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Self-Made Women

The cover story headline on Forbes magazine, America’s Richest Self-Made Women caught my attention. Surely, the stories of the sixty women listed would shine a light on women and money. It did, though I’m not sure that what I saw will make social engineers happy.

Here are some sentences from the top four bios:

#1) Ilitch and her husband, Mike…cofounded Little Caesars pizza… (Marian Ilitch)

#2) The Wisconsin native cofounded the business with her late husband, Ken… ( Diane Hendricks)

#3) She and her husband, Tom, first leased a gas station… (Judy Love)

#4) Fisher and her husband, Don (d. 2009), opened their fashion retailer, Gap… (Doris Fisher)

Do you see a pattern here? #5, Oprah Winfrey, as well as #6, Judy Faulkner, have no men in sight while #7 reverts to the previous model. I am curious enough to plan to read the rest of the biographical snippets, and a sociologist might draw up an interesting chart referencing age and location, but to me the message was not surprising. In the world in which I live, husbands and wives are partners, whether or not both names are on incorporation papers or both spouses are active in all of the same activities. Together the couple accomplishes what only one person couldn’t, both in the financial and family realm.

On a list of America’s sixty richest self-made men, I would expect the majority to be in lasting marriages as well. Their wives are fully their co-partners, even if the wife isn’t directly involved in the profitable business. Rather than encouraging men and women to “go it alone,” there probably would be more wealth all around if we provided resources and cheering squads to facilitate successful marriage. Instead the thought makers and idea generators of society do all they can to pit men and women against each other, turning them into adversaries.

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We have a resource that fits the bill!
Who better to teach about marriage than the Creator of marriage?
Madam, I’m Adam: Decoding the Marriage Secrets of Eden

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Are Pets Animals Too?

It says in the Bible that a good man cares for his “beast.” ‘Does this just mean animals that are “useful” such as cows that give meat and milk or does it mean all pets, such as dogs and cats.  

P.S. Like your show very much. We watch it every day when possible. There is so much knowledge and practical advice.

Titus R. 

 

Dear Titus,

There are certain topics that are almost guaranteed to lead to controversy, including vaccinations, the 2016 election results, and abortion. We have tackled all of those in various settings. But if you really want to get people’s emotions roiled, talk about their pets!

You don’t mention what Bible verse you are referencing, but there are many Scriptural references to treating animals well, among them Deuteronomy 25:4 with its prohibition on muzzling an ox while it is treading grain and verses that include animals in the Sabbath day of rest.

The prohibition against causing unnecessary pain to animals is included in the seven Noahide Laws. According to ancient Jewish wisdom these laws obligate all humanity regardless of religious or cultural background. They are the core of what could be called civilization. While we can debate what constitutes “unnecessary” pain, there is no question that the idea of gratuitously harming any animal is wrong.

We can safely say that pets do serve a useful purpose, be it a barn cat catching mice or an English Bulldog offering companionship. We will tiptoe towards controversy by saying that some people develop an unhealthy relationship with pets so that the animals replace friends, spouses and children, but we cannot envision any Biblical idea that would allow someone to mistreat an animal, even should the animal cease to serve a practical purpose.

There’s even something Biblical about those sanctuaries where retired circus and zoo animals safely live out their lives.  The ever present moral danger is starting to identify more strongly with animals than people.  For instance, the radical animal rights organization, PETA’s actions sometimes elevate animal lives above human ones.

Thank you for being such a faithful member of our TV audience at www.TCT.TV  We appreciate it.

Remember to feed your pet before you yourself eat,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

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Is the same Hebrew word used for the creation of animals and man? (Yes and no)
Why did Adam name the animals before Eve was created?
Are humans closer to angels or apes?

Find the answers in
Madam, I’m Adam: Decoding the Marriage Secrets of Eden

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A Tale of Two Bees

There are many secrets to success in life, but here’s a good one:  Empower your wife and other vital women in your life to bring out the best in you.

This lesson emerges from a mystery posed by three verses, Genesis 24:58-60.

Verse A:

They called Rebecca and said to her, 

“Will you go with this man?”  And she said, “I will go.”

Verse B:

They blessed Rebecca and they said to her, “Our sister, may you become…

Verse C:

And they sent away their sister, Rebecca, and her nurse…

There’s nothing particularly odd about these three verses, is there?

There is, if you realize that I’ve switched their order around.

In reality, A is followed by C, and finally B.  How strange!  How could they send Rebecca away and only thereafter speak to her and bless her?

The answer hinges on Rebecca’s nurse.

We meet her again when she dies many years later while accompanying Rebecca’s son, Jacob, and his family back to his birthplace:

And Devorah, Rebecca’s nurse, died and she was buried below Bethel,
beneath the tree and he named it Alon Bachut.
(Genesis 35:8)

What is Devorah (in English, Deborah) doing with Jacob and his family on their way returning to the home from which Jacob fled so many years earlier?  Why isn’t she with her beloved Rebecca?

The answer is clear.  As she had promised thirty-five years earlier, Rebecca sent her to inform Jacob that it was now safe for him to return to the home he had fled due to his brother Esau’s wrath.

