How’s the Weather? Quite Offensive, Thanks.

January 26th, 2017 Posted by Susan's Musings 196 comments

I have had a troubled few days. Let me give you some background. In the late 1970s, my husband was a business professional in Los Angeles when he was introduced to Michael Medved, who had recently begun exploring his Jewish background. My husband began teaching Torah classes to Michael and a few of his friends. This small bunch soon grew to a sizable group studying in crowded living rooms. After a short while, they discovered an almost abandoned old synagogue on the Venice (CA) oceanfront. Within a year this forgotten little synagogue was filled by young people. Although almost everyone started with little knowledge of his or her Jewish roots, they thrilled to investigate Scripture and discover the majesty of religious Jewish life.

While synagogue attendance played a role in the feeling of community, the passionate congregation that sprang up was chiefly based on Bible study and growing together in connection to God.  In fact that is what constituted membership!  If you attended at least one Torah class a week, you were a member. The group, as befits the time and place, was composed of many whose values and views had been shaped by the turbulent Sixties and confused Seventies. It included ex-commune members and hippies as well as an unusually large number of scientists who started off believing that science and religion were in conflict.

My husband taught a men’s class before going to his office each morning and taught men and women after work in the evenings.  He found himself personally inspired by the immense hunger for learning God’s word. When we met and married, I too began teaching our congregation. Rapidly, the group of mostly single individuals began marrying, establishing careers and raising families, exponentially increasing the level of Jewish observance in their lives. Radical ways of thinking gave way to traditional ones and respect for thousands of years of ancient Jewish wisdom replaced obeisance to the latest psychological and social trends.

For many years, neither my husband nor I uttered a word of politics in either Bible classes or synagogue sermons. We wanted our students’ focus to be on getting to know God and Judaism, not on the political debates of the day. Yet, or perhaps rather because, the focus was on Torah study, God’s word changed hearts and minds, leading people to view political issues of the day through the prism of God’s wisdom rather than the latest newspaper headline. Not surprisingly, this beachfront community in Venice, California, became increasingly politically conservative and members voted just about unanimously for Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. At this time and place, as now, religious and Biblical values aligned more closely with America’s right than with its left.

Much of what my husband taught during those exciting years became the bedrock of our Genesis Journeys series, Biblical Blueprint Set and other books, CDs and DVDs. They are, for the most part, straight scriptural teaching based on ancient Jewish wisdom. We know they have the power to change hearts and minds because we have already seen it happen.

This brings me to my troubled week. I enjoy thinking about and then writing these  Musings. Writing helps me clarify my thoughts as does getting feedback from readers which contributes to my understanding. Sometimes it makes me question my premises or presentation. However, today it is almost impossible to keep politics off to the side. Back in the early days of our synagogue community, there was no threat of the government outlawing the recitation of parts of Scripture that are politically incorrect. Nobody dreamed of a day when the government might force a synagogue to fund abortion for its employees. We’d have laughed at anyone objecting to our having men’s and women’s restrooms while levels of taxation and regulation allowed families to live on one income if they so desired, making large families a realistic possibility.

Today, however, one is hard pressed to find any area of life that the government isn’t trying to direct and manage. It is almost impossible to find a topic of conversation which doesn’t relate to some political hot potato—including the weather!

Over the past few months, here in my Musings, I shared my personal struggles deciding who to support during this election cycle. I wasn’t alone. Millions of Americans had a tough time this time around. Last week, in a response to a comment, I said that one of my biggest disappointment in the Obama presidency was that the country is more racially divided than when he entered the office. In my view, he ignored or mishandled a unique opportunity. If asked, I could elaborate on my words. Instead, for this comment as well as others in the months leading up to it, I received a variation on this response, “I will no longer read anything you write…” I got accused of saying things I never said, thinking things I never thought, supporting Donald Trump too much, not supporting Donald Trump enough, hating women, etc., etc. In other words, rather than sharing a different view or engaging in dialogue, the response too often was, “I want nothing more to do with you.”

Herein lies my dilemma. If sharing my thoughts, which invariably are controversial because everything in our day and age is controversial, leads people to disconnect from our ministry, then perhaps I shouldn’t share them. I know the power of our audio programs and books. God’s word changes people’s minds and hearts and leads them to connect with Him. Am I limiting that connection by my writing?

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196 comments

Mary Anne says:

Dear Susan. I hope you continue to share your thoughts. There is so little thought out there, considered thought, biblical thought, most people want to hear it. People have gone off the deep end – so much hate, divisiveness. I do not publish my own thoughts on my Facebook page. I am afraid of the backlash! I am conservative, not in all ways, most strongly fiscal and immigration issues. But if I don’t vote as I am told to do as a white woman, I am ridiculed de-friended, and truly lose relationships! When I talk in person, I choose a single topic to explore. I try to couch it in non-political terms. I listen to the other’s point of view. Sometimes, we come to great new solutions by working together despite coming from different ends of the spectrum.

So, please, write. Think, share. Develop the fruits of the spirit for us all. I was texting some like minded friends today, discussing the term Nasty Woman. Our comment – since when was that a fruit of the spirit?

Best, Mary Anne

Susan Lapin says:

Listening to other’s point of view – when did that become something so few people could do? Wonderful point about the phrase ‘nasty woman.’ I don’t want to raise my girls with that as a goal.

Bruce says:

I’ve learned after numerous debates with political liberals that you simply cannot change their minds and their minds are closed to anything but liberal propaganda. I mean closed to the extent that they react with anger, insults and sneering sarcasm if you challenge any part of their belief system. I also believe progressive liberalism is a spiritual disorder.

Susan Lapin says:

I think we do better to have conversations where the goal is less to change someone’s mind, which isn’t something that usually comes out of one or two interactions, but rather to be willing to simply exchange ideas. If anyone is afraid to hear alternate ideas (so you sneer and shout them down) it’s worth asking why.

Steve says:

I would like to bring up the idea that our technology plays a role here. We can exchange e-mail, test, blogs and other communication with people from around the world. But, that also means we can avoid talking to that annoying person next door. We can surround ourselves with virtual people who think exactly as we do (no unpleasant feelings to deal with) which causes us to believe that all rational people think exactly as we do and anybody who thinks differently is either crazy or outright criminal. And this is reinforced by those who shout down and humiliate anybody who disagrees and those who look for any controversy they can use to sell air time. This does not work well for those who simply want to find the truth.

Susan Lapin says:

And in addition to everything you said our technology is shortening our attention span, Steve.

Rhonda says:

A “spiritual disorder.” I’ve never heard that before but think it’s more accurate than just saying they’re insane even though I believe some of them are. Thanks for sharing that.

Susan Lapin says:

Anger does make us temporarily lose our ability to think (Sadly, I speak from experience here.) Mobs are stirred up by anger and they can be a powerful destructive force. I think many of our cities saw that in the past few years.

Bruce says:

The farther left you go on the political spectrum, the more atheists you meet. Atheism is a foundation of communism; to paraphrase Lenin, socialism is just a stop on the road to communism. Communism is evil because it denies the existence of God. Liberals are not all atheists, but many are, and those are generally the ones who cannot discuss their beliefs without anger. Progressive liberalism is thus a replacement for the interior drive to seek God. In that light, it is a spiritual deception.

Sandy Silvaggio Forro says:

Susan i agree with you and bruce;;;after trying to just give my ”opinion” like you said so much hate etc. you either agree with them or your this or that;;i love and have come to realize also that prayer is the answer;;;as like stated we can not change anyone, there is so much propaganda and deception out there;;i actually cried seeing all these college students speak and act like they are, sorry i keep getting off track (have lyme disease!!)praying for all of them to, and i do make comments about the Lord, seeking His wisdom, His word. i am 65 and i would never in my life ever think our country would go this far;;we must as Christian’s wake up, God has given us i believe one more chance, a small amount of time to first of all humbly Repent, and share the gospel so that no one would perish. thank you for your program which i watch daily, and am learning so much, and reading your writings;;God Bless

LeVerne D Rizor says:

if not a spiritual disorder, then a spiritual possession by on of the minions of the ‘God of this World’.

