Reconciliation or moving on?

September 22nd, 2016 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 7 thoughts on “Reconciliation or moving on?”

Question:

Thank you for the opportunity to ask my question.  I have been praying for a reconciliation with an ex for a fulfilling and loving relationship.  It’s been almost 11 months apart and since last Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) I have been praying. Interacted with my ex a few times and found out recently that he is seriously dating.  Should I continue praying to Hashem or just give up?  

Thank you!

Hadas

Answer:

Dear Hadas,

It sounds like you have had a rough year. You are asking a question about your personal situation, but the general idea applies to just about everyone at one time or another. Do we let God know what we wish, or do we instead pray to God to do His will?

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Lots of Change, Maybe a Glimmer of Hope

September 22nd, 2016 Posted by Susan's Musings 17 thoughts on “Lots of Change, Maybe a Glimmer of Hope”

After what sometimes seemed like an endless campaign season, the final stretch is in view. The debates, terrorism, Trumpian unpredictability and more Clinton scandals might make these last few weeks even more volatile than usual, but Election Day is approaching. It is time to remember Abraham Lincoln’s words, “With malice toward none.”

I assiduously read comments to my Musings. I regularly read comments to a variety of blogs that I follow. Recently, an article in the Wall Street Journal on the non-controversial topic of postal shipping rates stimulated a slew of comments that were both pertinent and helpful. In contrast, I rarely read comments on sites such as Fox or CNN. Unlike the previous examples, those comments often seem to be dominated by hate-filled, bitter individuals, both on the left and the right. If your window to American culture came through that lens, you would be forgiven for thinking us an unintelligent, vulgar society.

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You’ll Pardon Me, I Hope

September 22nd, 2016 Posted by Thought Tools 0 thoughts on “You’ll Pardon Me, I Hope”

You’ll pardon me, but in just the last few days, I have heard the word ‘crap’ used in public as a synonym for feces by the host of a popular television show, by an official of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and by a CNN news anchor, to name just three.  I am not going to squander your time bemoaning the coarsening of the culture; we all know it is happening.  Many of us understand why.

And it is not only the word ‘crap’.  There is another four letter synonym for excrement which is just as popular though the self-anointed cultural elites have ridiculously decreed that ‘crap’ can be used on America’s airwaves but not the alternative word for the same human byproduct.  Expect that to change soon.

Why this particular form of human waste?  Why don’t people say, “He needs the ear-wax beaten out of him”? Or, how about, “The breaching whale scared the saliva out of the kayaker”?  Or why not, “I’ve never heard anyone speaking such nasal mucus”?  I have never heard any driver say, “Oh urine! I took a wrong turn!”  Of all human body waste, why does only excrement enjoy such common usage in ordinary conversation today?

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Wells Fargo vs. Hillary

September 21st, 2016 Posted by On Our Mind 2 thoughts on “Wells Fargo vs. Hillary”

I watched the video of Elizabeth Warren excoriating John Stumpf of Wells Fargo. I’m not saying that he is blameless or behaved nobly. However, there is supposed to be equal justice under the law. I would care more about her toughness to him if she would show the same toughness to politicians who are neither blameless nor noble – say Hillary Clinton. As an individual I can (and a few years ago did) take my money away from Wells Fargo. As an individual I was not able to remove Clinton as Secretary of State. Who should be held to a higher standard?

NY Bombings

September 18th, 2016 Posted by On Our Mind 1 thought on “NY Bombings”

If one powerful  political party and most mainstream journalists are highly invested in the NYC bombings NOT being connected to Islamic terrorism or any leftist group, do we really think that information will be shared quickly and honestly?

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Boaters World

September 17th, 2016 Posted by On Our Mind 2 thoughts on “Boaters World”

Coming in to dock, those on nearby boats almost always head out to help grab your lines and be of assistance. A small part of this is self-interest. They want to make sure you don’t run into their boats. But mostly,

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Dear Ivanka

September 15th, 2016 Posted by Susan's Musings 6 thoughts on “Dear Ivanka”

Please stop trying to help mothers. This may sound like a strange request from a mother of seven, five of whose daughters are raising little ones right now. But, you see, when the government gets involved ‘helping,’ there are always unintended consequences.

Sometimes, ideas that sound good get implemented and turn out to have terrible consequences. By then, it’s almost impossible to revoke the damaging legislation. Invariably, one group is helped at the expense of another group. In almost all cases, people are forced to adjust their lives to fit in with what the government thinks is best for them rather than living as they think best.

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What do God’s different names mean?

September 15th, 2016 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 12 thoughts on “What do God’s different names mean?”

Question:

I am looking for some good Jewish/Hebrew information about the names of God. Has Rabbi Daniel Lapin written or spoken on that topic anywhere? 

I love what I have learned from him and I would like to learn more on this topic.

Anne

Answer:

Dear Anne,

One of the amazing things about studying the Torah is that you never reach a point where you can say, “Well, now I know everything.” The question you are asking illustrates how reading passages with a focus on a specific idea—in your case the name used for God—can reveal an entire new level of meaning.

Sometimes, the name for God that is used changes our entire understanding of an episode. In The Gathering Storm: Decoding the Secrets of Noah, we reveal how early in Genesis God’s name changes (in the Hebrew, of course), and how looking at certain sections through the lens of which name is used gives an entirely new perspective on what we thought we understood.

Sometimes a Name connoting mercy is used and other times the Name associated with justice. In some places, for instance in Esther, there are hidden mentions.  We often point them out in our TV show and in our writing.

One of the chapters in our book Buried Treasure: Life Lessons from the Lord’s Language (which is on sale right now!) discusses even another name of God. We hope this gives you a starting point for a deeper study of Scripture.

Keep asking questions,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

Cows or Corvettes?

September 14th, 2016 Posted by Thought Tools 0 thoughts on “Cows or Corvettes?”

In late 1964, after five years of construction, the Verrazano Bridge connecting Brooklyn and Staten Island opened to traffic.  It was made of steel and was then the longest suspension bridge in the world.  In order to prevent corrosion from the sea air, it is painted, using about 12,000 gallons of paint.  Since rust would quickly weaken and destroy the bridge, the paint is kept in good shape.

The default condition for iron and even steel is to rust and deteriorate unless steps are taken to inhibit the oxidation process.  The default condition for many foods such as meat is to deteriorate and go bad unless the process is inhibited by refrigeration.  The default condition for most animals is to flee humans unless cornered.

Humans have several troublesome defaults.  (more…)

Ahead of the Curve

September 13th, 2016 Posted by On Our Mind 2 thoughts on “Ahead of the Curve”

Sometimes, failing to clean properly is an asset. I was looking at a notebook (yes, for certain things I still prefer an old-fashioned notebook to a computer) from last year’s boating trip and out fell a New Yorker article from 2014 hailing the entrepreneurial work of scientific genius Elizabeth Holmes. I imagine that some who questioned her methods and claims were accused of being afraid of strong, intelligent women.

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