July 2010

Believe It or Not

    “What do you do for a living?” asked my seatmate on the flight to Dallas. “Well,” I responded, “My wife and I create unique and terrific products that make ancient Jewish wisdom accessible and useful to everyone. How about you?”   He answered, “I’m an accountant and I can’t wait to retire.”  I […]

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One Can’t Be Undone

Earlier this month one more article extolling smaller families hit the newsstands – it was titled, “One and Done.” It claimed that the notion of the only child being spoiled and maladjusted was unsubstantiated; just a deeply held myth. While conceding possible societal and individual costs if one child families became prevalent, the author argued

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Feud for Thought

One of my most important rabbinic roles during the years I was privileged to lead the Pacific Jewish Center in Los Angeles was peacemaker.  In order to preserve communal harmony it fell to me to mediate between parties in dispute.  Often these arguments were between husbands and wives and I felt special spiritual satisfaction at

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With Charity for All? Not Exactly

  Economists and politicians can debate whether extending unemployment benefits is a needed crutch in hard times or whether doing so discourages too many people from searching wholeheartedly for work. Society, though, might gain from a different approach. It is an approach that I believe the author of the words, “with malice toward none; with

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How Do You Spell Greatness?

  My brother, David, regularly gets letters and emails intended for me. And I frequently find myself introduced as Rabbi David Lapin. For some reason, the name David sticks in people’s minds more than the name Daniel.  For a while I got so tired of being called David that I considered going to court to

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Eat + Speak = Persuade

Courting couples often dine together in romantic, candlelit restaurants.  But almost everyone who has become acquainted with a potential partner over a meal knows that the food is of secondary importance compared to the conversation.  It is through speech that men and women gain an impression of each other’s personality. Fascinatingly, studies show that early

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Split Opinion

  Well. You certainly had a lot to say!  When I wrote about 16 year old Abby Sunderland’s solo boat trip, I didn’t realize how passionately many of you felt on the subject – and how your opinions would fall on both sides of the issue. Assuming that Abby’s parents were loving and conscientious, I

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