Judith says:

Susan, keep writing . My favorite thing about your writing is something I don’t see in most writings. You take the effort to explain the logic behind your beliefs. You back up your ideas with substance. There is a basic honesty in your thoughts . The why you think what you think and how you come to a conclusion is a way of questioning that isn’t taught in schools or or heard anywhere. Our society puts top priority on expressing our individual ideas, letting our emotions lead us, and not how to think or analyze on order to to come to truth. So when I read something of yours, my first thought is always, ” Let me see how she backs up her opinion to come to her belief.
Keep it up Susan.

Judy from Lancaster

Susan Lapin says:

What a nice thing to say, Judith. Many times my writing expresses a discussion I’m having with myself as well as friends and my husband. I sometimes surprise myself seeing where I end up.

Samantha Tate Alan says:

I am relatively new to “the family Lapin” but what I have heard from you and your husband through your podcast and now Susan’s Musings and Ask the Rabbi blogs is demonstrative of true representation of the True and Living God!
As you know, perfect Love eliminates fear- a spirit that was never given to us by our Heavenly Father! Continued Blessings to you Susan! May you never cease in doing well!

Susan Lapin says:

Welcome, Samantha. We make mistakes sometimes, and that is why hearing from our listeners/readers is so important.

Michael Ooten says:

It was after the bombing and terrible killing by scatter bombs on Beirut and after I heard a report by evangelist Atthur Blessitt who had just returned from Brirut, Lebanon that I by chance ran into the small synagogue on Venice Beach My spirit was so serious and sad so I asked to go in and a very kind person invited It was the most solemn day of the ninth of AV most where sitting on the floor while some male was citing all of Lamentations It was most fitting for my feelings because this was the very day that Jews all over the world remember the 586 BC Babylonian Destruction of Jerusalem Being a Christian lover of Jews I was most thankful and shall ever thank David that one who so graciously invited me and explained the observance
I shall never forget that night
And Susan keep posting your ear and heart You and your husband have been a blessing from Jehovah Shalom Aleichem From Michael Ooten a lover of His People the Chosen Jews

Susan Lapin says:

Wow – I’m so glad you wandered into our little synagogue. And if David is the David I think he is, he will read your comment.

Carmine Pescatore says:

I agree. Voltaire said that to see who rules over you, see who you can’t criticize.
Let us have honest debate.

Mike says:

Susan,

I love your musing and find them quite insightful. Please do not stop what you are doing. Keep up the good work.

Susan Lapin says:

I appreciate the virtual hug, Mike.

Mary Nelson says:

Please continue. If there are narrow minded people who get upset there are many of us who appreciate what you do.

Susan Lapin says:

I think it terribly sad that we are training generations to view everything only from their perspective and because of that to respond emotionally with hurt and anger instead of hearing anything outside their comfort zone. Thank you.

Deborah says:

It is precisely because you thoughtfully convey your views and opinions on very pertinent daily life in today’s culture and politics and invite open conversation that you are teaching people to do the same! You are modeling a good and appropriate exchange of thoughts, ideas, and viewpoints. You are not overpowering, threatening, or using “conversation blockers”… Your example in your musings and resultant text conversations is very needed to model and teach people how to constructively exchange ideas. Susan, I appreciate your fine example. 🙂

Susan Lapin says:

We do try hard to respond to comments and ‘see’ where they are coming from when they disagree with us. (Though I am coming close to having to sign off for the day. Friday is my preparing for Shabbat day and computer time is limited.)

Shelly says:

(“We are training generations to view everything only from their perspective”.)

I have never heard it put quite this way before, but that does seem to be exactly what has happened. i have been stunned into silence, at times, by this phenomenon, by this “wall” of I.e. rejection;( insert any number of spirt blocking attitudes). during conversations that, seemed to me to be regular everyday topics until the last few years. That is one reason I value your ministry so much. You allow for the exchange of ideas and ponderings. In my opinion you are fresh water in a too salty sea. Please be encouraged to continue sharing your musings.

Susan Lapin says:

There are no more ‘everyday topics.’ How sad.

Rocky Knickerbockers says:

My Rabbi and you are a inspiration in this world of conflict. Please answer as close to scripture as you see it. And I will be a follower always.

A Christian on Whidbey Island

Susan Lapin says:

Whidbey! We love Whidbey Island. Hope to see you there.

Leslie says:

I hope you’ll continue to write your musings. I don’t always agree with you, but then if I did I probably would get bored. I enjoy others’ ideas, enjoy holding mine up to them, challenging my ideas. I was also writing a lot and have recently stopped. I have had people asking me to pick up my pen again, sending me ideas that they think need to be researched and written about, so to speak, but I am also tired of the politicization of everything. I have thought of just shutting all my writings down as I really do not want to be the focus of hate. Tired of being called evil when I don’t follow a party line.

I guess since I am asking you to keep writing as it is interesting to me and promotes my growth, … I guess I will also, for the time at least, also pick up my pen again. Cannot encourage you to have a stiff upper lip if I am not willing to do so also. LOL!

Thanks for making me answer my own dilemma!

Susan Lapin says:

I’m so glad that you will pick up your pen again. I too try to read people’s opinions with which I don’t always agree. If an argument never gets sharpened or shaped by opposing ideas, it is less of an idea.

Jeff Estes says:

I love the things you write; I can’t speak for others, but if anyone disagrees, they can go elsewhere.

Susan Lapin says:

We did separate my Musings from Ask the Rabbi (they used to be sent together) partially for that reason. People can unsubscribe from one or more of our mailings while still getting others.

Carole Carrara says:

Susan…..Keep on doing exactly what you’ve been doing! I’m tired, and sick and tired, of the freedom in all things — except for those who disagree with them. I was bummed out with Obama and the things he did but you didn’t see or hear the RIGHT going on rampages. I wouldn’t let my children behave that way, yet in what I’ve seen and heard these people behave worse than children and more like animals (my apologies to animals). Their motto seems to be: My Way or No Way. Between them and the outgoing president (thank God) this country needs God’s blessing after eight years of anti-Israel, anti-Christian leadership. Susan, I’m with you. Don’t change.

Susan Lapin says:

Carole, if I may offer a correction. Many people who supported Hillary or Bernie are behaving atrociously – but not everyone who voted, or marched last Saturday, fits into the category you call ‘these people’. And, I’m sorry to say, I have seen (usually in the comment sections of various articles) mean-spirited ‘these people’ on the conservative side, using atrocious language and who I would classify as bigoted. I do believe that there is a huge group in the middle who would agree on more than we disagree. I also think that the leadership on the right is for the most part more law-abiding, gracious, loving and patriotic than the leadership on the left. But we need to not paint the citizenry with a broad brush.

Linda Baker says:

Susan,
If we don’t speak the truth, who will? We must conform to the will of God and not the other way around. To coin a phrase, it’s “an inconvenient truth.”
Oh, and the weather is fine.
God Bless You.

Susan Lapin says:

I do know that many readers pray for me and that means a great deal.

Gina B says:

I love and appreciate you and your husband. If your views cause some to walk away, it’s because of them.
Politically correct and Biblical values will never be equal.
Please Keep sharing

Susan Lapin says:

I just don’t want them to miss being exposed to Biblical truths because they walk away. But I will trust God to take care of exposing them to His truth.

Bernard Zimring says:

If your husband feels little compunction in sharing his politically incorrect viewpoints (and that is why so many of us enjoy his work) , why should you be any less forthright Susan? If anything, you are more diplomatic. I do understand why you might not want to alienate anyone, but that would mean essentially either having no or sharing no opinion at all. Self censor only to the extent as not to be gratuitously provocative. Otherwise, have at it. I enjoy the musings. BLZ

Susan Lapin says:

I think so many people didn’t feel safe sharing their opinions for the past eight years and that is why they voted how they did in the privacy of the ballot box.

Joan Catherine Ryan says:

Don’t allow these people to try and suffocate your Holy Spirit promptings, or you will lose your interior freedom. Being real, being yourself where you are today in your spiritual journey will feed your soul.

Susan Lapin says:

I love what you said about “where you are today.” Hopefully each of us is growing and while core principles shouldn’t change (unless they are wrong), I would hope that I might look back and express certain things differently in a few years time. We should grant that grace to others as well.

