovering what ten of his sons did to Joseph.

Ordinary-looking men or women doing their duty with diligence, honor and integrity bring more good to the world than a bevy of beautiful and glamorous movie stars demonstrating depravity on a daily basis.

My wife and I host a daily television show called Ancient Jewish Wisdom on the TCT Network.  We are blessed with both a large domestic and international audience and I can assure you that it is not because of our looks!  No, it is only on account of the ancient Jewish wisdom that we are privileged to share and the Biblical secrets we are honored to uncover.

Here are two ways for you to join in.  TCT will air an Ancient Jewish Wisdom program marathon this Friday, April 24, between the hours of 5:30 p.m. ET and 9:00 p.m. ET—seven back-to-back episodes. I know you will enjoy each episode of this TCT special event.  You can also watch this online at www.tct.tv

Second, you can order eight of our favorite episodes right here. These include Psalms Opening Act, Is Money Moral? & Curse Management.  Right now, buy one four episode DVD and get the other one free! And here’s the best part; you can view them as often as you wish. You can even share them with friends and family.  I really would love for you to have these crucial messages that Susan and I bring to you and we’d be overjoyed to know that you are sharing those insights with others.

Ancient_Jewish_Wisdom combo 1 and 2 pic

Is it okay to lie?

April 23rd, 2015 Posted by Ask the Rabbi No Comment yet

Question:

I would like to know the ancient Jewish wisdom on lying. Although it is forbidden it seems to be condoned at times in the Bible, such as the stories of Rahab and the Jewish midwives in Egypt.
 
Could it be that it is permissible where it is for the greater good rather than for harming another or for one’s own selfish gain?
 
Thank you.

∼ Marcus W.

Answer:

Dear Marcus,

A number of years ago, we had a Thought Tool on this topic that caused quite a commotion. It is possible that this is one of the areas where Judaism and at least some streams of Christianity differ.

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Choice or Consequence?

April 16th, 2015 Posted by Susan's Musings 5 comments

 

More than 6,000 people attended 90 year old Winston Churchill’s funeral. More than 400 people attended 92 year old Chaya Gretman’s funeral. Both these lives were irrevocably altered by the Nazis, and the homage paid to them at death directly reflected this fact. 

Who was Chaya Gretman?* Most of the Israelis who escorted her body to burial knew little about her. What they did know was that she was a Holocaust survivor who, as the victim of Nazi medical experimentation, could not bear children.  When she died, her neighbors used social media to ask her extended family, the Jewish people, to pay her this final respect. Hundreds responded.

Last week, our Ask the Rabbi questioner asked whether there were single mothers in the Bible. We printed only part of the response we originally wrote. We were concerned about sounding insensitive to women who are despairing of marriage and yearning motherhood, so we deleted part of our answer.

What we left out was a paragraph discussing how the Tanach (Five Books of Moses, Prophets and Writings) heavily links widows and orphans. Society is obligated to care for widows and orphans, clearly suggesting that the word orphan refers to a fatherless child. What does this mean for our society, where so many make the voluntary choice to raise fatherless children? Does this suggest that mothers don’t matter, that a motherless child is not an orphan? 

God’s instructions provide guidance for successful societies. A child  whose mother is dead lacks so much, but society as a unit cannot fill that void. Individuals can and should provide extra warmth and loving kindness to such an orphan, but by definition those maternal qualities are hard for society to command or supply. A child whose father is dead lacks much, including protection and financial support. Those are things that we can obligate extended families and society to supply. The Bible does so.

Is this a proof that we must increase taxes and provide more social services to single mothers and their children? No, it is not. You see, the number of fathers who die is finite. We can deal with that. Once society devolves so that fatherhood is not valued and is voluntarily renounced, compensating for what those children lack moves beyond what is possible. In a similar way, in a healthy society most people marry and have children. Those children, and the children’s children, mourn the death of their parents and grandparents. When the rare individual dies childless, either because he or she was not blessed with children, or tragically because children pre-decease them, or, as in the case of Chaya Gretman, human cruelty decrees they be childless, society in general can step in. 

As today’s culture validates, and even encourages, people not to have children, more and more people will – by choice – die without descendants. The older they are when they die, the fewer of their same-aged relatives and friends will be around. Perhaps, like Winston Churchill, they will have benefitted so many during their lives that multitudes of all ages will yearn to honor them (as did my husband who as a young boy attended Churchill’s funeral). Barring that, society will not be able to substitute for offspring, as it did for Chaya Gretman. 

 

*A thank you to Jewish Mom blogger, Chana Jenny Weisberg, for bringing Mrs. Gretman’s funeral to my attention.