Until your brother’s anger turns away from you…
and I will send [someone] and bring you back from there…
(Genesis 27:45)

Having discharged her final duty, the faithful retainer, Devorah, died.

Who is this woman, that her name and actions merit so much mention in Scripture?

Ancient Jewish wisdom directs our attention to another Devorah.

And Devorah the wife of Lapidot was a prophetess who judged Israel at that time. And she sat under the palm tree of Devorah between Ramah and Bethel…
 (Judges 4:4-5)

Judge Devorah held court, under Nurse Devorah’s tree. We are meant to link the two!

In Hebrew, Devorah means a bee.  What is a bee’s uniqueness? Bees convert unfulfilled potential (nectar) into its ultimate destiny—honey, sweet tasting and energy providing.

Sure enough, Prophetess Devorah converts Barak from a timid man into a brave leader capable of defeating the evil Sisera, Israel’s oppressor of twenty years. (Judges 4:6-9)

Nurse Devorah is instrumental in transforming the wicked family of Rebecca into people capable of seeing the future and blessing a young woman destined to become a mother of the Jewish people. (Genesis 24:60) This is the message of her awkward appearance in the narrative (Genesis 24:59) before the blessing is uttered.

Similarly, on her mission from Rebecca to Jacob, her death is mentioned as Jacob abandons the alien influences his household had accumulated from their interactions with Shechem (Genesis 35:2-5).  Devorah’s presence strengthens Jacob, reinforcing his upbringing and preparing him to receive God’s blessing. (Genesis 35:9-12).

Devorah represents those women in our lives who bring out the best in us. A good mother or wife has the ability to transform a man’s potential into reality. Of course, a misguided woman can act as a destroyer.  While we men have no ability to choose our mothers (though we can adopt mentors to fill that role), the choice of wife and the conduct of our marriage is in our hands.

The Bible names many fewer women than men. The two Devorah’s send us two messages. The first serves to remind us that, unlike our present day infatuation with publicity, what happens behind the scenes is critical to and equally responsible for success. The second reminds us that when men fail in acting courageously and wisely, women will act in their stead. Why we should lament rather than celebrate when that circumstance arises, needs  a much longer discussion.

The first three chapters of Genesis are vital for obtaining basic insight into the differences between and the potential greatness of men and women.  Much is revealed  through the original Hebrew text and ancient Jewish wisdom. We explore these in our audio CD, Madam, I’m Adam: Decoding the Marriage Secrets of Eden, available for a few more days at a special discounted price.

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Forget Father’s Day & Dismiss Mother’s Day

I know that neither of those two calendar highlights are close to us which makes this a good time to reconsider them in the cold light of clinical analysis.

Why does the culture make such a big deal about these two arbitrary days while nobody thinks of establishing a Husband’s Day and a Wife’s Day?

Reason 1: A culture fundamentally hostile to the traditional Biblical family model, is not keen on celebrating husbands and wives. Recognizing a mother or a father makes no comment about whether mom and dad were married when they conceived you or whether they invested years in raising you in the cocoon of their love and commitment.

Reason 2: Every one of us have or had a mother and a father so those two days are ‘inclusive’ a word that has become almost doctrinal in the theology of secular fundamentalism. But not everyone is or has been a husband or a wife. Celebrating these pillars of society might make some feel bad.

Reason 3: It’s really easy to observe Mother’s Day or Father’s Day (provided you know who he is). After all, you merely had to have been born and then take Mom to lunch once a year. However, observing Husband’s Day implies you continue accepting the obligations of wifehood and observing Wife’s Day means you remain a committed and faithful husband.

No wonder a contaminated culture makes a big fuss about mothers and fathers but ignores marriage.

THOUGHT TOOLS

  • A Tale of Two Bees July 18, 2017 by Rabbi Daniel Lapin - There are many secrets to success in life, but here’s a good one:  Empower your wife and other vital women in your life to bring out the best in you. This lesson emerges from a mystery posed by three verses, Genesis 24:58-60. Verse A: They called Rebecca and said to her,  “Will you go with Read More

ASK THE RABBI

  • Are Pets Animals Too? July 19, 2017 by Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin - It says in the Bible that a good man cares for his “beast.” 'Does this just mean animals that are "useful" such as cows that give meat and milk or does it mean all pets, such as dogs and cats.   P.S. Like your show very much. We watch it every day when possible. There Read More

SUSAN’S MUSINGS

  • Self-Made Women July 20, 2017 by Susan Lapin - The cover story headline on Forbes magazine, America’s Richest Self-Made Women caught my attention. Surely, the stories of the sixty women listed would shine a light on women and money. It did, though I’m not sure that what I saw will make social engineers happy. Here are some sentences from the top four bios: #1) Read More

ON OUR MIND

  • Forget Father’s Day & Dismiss Mother’s Day July 17, 2017 by Rabbi Daniel Lapin - I know that neither of those two calendar highlights are close to us which makes this a good time to reconsider them in the cold light of clinical analysis. Why does the culture make such a big deal about these two arbitrary days while nobody thinks of establishing a Husband's Day and a Wife's Day? Read More
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