Allan Zwirn says:

Your views do not offend me.

Susan Lapin says:

Thank you – I have no problem with someone disagreeing with me, but taking offense has become a club with which to bash others.

Shannon, she who loves maths says:

This feature is called Susan’s Musings. We come to read your wise words and anecdotes. I have yet to find anything you write about alarming, controversial or even mildly perturbing. You are right up there with Cute Overload on the friendly meter. You connect with us through your kindness, cheerful missives and wisdom.
If people are upset that you have opinions, which you have shaped through years of study & experience, it is more a reflection upon them- not you. Too many people have their nerves frazzled raw from the endless drumbeat of doom, gloom and despair. They are primed to go from 0 to Outraged Citizen because of how you hang your toilet paper. (Its over, not under. People who put the roll in backwards are possibly communists or maniacs, but thats my scientific opinion.)
I for one may not be your moral clone, but I will not stop reading or throw a hissy fit because we differ in opinions. I will not renounce my faith or wear weird hats to a march because you like sailing, and I like flying. I most assuredly won’t tear up a Starbucks because I don’t like something you said in praise (or disapproval) about a candidate.
Muse away Mrs. L., we’ll be reading!

Susan Lapin says:

This made me laugh. Don’t feel bad – some of my best friends like flying.

Shannon, she who loves maths says:

Truth be told, I like boats better than planes. I can swim away from a boat in distress. Boats also have little boats with floaty bits on board to get away from the big boat if it breaks. An airliner just has a seat cushion that floats in water, might as well be filled croutons for all the help it would be.

Kevin Cullis says:

Don’t stop writing or talking. We’re seeing a rise in shallow instead of deep thinking, which means faster “sound bites” when in reality we need “slower and meaningful dialog.” I remember years ago watching a prison program that made women in prison “meditate” for eight hours a day for a week or two. All of the women in the program began to mentally “resolve” their issues and came out happier and healthier because they were able to “work through” their problems. Keep it up, some of us are listening.

Susan Lapin says:

How fascinating! Do you also remember when TV talk shows had people actually talking to each other instead of yelling over each other? I would love a show like William Buckley’s Firing Line where you could actually hear differing points of view.

Deborah says:

I am so very tired of the current tv with people yelling at each other (the tv gets turned off now… Or more often, I tune into Christian channels). I am more frustrated with the current method of tv interviewing of say, our current President Donald J Trump. The lack of respect, the constant interruptions and cutting off of his sentences… This is what I recently posted to the tv site in response to the first presidential interview: Regarding your interview with David M., this is to David M: David, you are young, foolish, and just plain rude. Stop cutting off president Donald J. Trump ! We want to hear what HE has to say! Our POTUS should not have to repeatedly say, “excuse me” in order to complete his statements! WE ARE NOT INTERESTED IN YOU CONTINUALLY TRYING TO GET “GOTCHA” sound bites! David… You need to show some respect! You have given us another reason to go to other news sources …
I truly want to know what any person being interviewed thinks and wants to say… I am very tired of the current attack method to get a sound bite that is being passed off as interviews now… I’m praying for a return to more true news sources and media and for the propaganda “noise” media to finally disappear.

Susan Lapin says:

I heard about the interview you reference, but haven’t seen it. I feel the same way about “panel discussions,” where the only way to get heard is to shout over someone else.

Steven says:

I agree, the political environment has become so charged that it is hard to even explain your point with sound reasoning attached. I to lead bible studies and a church. And I am finding that is the best way to change the hearts of people. It’s only through the Word of God that streams of living water flows. I remember the first time I got my hands on Rabbi’s teaching ‘Tower of Power’ after watching the Glenn Beck show. It changed my view on politics and life forever. I teach theses truths now to my small group, bible study groups, and church when I’m asked to teach. I am now the proud owner of everything your ministry has to offer. I have lent out all the Genesis Journey’s more times than I can count. I always laugh when Rabbi spends time talking about the value of his products on the podcast. I wish I could call in and tell the people that listen how valuable they are! Thank you Rabbi and Susan for your incredible ministry and may God continue to bless you!

Susan Lapin says:

I wish we could get Tower of Power into the hands of every incoming college student. At that age, socialism sounds so inviting. Bless you for sharing, Steven.

Lori says:

I don’t think “neutrality” is a possibility in education, in media, in government, in politics, in religion, etc. This is the main reason I decided to educate my children at home; a worldview cannot be divorced from ANY sphere of influence. For instance, an absence of the mention of God in a curricula whether it be history or mathematics, screams “there is no God,” or at least “He’s not that important.” A bias of some sort is always carried (even if a person is blind to it in himself) but one can eloquently share that viewpoint in a kind and winsome way, which I believe you do. Unfortunately even when this is done, if a person is put on the defense with our words he may retaliate out of his own sense of conviction. Perhaps you hit a nerve (or two). There is room enough in this great “out of many, one” country, for people to disagree agreeably. Unfortunately those demanding tolerance give very little in return to those with whom they disagree. God in His providence used your time with these now “unsubscribing followers.” Who knows where, when, or how fruit will be reaped? You planted the seed. Susan, to remain silent is not to remain neutral but often feeds the opposition. This is a great quote about this “somewhere” but it eludes me. (Of course it takes wisdom to know when to go deep on certain topics, but I think many in the churches of today have remained silent for far too long in fear of offending potential new believers. Not speaking truth isn’t love.)

Susan Lapin says:

Those are wise words, Lori. I homeschooled for many of the same reasons. I also remember being shocked when a priest we knew told us how afraid many priests were to speak in church against abortion, because they would get negative feedback.

Margarita says:

Mrs. Susan Lapin, you can’t please everyone. People are very easily offended these days. You know that your focus is on God, so don’t give up on commenting. People who say that they will never read anything you write, will probably read what you write again real soon! You touched a nerve. Candles are not meant to be hidden.

Susan Lapin says:

I did wonder myself whether the ‘unsubscribers’ would be drawn back at some point. I hope they will and that they will articulate their own ideas rather than just expressing anger at mine.

Kristin Grose says:

Never miss and often share your columns, Susan, but you’d never know that. You are far more likely to hear from dissenters. I’ve found that on my FB posts as well. I’ve used my personal page to share a conservative Catholic perspective. If I receive comments they are often critical of my position or offer an opportunity to enter dialog to support or acknowledge a point, et cetera. All to say, please, please, please continue your voice. Take a page out of our new President’s playbook. He can shrug off the riff-raff or shoots right back but he never lets it deter him…always eye on the apple! God bless. K

Susan Lapin says:

I once spoke to parents at a school conference and suggested they make a point of giving teachers positive feedback. If they have a problem at some point, a complaint after a string of praise is always more easily accepted. I too, find that I am quicker to comment when I disagree and sometimes have to remind myself to let someone know I enjoyed what they wrote. So, thanks for chiming in.

Carolyn Kipp says:

You’re letting the evil one creep in with self doubt. It is time for mature people to lead us all away from allowing our immaturity to override intelligent discussion and those who are seriously seeking truth won’t be so easily dissuaded. Thank you.

Susan Lapin says:

Well, I am reaching an age where I really need to move away from immaturity. Thank you.

Marcus says:

There are two types of people in this world; those who are egotistical enough (or insecure enough) to take offence any anything someone says that strikes them wrong, and those who are humble enough in their humanity to acknowledge that life is a journey of perspectives, and so do not take immediate offence when someone’s perspective appears to differ from their own. I believe that almost no one keeps exactly the same (even biblical) perspective on all issues throughout their entire lives. Life’s experiences have a way of softening the hard edges of our worldviews and teaching us that most people have something of value to offer, whether we agree with them 100% or not. Your most effective ministry is (in my opinion) to those who are above all eager to learn. Such people are typically not quick to take offence. Keeping writing and sharing, and may God bless your ministry!

Susan Lapin says:

You are so right. There is a saying in Ancient Jewish wisdom: “Who is wise? He who learns from every man.” Everyone has something to teach us and we are able to hear different things at different times in our lives.

Rene says:

Dear Mrs. Lapin:

You are not limiting any connection by your writings – on the contrary I know your insights are well thought of and are intended to help your audience. Keep the wisdom coming! We appreciate everything you and Rabbi Lapin do.