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Encourage the young people in your life to make wise choices

Hands Off Cover final

 

 

My Husband Has Been Out of Work for a Year

April 16th, 2015 Posted by Ask the Rabbi No Comment yet

Question:

My husband was laid off 12 months ago. He has been searching diligently as well as studying fervently in order to get a new job. He recently had an interview for a company that would be the top of the top for his field. 

He did extremely well on the interview, but was told a few days later they would not continue on.  My husband is flabbergasted and devastated. He keeps running over and over the interview trying to find out what he did wrong. I told him maybe God closed the door with this company. He said God doesn’t close doors. My question is two-fold:

  1. How long should he obsess over trying to figure out what he did wrong to not get the job – what would be the better thing for him to do in order to get the most from this?
  2. Does God open and close doors?

I would love to know what ancient Jewish wisdom has to say on this.

Thank you,

∼ Paula

Answer:

Dear Paula,

Ouch. Being out of work for a year is a horribly painful experience for a man. Being married to someone who is out of work for a year is painful as well. We can only imagine your husband’s devastation when it seemed as if there was finally a breakthrough and then he faced disappointment.

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Saving Civilization

April 14th, 2015 Posted by Thought Tools No Comment yet

It’s hardly surprising that increasing numbers of women loathe men and detest masculinity.  After all, most of their experiences with men have been only with cads, scoundrels, rogues and rakes.  They have been exploited by clowns, abused by creeps, corrupted by crooks and debased by cranks.  Only a diminishing minority of women have enjoyed the privilege of living with that rare, noble creature, the loyal, loving and devoted husband.

It is in the nature of the human male to seek multiple sexual partners.  But God issued us a challenge: Be like angels, rather than like apes.  Only an animal must follow its nature; man must overcome it.  Resist your nature and rise above it; that way you will reap the blessings of the Biblical blueprint.

In our audio CD program Madam, I’m Adam-Marriage Secrets from Eden I pointed out how the Hebrew text (Genesis 2:7 & 19) emphasizes the contrast between man and animal, which is not visible in the English translation.

But you already know all this.  When a man and woman make a lifetime commitment to one another they each benefit from the resulting stability, sensuality, and happiness.  When a wife revels in her femininity and her husband submits his masculinity to the silken bonds of matrimony, the couple and the children they create form a cocoon of security and joy.

What you may not already know, however, is that the couple that surrenders to God’s connubial concept benefits not only themselves and their children but all of society as well.  Only societies that have successfully sublimated rampant male sexuality into marriage have built civilization.

The world is filled with countless cultures but only one civilization.  A civilization eschews violence in favor of voting and replaces bullets with ballots.  A civilization respects and values its women, escorting them onto the lifeboats before the men.  It values life and protects it by advancing the study of science and medicine.  It lifts its citizens from drudgery by promoting a vibrant economy.  It prefers beauty to vulgarity and gentleness to brutality.  Its basic unit is the family.

Every society that has successfully achieved civilization has learned that indulging human desire in unrestrained fashion leads both to personal and societal calamity.  Everybody knows that overeating with no self-control is bad.  People all recognize that alcohol without moderation brings massive problems.  Yet, when it comes to sex, many feel that unrestrained indulgence is liberating and progressive.  The tragedy is that unbridled concupiscence does more to rot the fabric of a society and erode the spirit of its citizens than almost anything else.

Perhaps the most dramatic disclosure of the entire Torah was the structure of sexual restriction found in Leviticus 18 and 20.  One can but imagine the wonder with which it was greeted by both Hebrews and Hittites.  The difference was that Hebrews immediately accepted those rules as binding whereas the Hittites, along with everyone else, mocked and jeered what they saw as repressive and primitive sexual boundaries.  The Hebrews still survive.

Israel was warned:

Like the behavior of the land of Egypt, where you lived, shall you not do; and like the behavior of the land of Canaan, where I bring you, shall you not do…

(Leviticus 18:3) 

  Ancient Jewish wisdom clarifies how the context makes clear that God is referring to sexual promiscuity.

Ancient Jewish wisdom teaches that the additional sexual restrictions circumscribing exactly who priests may marry (Leviticus 21) are not random restrictions but rather these rules contribute to the elevated status of the priests.  In other words, marital and sexual boundaries refine and advance men toward achievement while limitless licentiousness degrades men and lowers them to lethargy and indolence.

One of the greatest anthropologists was the early 20th century, Oxford and Cambridge scholar, Joseph Daniel Unwin.  He devoted his life to studying more than eighty different cultures which existed over a 5,000 year period and discovered an inviolable rule.  The more sexual restraints a culture practices, the higher its level of cultural, scientific, and economic achievement.  His magnum opus, Sex and Culture published in 1934, reveals the results of his research, including gems such as these:

“The whole of human history does not contain a single instance of a group becoming civilized unless it has been absolutely monogamous, nor is there any example of a group retaining its culture after it has adopted less rigorous customs.”