Best,
Rene Lerma

Susan Lapin says:

Thank you, Rene. My husband and I truly cherish the warmth we receive from those who let us into their lives.

Joe White says:

I’ve only just found your podcasts, TV show and emails. In fact, this is the first “Musings” I’ve received. I have been bingeing on the broadcasts, and the love you have for us, your audience, is so apparent, so clearly conveyed, it makes you and Rabbi Lapin remarkable.

Yes, expressing God’s truth, and observations and opinions based solidly on that truth, will alienate some who in my view most need to hear the truth.

I am a Christian, and believe that we are to speak the truth in love. I also believe that God’s Spirit is speaking to every person, reaching out in love to each of us.

It seems that many Americans have been so indoctrinated that at the moment, they cannot perceive the love from which you speak and write. That is very sad for all of us.

I would love to have some great wisdom to impart to you, but I don’t. You know you must be true to God. Love, His and believers’ is the only way we can bring at least less devisive-ness to America, and hopefully to the rest of the world. But tiptoeing too carefully amongst all the bleeding hearts won’t bring healing to them.

I have avoided making political comments on my personal Facebook and Twitter accounts. I have a Twitter account I use for political observations but I have mostly restrained myself there since late in last year’s primary season.

Maybe simply asking and trusting God to express Himself through is is the best course. I admit that far more often than not, I have difficulty filtering myself out.

I intended this to be an encouragement to you and Rabbi. As I said, your love for us is so easy to see, hear, and feel. Please continue to share your thoughts with us.

Susan Lapin says:

Welcome to ‘our crowd,’ Joe. We look forward to a strong relationship.

Eric says:

Please continue speaking your mind, I enjoy reading your viewpoint even when we disagree. I was a Trump supporter from the beginning and was disappointed that you weren’t, but you were fair and not abusive and I kept holding out hope that in the end you would vote for him.

I believe that we conservatives sometimes are too shy about expressing our beliefs and this leads the other side to think they can get away with really atrocious comments and behavior.

Susan Lapin says:

You and my husband, Eric! He too, was a Trump supporter from the beginning. I still have trouble with the President’s manner, but I have come to think that he matches our times. I have been enjoying following the news again since the inauguration.

Don Gher says:

Susan

When I read your Musings, I find it comforting to read a more laid-back writing style in a fast paced world. Yes, your Musings can have a political overtone, but you are consistent and respectful in your thought process. When I see people like Madonna and Naomi Judd in crazed, disrespectful meltdowns when they spoke during their recent Women’s March, I know I can turn to a soothing voice of feminine sanity in your work.

My Best to You and Daniel

Susan Lapin says:

So lovely each time we hear from you, Don. I am going to quote you on the “soothing voice of feminine sanity,” the next time my husband and I disagree.

Joe White says:

That should have read, ” trusting God to exprds Himself through us…”

Dianne Pickford says:

Dear Susan,
Only the ignorant and mislead readers will walk away. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” which includes watching Ancient Jewish Wisdom every morning and eagerly looking forward to reading Thought Tools and Susan’s Musings!! I pray for the mislead every day.
Dianne Pickford
Santa Rosa CA

Susan Lapin says:

We just scheduled a time to go tape new TV shows. We love hearing that people are watching.

Joe White says:

Lol, I’m typing on my phone, even.my correction is incorrect!

Susan Lapin says:

It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

Scott Turner says:

Keep on keeping on.

Susan Lapin says:

I am humbled by so much support.

Raymond Lane says:

Susan, I’m a conservative, independent, registered Republican (necessity), Tea Party, retired Christian pastor and Daniel has been my Rabbi for the Book from Genesis to Malachi for at least 25 years and your contributions to all my teaching from Matthew to Revelation have always brought in-depth understanding of our God. God has a word for us in Ps. 37:1 “Do not fret because of evil men…” Obama was/is a source of much of our nations divisiveness. He blew a great opportunity.
Shalom, Ray Lane

Susan Lapin says:

It really took me aback to hear that suggesting that President Obama made race relations worse was seen as an incendiary statement. I would really like to sit down over a cup of coffee and hear from someone who truly believes that he improved race relations in this country.

Deborah says:

Lol! Your coffee will get cold waiting! 😉

Shira D says:

Your musings are water in the desert. By reading your musings I am learning to speak more graciously about decisive issues. Your grace inspires me. A feminine, beautiful, educated, strong, religious, courageous and eloquent woman. You are just what women need to have as an example of the alternative to the nasty woman! “…for such a time as this…” Susan.

Susan Lapin says:

What an absolutely beautiful thing to say. Thank you.

Blessed Assurance says:

I say continue to share your writings people are sometimes can I say miserable and in that misery one little word gets them to take things personally. I admit I do sometimes go the race route but I found that to be poisonous to my system why? Because God didn’t make me to be poisonous to say I’m treated differently because of my race even though I almost got caught in that trap and tried to be offended at everything and say woa is me. You know what stopped me I was getting sick physically then I said God did not make me that way. God loves each of us there are many different nations some of us have more melanin than the other but we are all human beings in my opinion there are only two races male and female. And God has commanded us to pray for our rulers and if Obama was allowed to stay in office we would have a dictatorship not a democracy or republic. So those who are sad about him leaving are not looking at the big picture do not trust or put your faith in man just like people believing Trump will do better for Israel than Obama did. I just pray that they Israel will remember God and his instructions to them not to trust Egypt.

Susan Lapin says:

You are so correct in saying that we can feel in our bodies when we are reacting incorrectly to something. That’s often a clue to me that I need to work on myself.

Ellen Dimmitt says:

I love your musings, I hope you will continue. I have learned so much from you and your husband; I’m so grateful for your willingness to share your insights and wisdom. Looking forward to more!

Susan Lapin says:

I appreciate the encouragement as does my husband. We both have a need to teach and it is gratifying to know that we are reaching people.

Tara says:

Susan,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Those who are truly seeking to become closer to God tend to listen to everyone, evaluate what they hear, and then see what direction the information sends them.

I think many who don’t want to listen to an opposing view aren’t really interested in becoming closer to God. They want God to agree with them, they are not interested in agreeing with God, nor changing their view to be inline with God’s view.

Discussion, and listening to many ideas is a way for us to think deeply about where we are, and which direction we’re headed. It also enlarges our horizons and lets us begin to understand other Children of God.

Susan Lapin says:

What an interesting way of putting it. Since God is the truth, trying to get close to the truth is a way of getting close to God. In an imperfect world, that does mean being open to ideas that don’t naturally fit with our instincts.

Lynne Cohen says:

Susan, do not be bullied by bullies nor made insecure by the insecure. I myself have gone, over 20 years ago, from a crazy screaming illiberal liberal to a thoughtful, devout Jew with conservative values. Your husband knows who I am and I have profound respect for both of you and what you do. Never stop! It seems these days the “other side” knows no bounds. As a wonderful chazzan once told me when I was panicking, bend down and let the waves of trouble pass over your head. May your future days be filled with certainty and love.

Susan Lapin says:

Lynne, think back to your days when you were a “crazy, screaming liberal.” I bet you were still a pretty good person. I think most Americans of all political bents are which is why it’s frustrating to find that we can’t speak to each other. Thanks for your blessing.

Carolyn says:

Some of your musings appeal to me, some not so much. Some echo my thoughts, some do not. Some give me “ah ha! Me too!” moments, some do not. But I always look forward to reading your well thought out, honest, heart felt, and well written musings. For that I thank you. Please continue to express your honest thoughts, for I would not want to read only that which is an echo chamber of my own thoughts. May God give you His peace and strength. May God bless you and your family.

Susan Lapin says:

What a impoverished world we would live in if we only heard “that which is an echo” of our own thoughts. I’m afraid that describes too many college campuses today.

Evadne Smith says:

Dear Mrs. Lapin…….I am always blessed by your writings. The wisdom you impart is truly beneficial to me. Please don’t stop blessing me. When you speak, your words are wise, and you give instructions with kindness. Those of us who are for you are much more than those against you. Blessings.
Evadne Smith, Kingston, Jamaica.

Susan Lapin says:

We were in Kingston a few years ago – I’m sorry we didn’t meet.

Joe Christian says:

Susan, It sounds like you need an affirmation. You and your husband are doing a good thing with your life and ministry.
You have chosen to live a life that is generally parallel to but partially separate from the mainstream. The border between the two is the line drawn by your beliefs. You have given conscious thought to the way you live and the limits within which you will live, which is more than most people have done. Your writings reflect your insider/outsider life and therefore give the rest of us a chance to see events from a different point of view than we otherwise might.
You are concerned about the loss of some from your ministry. I believe that God, in His infinite wisdom, has given us many paths to find Him. For you, the path goes through the Jewish traditions. For me, it goes through the Christian traditions. We are both able to honor the path the other treads. If someone leaves the path you are lighting but finds another valid path, God will accept that. When one threatens to leave your path, offer to guide him/her toward another valid path.
You do good. You live with core beliefs. If you lose one you will gain two. Write without fear.

Susan Lapin says:

You phrased your thoughts very beautifully. Thank you.

Mary says:

I think God is separating the sheep from the goats, obvious for all to see. Who follows Biblical principles and who does not? You do. Thank-you.

Susan Lapin says:

Well, I try.

James says:

You are right that a genuine center of spiritual guidance, like your Synagogue, cannot simply ignore or turn a blind eye to evil. Yet we must in turn understand and forgive a populace first cajoled, deadened, anesthetized and then reprogrammed by a mainstream media turned a source not of genuine news, but a malignant well of ‘narrative’ and propaganda every bit as slanted and vile as Pravda and Izvestiya in the old Soviet Union (Generation X: ‘What’s a Soviet Union?’). Their job is no longer to report the events of the day objectively, but to enculturate the populace in how to think and what to believe: ‘women’s rights, racism, bigotry, equality, LGBTV-SQRZPTQ acronyms galore, five optional genders’ or whatever. Their docile and gullible audience has been gradually weaned off all semblance of ‘critical thinking.’

The liberal-Progressive concept of ‘freedom of speech’ is that Progressives themselves are free to say anything they please, to malign, insult or denounce anyone or anything they please; however you as an opponent have no right to oppose them or even to disagree with them. Disagree with them and they will call you a pack of ugly epithets, ignore your facts, inform their Thought Police against you, or they may spit at you or even want you dead, as their Masters carefully trained them. But we must not acquiesce to a little name-calling. When labeled with an ugly name, we must consider the source and defend ourselves with reason, like ‘Big Joe’ at the Los Angeles Women’s March: his video is going ‘viral’ on social media, warning the Women Marchers to cease knee-jerk emotional responses and awaken their brains to the perils of encroaching socialism. But people of faith SHOULD involve themselves in politics, even if their churches seem to turn a blind eye.

Having subscribed for over six years, should my nose get out of joint from an occasional Musing (unlikely), I will not unsubscribe from such a vital outpouring of spiritual knowledge as applied to practical worldly affairs. One droll word of consolation about ‘unsubscribing:’ of all the outraged celebrities who vented their spleen by solemnly swearing that they would ‘unsubscribe’ from the nation if / when Mr. Trump was elected: HOW MANY have actually left? Tee hee hee. I rest my case.

Susan Lapin says:

As always, your comment is well worth reading.

James says:

Your humble servant and friend, of course! I love you guys!

M. Randall says:

I believe it was Neil Boortz who said, “No one can offend you without your permission.” So many take immediate offense to a differing viewpoint primarily because they have not carefully thought thru their own. The best defense in their mind is to choose to be offended. One of my regular prayers is to have the strength to listen and not be offended.

Susan Lapin says:

I believe that quote Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I think our educational system has devalued thinking, period.

Jerrie Kelly says:

Please keep writing. You’re a blessing to a great many of us and we need to be reminded that when all is said and done the most important thing is God and His Word! That’s what we are to live our lives by. Thanks for all you and your husband do!

Susan Lapin says:

Your words are much appreciated, Jerrie.

Thomas Hammett says:

Just remember that when people reject God’s message, they are actually rejecting Him, not His messenger. There will be future repercussions for the rejectors, but their blood won’t be on the faithful messenger’s hands.

Thomas Hammett
Sonora, Kentucky

Susan Lapin says:

I try to make my decisions through a Godly prism, but I certainly can’t say that I always give God’s message. That’s one of the reasons feedback is so important. I don’t want to only hear from people who agree with me. But cutting off contact or expressing only anger and hurt without explanation isn’t feedback that is helpful.

Peter Mojassamian says:

Am I limiting that connection by my writing?
Not at all!!!
Though I am not Jewish, I have been acquiring Jewish mindset, especially lately. I also started learning Hebrew, though it’s going somewhat slowly.
Two sources of input created such a hunger in me to learn to read Hebrew:
Rabbi Daniel Lapin and attending a Jewish Messianic Congregation.
All this to say that the Truth will win. There is a battle, but Heaven Rules (Daniel).
You are not alone at all. As the Torah show, there’s alway a remnant far larger that one can see – read Elijah and the 7000.
Your light disturbs the darkness, so if you extinguish your light, you’ll be contributing to it, but if you keep the light going forward, darkness is impotent to stop it.
Please continue.
I enjoy reading your Musings.

Susan Lapin says:

I think many people found their voice this election, and that is one of the reasons the Left has to keep repeating that the only reason to oppose Mrs. Clinton or to support Mr. Trump was hatred. They are terrified that voters they assume they have a lock hold on might actually pay attention and make independent judgments.

Chad says:

A lighthouse is most useful during a storm. It’s light is what keeps the ships from running aground even as the storms and seas batter it. Keep shining your light. It’s appreciated by those of us who want to stay on course during these stormy times.

Susan Lapin says:

Well, if you’re going to use boating metaphors, you know you have our attention!

George says:

If not you, who. Embrace the season you are in. As i read the accounts of the Godly woman in the scriptures….they all pointed to God in whatever context they were in. Keep at it!

Susan Lapin says:

I think you are right. There are seasons where staying quiet is the most appropriate thing to do and other times when that is absolutely the wrong thing.

dee says:

You are gifted . Your musings are a delight to the eyes and the soul…..so pick up that pen and write….!

Susan Lapin says:

Aww. I’m touched. Thank you.

Joyce Redos says:

Dear Susan,
Through your musings deep speaks to deep and over the last year or so that I have been reading and occasionally dialoguing, you have become the best kind of friend (even though we have never met) – that is one who speaks truth in clarity but with gentleness of spirit. Your “voice” is a gift from HaShem. It would be a great sadness to most of your auditors if you silenced it. I know it is selfish of me, but I hope you will keep speaking what HaShem puts in your heart to speak. Blessings to you and all your family.

Susan Lapin says:

There is an saying in ancient Jewish wisdom that words that come from the heart go into the heart. So, yes, I think we are friends.

Kathy Venters says:

Susan,
You are not responsible for those who choose to alienate themselves from the truth. Anyone responding with a hateful backlash to the thoughtful things you write are using bullying tactics to silence the truth that is convicting them. Please keep doing what you do so well!

Kathy

Susan Lapin says:

I’m less concerned with hateful backlash as with wounded retreat. When I imply or say that President Obama had great failings as president and someone hears, “You don’t like me because I’m Black,” that tells me that a wounded person speaking and I am causing them pain.

Mark Frantzen says:

Hello Susan:

Some time ago my wife and I were on a flight to Calgary. Sitting next to us was a young Muslim lady, a student at the university of Victoria. We got to talking and found both she and us shared a love for God. She shared her desire to find a Godly husband and raise their children in a godly home.

I did not think it important at the time to define our love for God theologically. Neither did I think it necessary to mention that our love of God stemmed from the fact we were Christians. Sometimes it is enough to just rejoice in the fact that God loves us and that we are His special creation. In fact we had a very special time of fellowship. At times I still pray for this young lady. My conclusion was this: mankind, should be able to agree that God is love. There simply is no other possibility. Anything less is, and must be, a contradiction of our understanding of God. Does the scripture not say to love God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your strength? If one truly loves God with one’s heart there is no place for discord, or worse, hatred. Our love for God binds us with greater strength than differences of opinion that would divide us. If someone feels offended by an opinion you expressed to the point that they “will no longer read anything you write…” I can only conclude they love religion but not God.