In other words, the Judeo-Christian Biblically-based model of sex being confined to marriage is essential for the development of civilization and for its endurance.  Though Unwin captured this Biblical truth he did make one mistake.

He correctly argues that as societies become prosperous they become increasingly lax about sexual morality causing them to lose cultural cohesion and become confused about their purpose.  He died in 1936, so he never lived to see America as the latest society to prove his point.

Where Unwin errs is that he claims that the process is irreversible.  The truth is that Israel’s many failures brought it close to extinction but a religious revival always saved the day.  This can be the way back to national vitality for the US also.

You have a part to play in helping restore the culture you live in and one highly effective way to do so is by helping others access traditional, Biblical messages about relationships.  Rather than being relics of the past, these virtues are the path to the future. I encourage you to share the book Hands Off! This May Be Love with your pastors and friends. Most importantly, share it with the children you love.

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Time for Shouting

April 8th, 2015 Posted by Susan's Musings 7 comments

In Oslo, a few weeks ago, a group of Moslems made a ring of protection around a synagogue. When Islamic terrorists attacked a kosher grocery in Paris resulting in a number of deaths, a Moslem worker, Lassana Bathily, herded some of the Jewish customers into the store’s freezer, saving their lives. In doing so, he drew a neon target on his own back.

There are times and places where staying in the background doesn’t work. Times when each of us has to actively stand for what we believe. Times when ‘don’t discuss religion or politics’ is a cowardly evasion rather than a way to get through a dinner party politely. During these times, a piece of ancient Jewish wisdom that says, “Silence resembles agreement,’ rings true.  

I recently read a book about a German Luftwaffe pilot who, in a moment of heroism, saved the life of a British RAF pilot by escorting him to safety. This was an act of treason to Germany. Until that moment, the book suggests that the pilot and his family didn’t support Hitler, but they also saw no connection between the pilot’s personal military career and the Nazi Party. Historically, the Luftwaffe had many leaders who were anti-Nazi. Whatever their personal convictions, by flying as they did, they strengthened HItler and the Nazi Party. 

Refusing to do their duty would have had serious repercussions. They would have been lucky to lose only their careers; more likely imprisonment along with the potential of torture and death would have followed. Their families’ lives would also have been endangered. Yet, history would have changed and millions would be alive today if the Luftwaffe had rebelled en masse.

Such a crisis is facing Moslems today. Disapproving of radical Islamic terrorism in privacy or when among like-minded friends equals silence. Speaking up publicly places a noose around one’s neck, and more scarily, around the neck of one’s family especially if they still live in Jihadist controlled areas. 

It is easy to see other people’s challenges; it is harder to see our own. Jews and Christians are also having to make uncomfortable choices today. As the homosexual movement morphs into a dictatorship wanting to suppress freedom of expression and religion, it is not enough to say, “love the sinner,” or “government should stay out of people’s bedrooms.” As college campuses increasingly become breeding grounds for pro-Islamic groups, do we tell our children to keep their heads down or to risk not only condemnation but also assault? Only a few years ago, Jews could be both pro-Israel and vote Democrat. Doing so today takes a decision to ignore reality and suspend rational judgment. You might be allied with the New York Times and academia in telling yourself that there is a difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, but it is increasingly clear that in today’s climate, that simply is false.  

Being faithful to God today increasingly means failing liberalism’s religious test. Being faithful to tradition can mean imperiling your livelihood and facing false accusations of bigotry, racism and other ‘isms.’ In Paris, Lassana Bathily could have stepped aside and shielded himself. Instead, he made a heroic and Godly choice. Anyone who pats himself on the back sure that he would do the same, should be able to point to less extreme but significantly uncomfortable times when he has exercised the same principled muscle. 

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Challenging times and wonderful times are both better with friends. Build your circle of friends with our audio resource

Prosperity Power: Connect for Success

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Single Mothers in the Bible?

April 8th, 2015 Posted by Ask the Rabbi No Comment yet

Question:

Hi. Were there any Single Mums by choice recorded in the Scriptures?
 
Is it better to be a second wife rather than a Single Mum as per Scripture ? 
 
Thanks,

∼ ELIZABETH K.

Answer:

Dear Elizabeth,

We love questions that challenge us to think and this one certainly did that. Language is incredibly powerful. That is why calling someone bossy vs. strong; homeless vs. a vagrant; illegal vs. undocumented; pro-choice vs. pro-abortion; miserly vs. financially prudent or wealthy vs. stinking rich makes a difference. As George Orwell said, “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.

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