On a more practical note, and expressing an opinion is anathema to many people, many years ago I decided to stop voting. My reason, in part, is that both the left and the right, with minor variations, follow the same path anyways. Besides, I believe that ultimately God motivates people to vote for the leader He has chosen to accomplish His purposes. I benefit because it has freed me from political partisanship. My persuasion and thinking are conservative, but I really don’t care who people vote or cheer for. My vote is for God. Besides, He is the only One who promises eternal life.

Keep up the good work and God bless you Susan.

mark in Victoria, BC

Susan Lapin says:

While there is much to what you say, we humans have a tendency to create God in our image and then use Him to support very unGodly behavior. So, I do think we need to define what God we are following. As for not voting, I see it as a sacred trust. Of course, God is in control of the final decision, but He gives us free will to decide much of what happens.

Susan Parker says:

Susan, allow me ro add my encouragement. In sharing God’s word, spiritual truth, eternal values…you are bound to anger some who are hiding from it. From God. And today, the popular response to disagreeing with someone is to name-call and reject. But what is your alternative? To hide your light under a bushel. You know that’s no kind or answer! You’d be miserable, your voice would be gone from the public forum, and God’s truth would be silenced just a little more. Please keep doing what you are doing. God will take care of the fallout from it. Rock on! <3

Susan Lapin says:

Yes, ma’am! I would be terribly sad at stopping to write. I am truly touched by how many of you are writing.

Dee says:

Dearest Susan (and Dr Lapin),

It’s late, and I have to get up early, so I have to make this brief…

Please ignore the haters!!
They have been unleashed amongst us during this most unusual election cycle. I am a Christian, Black, first-gen American female, born and bred New Yorker. I love you both so much, and have shared your teaching materials with (non-religious) Jewish friends who subsequently returned to the faith of their fathers because of YOU. Don’t ever ever stop what you are doing…I have haters on all sides, even other Black Christians who hate me because I’m Conservative, voted Bush, voted Trump, NEVER liked BHO, etc. I have a few haters in my own family (all of whom are liberal Democrats, as I once was). Growing up, I was hated and assaulted by fellow members of the Black community because my (legal) immigrant parents insisted that I speak proper English at all times, among other things that were deemed as ‘not being Black enough’. I’ve met with ill-will throughout my career as a medical professional and researcher. LGBT folks on the job try to be as offensive as possible, hoping to get a rise. I act as if nothing happened, and I keep going (even though my soul is crying out on the inside). I try to remember to pray for these people… but most importantly, God blesses me always, in spite of the hate. And more than once, I have had to help the very people who hated me, when they got into trouble financially, emotionally, spiritually and otherwise.

Susan, you treat everyone who posts here with so much dignity and respect – much more than some of them deserve. Go on girl – keep doing what you are doing – God gave you this platform, and your beautiful voice, for a reason!! You have only to answer to Him for how you use it.

God Bless You Both Always!!

Dee

Susan Lapin says:

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Dee. My biggest concern is that I know our writings, TV show, appearances etc. attract many Black followers. I would truly hate to alienate any of these wonderful people, many of whom we meet in person as we travel.

Dee says:

My Darlings, if they love God, they will love you! If they don’t yet know God, and are honestly seeking, they will be introduced through you. Some people live to be ‘alienated’; they are not your crew, not your audience. I hope that the outpouring of love and support you’ve received with this post will convince you to continue to minister to those looking to you for a word of wisdom from God each day. Pray for the others, as I try to remember to do, but don’t let ‘haters’ sap the time and energy you need for those whom God has given you! You know the difference between someone seeking honest dialogue, and someone who just hates (read People of the Lie, eye-opening!!).

Love and Hugs to you Both!!

Susan Lapin says:

And back at you, Dee!

Janis McElhaney says:

Love reading “musings”. I have learned so much from you and your husband Rabbi Daniel. Where better to learn biblical scripture meanings and truth? Looking forward to your next writings.

Susan Lapin says:

I am so encouraged to keep writing by the responses I’m reading.

Kindra Gibson says:

I firmly believe that God would want us to stand up for what we believe in our everyday life. If Gods principles and laws govern our lives how can we not express ourselves to other’s about what we believe. God gave us passion and compassion and love to share with everyone. If people are bashing you because of your beliefs remember how many times Moses was opposed by the people of Israel and he saw God face to face. Don’t lose heart pray to God for his strength to persevere in this hard situation help is on the way don’t lose hope in God.

Susan Lapin says:

I do pray that God opens all our eyes to the true path on which He wants us to walk.

Fredrick says:

Cheese-Louise…..don’t every stop sharing your thoughts Susan! For years we’ve been listening/reading, and if you and your hubby weren’t around….we’d feel…..well a lot more lonely than we already do. We attend a Conservative shul, have been in two for the past 10 years, and we simply have to keep our mouths shut about anything that’s Conservative-Biblical OR Conservative-Political. Just a fact. Many of our friends outside of the synagogue are more Conservative…but the number of them are still few. It’s gotten ugly, and it ain’t because of people like you girl! Seriously, keep helping out and going forward. We need thinkers, who aren’t simply feelings-driven folks. I thank God for what your family has shared, and want more. Indeed! B’ezrat HaShem!!

Susan Lapin says:

You stay strong! Being in a synagogue where you can’t share your convictions has to be very lonely and frustrating. It would be mind-boggling how wrong most of the Jewish “community” is if we didn’t see exactly the same thing throughout the Bible. Well, it still is mind-boggling.

Melma says:

Please continue sharing your inspired thoughts. Only those who choose to be close minded will be offended. An open mind stems from an open heart. When we open our hearts to God we are able to discern the message.
Your thoughts bring insight and wisdom you lovingly share. God has blessed you with the opportunity to educate, amuse, and inspire us. Thanks for sharing!

Susan Lapin says:

I am frequently awed by how I ended up in such a public position. It is a special opportunity.

Mary says:

Dear Susan, please, please, keep writing. I sat here with a mind full of words to give to you and minutes ticked by, I wrote, deleted and wrote again and found myself to be speechless. That is so strange to me as I never had difficulty in that way before. Fear and doubt along with a confusing jumble of emotions removed from me every word even though I wanted to write them! I understand what you are expressing in this musing. Remember, writing is a gift and sharing it is a blessing. Your writing is a breath of fresh air.

Susan Lapin says:

I think I hear what you wrote, deleted and couldn’t articulate. Thank you.

Michael Overstreet says:

Susan share away, just as the word of G-d is available to all those who seek it, your perspective is welcomed and appreciated. Be well and all the best.

Susan Lapin says:

After the Musing was posted, I did have a momentary fear of, “What if people overwhelmingly tell me I should stop writing?” It’s a big relief to hear from people like you.

Tracy says:

Dear Susan,
I appreciate your musings and really enjoy watching you and Rabbi Lapin on TCT. Please continue to give your understanding of the Bible and share your insight with us. I take every teaching with “a grain of salt” and if I’m in disagreement or confused about it, I pray and seek wisdom from the LORD as to whether I should allow this thought to germinate in my mind. The enemy of our souls is truly working to bring division in this day and I must constantly remind myself to walk in love. I pray you and your family are greatly blessed in this new year.
Sincerely,
Tracy

Susan Lapin says:

It’s always such a treat for us to hear from TCT viewers. Thank you.

John says:

here is one Brit who values your thoughtful and insightful writings. Coming from another culture (which has most of the failings that you write about when speaking of your own culture) I sometimes do not agree with you or maybe do not fully understand the reasons for your points. However, my ignorance is not of value here; do keep writing

Susan Lapin says:

John, do you read Theodore Dalrymple? He writes about the British ‘underclass’ and I think Americans would do well to read him. They are mostly white, have been ‘nurtured’ by the government for years and share pathologies that too many in America think are related to race.

bob aronson says:

as for me, i have always believeed yours and your husband’s eyes are looking up to Him 24/7 and so God’s voice consequently speaking through you…. it is written in Isaiah that His thoughts are not our thoughts, but i hear His voice/thoughts through yours and your husband’s voice/thoughts….. receiving a Thought Tools is always the highlight of my day!

Susan Lapin says:

That is quite something you are giving us to live up to, Bob.

Lynn Perrizo says:

Susan,
Whew! There were 130 comments to this weeks musing when I checked in this morning to read your words of wisdom. You must be exhausted reading all those! That alone should help you to understand that there is, I believe, enough readers for you to continue!
I haven’t been on Facebook for several years. I found I didn’t like who I was becoming in responding to people who disliked what I said due to political correctness. I’ve heard for years that we should never talk about politics or religion in public. I’ve always disagreed because one affects our lives here in this world and the other in the next! But there are so many who don’t want to see or hear anything different from their own views. Closed minds. That’s why there are now safe spaces on college campuses! Those young people will never learn how to form their own opinion on anything, which is very sad.
I believe the majority of those who faithfully read your musings and the teaching from the Rabbi, do so because we glean wisdom or clairify our own thoughts, or ponder new ones. I can only speak for myself but I hope I’m able to continue to check in each week and ponder your words. Blessings!

Susan Lapin says:

Half the comments are my replies, Lynn, but you are right that the Musing triggered an avalanche of response. For which I am grateful and there are some names I pick out, like yours, that seem like old friends because you regularly comment.

John McNamara says:

Hi Susan
When you share your thoughts, your logic, you teach others. Not to think what you think, but a thought process to follow that is based in Biblical teachings. Even those who are offended by your writings are impacted in the process, eventually for the better.
Please keep sharing.
John

Susan Lapin says:

John, while I write, I often impact myself. Putting down my thoughts forces me to organize and test them.

Elise Green says:

Susan, I always look forward to reading your post. I have gained so much knowledge and hopefully wisdom. You are a treasure and I appreciate your sharing. Carry on!

Susan Lapin says:

I am going to carry on, Elise. I am feeling very loved reading these posts.

Elise Green says:

You are loved and a breath of fresh air!

Susan Lapin says:

What a lovely way to go into Shabbat, Elise.

Al May says:

As a massage therapist I struggle with the same issue. I help people with physical and emotional issues connected to the body. With liberal and conservative clients my aim is to help them resolve those issues. Much political anger is based in personal hurt. In my opinion when our deeply personal wounds are healed or are being healed all our relationships are put in proper perceptive and we treat others with respect. That said, sometimes I just want to shout, “Are you really that stupid!” Susan, thank you for your openness. It is refreshing.

Susan Lapin says:

You really get to see how what we put in our minds and hearts affects our bodies, Al. It would be most helpful if we would recognize our wounds so that we could heal instead of lashing out at those who touch too closely to where we are hurting.

Lisa Beausay says:

Was there ever a popular prophet? Truth is what people need to hear. What they want to hear is something very different.

Susan Lapin says:

But as any parent or teacher knows, Lisa, you can say things in ways that are more likely to be heard. I strive for that which is why I was so shocked to hear how upset people were at my words.

April Pinger says:

I enjoy your comments and will continue to read them. Yes, we should seek to listen to each other. However there is a certain ego associated with liberal thought that precludes being open to differing opinion. I recently pointed out the difference between Democrat and Republican Political Committeemen is that Democrat PCs can be released at the will of the chairman whereas Republican PCs cannot. This prevents Democrat PCs from having differing opinions. The response I received reprimanded me for not being accepting of others opinions and ways of doing things. The irony of his comment was completely lost on him, having no ability himself to acknowledge a view other than the one he had formulated.

Susan Lapin says:

I wasn’t aware of the distinction in PCs, April. I do think it is absurd that candidates like Mrs. Clinton have to profess support for partial birth abortion, which is such an extreme that almost no one supports it, in order to be crowned. There is a huge difference in the obeisance required in the two parties.

Marilyn says:

Dear Susan
I admire you and l think you are one hard working woman!
I, too, have experienced some of what you have in regard to people disconnecting because l did not support the Democratic Party.
It is troubling that some folks can not discuss differences of opinion without having a meltdown.
I personally have avoided political comments due to people’s heads exploding with anger. Yikes!
I will continue to be a “fan”
of your musings and of “Ancient Jewish Wisdom.”
(BTW…l love your new haircut and color. Very flattering!)
Best regards from North Georgia.

Susan Lapin says:

Marilyn, you’re the first one to comment on my shorter cut and the darker color. Thanks! I think the avoidance of political comments is why so many were so shocked at this election. They thought bullying people into being quiet was the same as convincing them to agree with you.

Bill Duncan says:

Keep up the good work you and your husband are doing, in Scotland we don’t hear enough of what you stand for.
Love
Bill

Susan Lapin says:

How fun to hear we have readers/viewers in Scotland, Bill.

William Black says:

If you stop sharing your thoughts and opinions, I’ll have nothing more to do with you! 😉

Susan Lapin says:

Now, that’s a threat that gives me pause.

Kirsten Van Ooyen says:

“Never give up, never surrender.”

God speed to you and your entire precious family. I consider you all national treasures.

Susan Lapin says:

Does this mean you do want to see pictures of the grandchildren, Kirsten? (My husband has a running joke on our TV show that I’m going to whip out pictures.)

Nancy says:

Nice. I recently thought,”I wish that more readers would comment,” and WOW, look here! In my final week of a public speaking course and my final assignment is on the topic of Feminism in regard to the delineation thereof so-called “true” feminists, with special mention to those alienated for holding to dissenting views. So much for the argument of a woman’s right to her own body if she is afforded none to her own mind, eh?
The Book of Solomon 8:9 speaks of our little sister saying, “If she is a wall, We will build on her a battlement of silver; But if she is a door, We will barricade her with planks of cedar.” It seems to me, form these responses, you are well fortified. May you stand solid, always.

Susan Lapin says:

I know, Nancy – isn’t this response amazing.

Jean says:

Hello Susan
Please do continue writing. I believe that when some people use the term “controversial” what they are really saying is, “I know you’re right, and that makes me really uncomfortable because I’ve been saying just the opposite for so many years I started to believe it.” When the Emperor discovered he was naked, he wasn’t comfortable either. And he probably denounced the first person who pointed out the obvious to him. But he was much more careful to put on real clothing rather than imaginary garments after that.

Susan Lapin says:

Jean, you are right that a lot of us have been thinking “The Emperor’s New Clothes” as we’ve watched academia and the media make absurd claims that we were supposed to treat as brilliance.

Dear Susan,
I read your musing to my wife last night and we had a great conversation about the current culture’s unwillingness to listen to challenging view points. This is one of many conversations we have had surrounding ideas conveyed in your musings. Thank you for them.

Your writing is very helpful and needed, especially during this cultural narrative that says if you disagree there can be no connection. Those that disengage because they disagree with your point of view are not interested in debate over the issue, conversations from both view points, etc. They only wish to hear you validate how they already think. In my view at least, this means they will not learn anything from you or anybody else that has an opinion differing from their own. They cower in fear at anything that might challenge their current thoughts on life.

Please keep writing!
Thank you,
John

Susan Lapin says:

Thank you, John. I’m delighted to spark conversation between you and your wife.

Barney says:

We continue to pray for those that disrupt or try to disrupt. To them the disruptions are ways to the means to forge silence, cast self doubt and cause furrowing of the brow. The way I deal with it is to kick the dust from my shoes, turn my back, seek other that are open minded.

Susan Lapin says:

I think the election results are going to force many people to listen to views they had assumed they had forbidden to ever be discussed again.

Rebecca Hullinger says:

Thank you so much! I was so happy that I stumbled upon Ancient Jewish Wisdom. You and your husband have shown me things that I never knew was there. We miss out on so much by not knowing the whole story. You and the Rabbi have even made all of the begets interesting. Keep up the good work!

Susan Lapin says:

Thanks, Rebecca. We are hoping to increase our output in this coming year.

Dimo says:

Dear Susan,
The politicians are coming and going. With them are goes their ideas.
But the Word of God last forever.
Have peace.
Dimo

Susan Lapin says:

I can’t argue with that, Dimo.

I agree with William! Also, no one can follow everyone all the time. I have had to limit some of my “following” for time and sanity. I stop following (but do not unfriend) those who only tell me things like when they brush their teeth and those who only want to play the debate “game”. The topic does not matter as long as they can “win” the debate by any means.

Kristy says:

Dear Susan, I was so sad to read your latest musing. I LOVE when your musing comes to my in box. Please don’t stop writing and sharing . My favorite musings are when you give us a peek into your family life, but I enjoy them all! I am not a Facebook, Twitter, or any social media person; but if I can gather the courage sometimes I will post here. Thank you Susan and Rabbi. You have been a blessing to our family for the last 6 years. Kristy

Susan Lapin says:

I’m never quite sure how many people enjoy the more personal Musings, Kristy, so I appreciate hearing that you do.

Jerry T says:

Mrs. Lapin,

Just you asking our opinion on the matter leaves me with the impression that yours is a kind and tender disposition. I take it you are a first class lady and care very much about the feelings of others. It angers me a bit when I consider the hateful invectives people have hurled your way.

I would like to encourage you to continue to write what you think and feel without fear or favor. No matter where one stands in life, he is bound to offend someone.

Mark Twain wrote, “Homely truth is unpalatable.” These people who are complaining just don’t like the taste of the medicine they so desperately need. You can’t make them swallow it but that certainly is not your fault. At least you tried to help them.

There is another side to your consternation of alienating people and driving them from your ministry. What of the fertile minds needing the seeds of wisdom that you sow in your writing? A convert may not be made if you don’t speak ‘controversially.” It is often that thinkers like you and your husband articulate what people are feeling. You are making people’s inner convictions intellectually tangible.

Our recent election revealed that there is a strong core of individuals craving straight talk and unequivocal convictions. You may lose some but I believe you’ll gain more by speaking plainly. It will resonate. And let me say this: If you don’t offend them in your Musings, Rabbi Lapin surely will in his Podcasts! 🙂 It is primarily because of the Rabbi’s clarity and strong opinions that I continue to listen to and buy his products.

Keep up the great work!

Susan Lapin says:

Funny you should mention the podcasts, Jerry. We did wonder the same thing about them. Thank you for your supportive words.

Adriana Mandon says:

Dear Susan, I moved to America twenty years ago, and I never thought that I will witness this state of current affairs. You want to believe that freedom still exist in the US, that still the country honor the second amendment, that still we can learn from our mistakes and have some kind of self-criticism or/and follow up in our actions. I live in California so I am constantly reminded how my values are out of place, I fighting a war of one, try to counter the non-sense progressive agenda, and I will not stop because a nation needs to wings to fly stabled. What is the side effect of this (sadly it shouldn’t be) what I call a healthy dissent? I almost don’t have friends left, and in Facebook .as an acquaintance explained to me-It isn’t that I don’t like you, but my friends in FB are asking me who are you- I was thunderstruck, I didn’t know what to say. I became a pest that I poison not only my “friends” but their friends. I dare to challenge their beliefs with facts and common sense. Many times I wonder, it is worthy? Yes, yes, yes. We must to live in truth or not live at all, and it isn’t that I am a narrow minded and I don’t listen to others, quite the opposite I listen to them very carefully, because still part of me doesn’t want to accept that this is happening, The women pro-choice march is was a shame for all of the rest of us “normal” women but this march is just a sign of the state of the American society as a whole, to be pro-choice is actually don’t have a choice at all, who did convince these women that this position is in their best interest? But what about the behavior of the liberals with the results, it should be hilarious if it shouldn’t be so sad. They don’t understand, still that Obama administration gave us Trump, that the liberals and the DP gave as Trump pushing their extremist agendas and making us a favor actually because people woke up of their slander. I like you were not fun of his antics and personality but he is our president because of a reason, I couldn’t vote for Hillary in a one million years, being Catholic, she stands for everything I am not.
No Susan, don’t stop expressing your thoughts, and you are very kind, you aren’t an extremist, we need people that stand strong and with conviction, women with convictions, we need that more than ever.
Now I will share a strategy I learned to use mainly because I still wanted to be able to express myself, so now I speak with the same language, I use the same words that the progressive use, I talk about feelings, about to be “hurt” when I see the babies parts, and because I am in a fantastic position of being “an immigrant” and have “accent” when I speak (sad for Americans) they listen because I can accused them to be “racists” and “bigots”, so yes, they listen, but when they understand the message is too late, because it isn’t what they expect. I never make fun of anybody who dissent, actually I love the challenge but this last year it had been crazy as never in America, so the opposition grew bigger and better and instinctly reject the left and because the left is mainly secular they cannot understand where the blow came from, that and because they are very arrogant. This is not ending here, they are and will fight back with everything they have but I hope they continue doing what they have been doing these last years, it looks like way, but we have to be watching closely, be humble and speak up always to denounce all the bad that lead us to poor results and ruining human lives, God has blessed America, He is with America, since the election cycle started we created a group of prayers warriors, 5 million Catholics. each month, praying the rosary for the US. In history many battles has been won by prayer, but of course I don’t pretend that liberals would be able to understand that. People who love God must stick together because this is a battle, nothing new under the sun.
Susan I admire you and continue in peace with your ministry, if we shut up, they win. The world is still standing because of the good that exists (the Media doesn’t cover the good) we never forget that.

Susan Lapin says:

What a powerful commentary, Adriana. We often speak to taxi drivers who are immigrants and they routinely are escaping exactly what they see the American Left trying to turn America into. Your voice is an important one. Thank you.

Kathy says:

Susan, I eagerly await your weekly musings; your clarity of thought helps me to think through murky arguments I see so many other places. I hope you see fit to continue to share your life and thoughts with us; the cracks you make in the status quo when you share…well, that’s how the light gets in.

Susan Lapin says:

Thank you, Kathy. I feel tremendously supported by all the comments and am busy writing.

Warren Berstler says:

Dear Susan (& Daniel): After discovering my Jewish Roots while working in a Christian Bookstore, which had a Messianic section; our little group started studying Torah, listening to several of Daniel’s teachings on CD and so forth. I actually purchased the entire set of Books & CD’s several years back and still read & listen to them again…and again. But since moving to Germany in 2015, I have not been able to purchase any new material due to shipping regulations. ( Something that needs to be worked on.)

Nevertheless, I find your weekly Musings, Daniel’s “Ask the Rabbi” and podcasts very inspiring and uplifting. God’s Word never changes and will not change. We do however, live in a ever changing world that needs to turn back to God and whether of Christian or Jewish faith, we need to stand together, in God as our Father, to face these changes and to stand firm in the Word. Understanding His Word from a Jewish perspective has taught me to be not only a better believer, but a better person.

I hope that you and Daniel will continue to share & teach “those who have an ear” the Truth that we need today, in a world full untruth. Yes, everybody needs a Rabbi. Unfortunately, the world has too much media that dictates otherwise. Please keep up the wonderful work you are doing and may God richly bless you and Daniel as you do.

Warren

Susan Lapin says:

We’re glad you stayed with us through your move, Warren. International shipping is something we have tried and pulled back from – it was impossible to consistently be fair in setting a shipping price and so many countries had unique issues. Sorry – but most of the books are available on Kindle or Nook and the CDs as downloads.

Lora says:

You make your decisions the best way you can, and God bless your efforts. Life changes, and we often must move into new places, or we make the old place work for the best. No matter what, you have done great good. For me. For my girls. Outward from there. Thank you.

Susan Lapin says:

It has been so much fun this week hearing from readers. More than made up for the frustration last week. Thanks.

Dear Mrs. Lapin you’re thoughts emanate through the prism of your faith and trust in God who is true and unchanging, pure and righteous. Those who would balk at your comments and react in such a manner are being moved by a force which is in diametric opposition, not to you but to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Remain steadfast, don’t be moved by the attacks of those whose minds have been corrupted by a dark outside influence. My spouse and I enjoy reading your musings and hope that you are not going to be swayed by the comments of such negative critics.

Susan Lapin says:

As you can see, I received an outpouring of support and good advice. I hope to have a new Musing up later today. Onwards and upwards!

Ted says:

You are honest, without hidden agenda in deception (Taqiyya) and you are open to the fact there may be some misconception which can be questioned. Keep up the great work.

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