Monthly Archives: September, 2018

Encounter with a liberal-leaning neighbor

September 28th, 2018 Posted by On Our Mind 8 comments

We have a neighbor with whom we have a congenial relationship. We exchange greetings when we pass and keep an eye on each other’s apartments.

We don’t know this neighbor’s politics, but if we had to guess my husband and I would assume that she swings left. The day after the Kavanaugh hearings we met her outside our building. “Hi. How’re you doing?,” was our admittedly perfunctory greeting. That unleashed a floodgate.

“I am so upset,” she said. “That’s why I’m pacing up and down here. I was in tears yesterday.” Without exchanging a word, my husband and I telepathically exchanged thoughts: What do we do now? If she starts ranting about how awful Republicans were not to believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, do we let her know our views on the matter or do we just get out of this conversation?

She continued. “I have been a victim of sexual abuse and I know when a woman is lying. I can’t believe the way they have tried to destroy a good man.” Our neighbor then said that she is a supporter of Planned Parenthood and, although an Independent, has often voted for Democrats. “I will not vote for a Democrat again and I am praying that Judge Kavanaugh gets on the Supreme Court.”

How many unreported tales like this are there around the country today?

Pray for America

September 28th, 2018 Posted by AAJC Happenings, On Our Mind 1 comment

The Senate Kavanaugh hearings, ostensibly to seek justice, were a disgrace for America. Pray that God turns it into an opportunity for people to see how corrosive hatred is and how fragile is the veneer of civilization. We need a reformation.

Burying Justice

September 27th, 2018 Posted by Susan's Musings 49 comments

I have a number of draft Musings on my desktop that I’ve started but not yet completed.  I am having trouble finishing them.   Some are frustrated and angry; others seek a glimmer of hope. I am leaving them for another time. You see, they are all predicated on seeing a future for the United States of America.  But today, I feel like I am attending her funeral. 

I hope and pray that tomorrow America rises from her knees.  Tomorrow I hope I shall see where and how I can fight and help us move forward, but today I am in mourning.  That is awkward, as right now I am in the midst of celebrating the Festival of Tabernacles/Sukkot, known as “The Time of Our Happiness.” It is the most joyous of the Jewish festivals and a rather demanding God insists that we celebrate it in happiness. 

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Am I cheating people?

September 26th, 2018 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 4 comments

I love your services and have been reading your book, Business Secrets from the Bible

I am with a developer who sells overpriced  property. He tells me to go and see the people in the home and get them to like you first, then sell the property.

Whenever I say anything about it (I have mentioned it many times), the answer back I get is that I don’t believe in the product.

Three months later and only two properties sold from 34.

I’m struggling to know what is right as far as morally goes to my fellow man and right to my boss who unfortunately is my older brother.

Your advice would be much appreciated.

Dino

Dear Dino,

Your question reminded us of a story our good friend, Zig Ziglar, used to tell. He was overseeing a group of salesmen who were selling a rather expensive set of kitchen cookware. Despite having an explanation as to why the pots were a worthwhile investment and merited the high price, the salesmen were notoriously unsuccessful.

One day, Zig asked which of them owned the pots they were selling. When no one raised a hand, he told them that evidently they did not believe what they were telling their potential customers. If they thought that the pots were truly an important and justified purchase, they would have bought a set themselves.

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Merry or Macabre?

September 25th, 2018 Posted by Thought Tools 16 comments

We are in the midst of Sukot, known in English as the Feast of Tabernacles. Weather permitting (easier in Israel than in many other locations), observant Jews spend as much time as possible in their Sukot, or outdoor booths, based on this verse:

In Sukot you shall live for seven days…so that your generations will know that in Sukot
I sat the children of Israel when I took them out of the land of Egypt,
I am the Lord your God.
(Leviticus 23:42-43)

This holyday is uniquely characterized as “the time of our joy” on account of the following verses:

…and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.
(Leviticus 23:40)

You shall make the holyday of Sukot for seven days…
And you shall rejoice in your holyday…
(Deuteronomy 16:13-14)

In another of those puzzling paradoxes we so frequently encounter in our Biblical studies and whose resolution inevitably leads to one more blinding truth about how the world REALLY works, we find death surrounding the holyday called “Time of our Joy.”  Death and joy?  Really?

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The Daggers are Unsheathed

September 20th, 2018 Posted by Susan's Musings 46 comments

On November, 29, 1981, my husband and I were sleeping on our sailboat, anchored  in Avalon Bay on Catalina Island. On that night, as we slumbered, we were just a few hundred yards from where Natalie Wood drowned under suspicious circumstances. The next morning, when we emerged on deck with our coffee, the tranquility of the bay was disturbed by a small fleet of police vessels.

About a year earlier on December 8, 1980, we were dining with friends at a restaurant in Manhattan when word arrived that only a few blocks away, John Lennon had been murdered. In other words, I was close to the scenes of at least one and possibly two crimes at opposite ends of the country, in surroundings starkly different from each other. If that isn’t suspicious, what is?

The above facts are bad enough, but I am sorry to tell you that as a third-grader, I participated in teasing an unpopular schoolmate. A few years later, I cheated on a test when a teacher let me take it home, trusting me to take it honorably.  While I am ashamed of both those things, there are other actions I have done or not done that to an even greater extent I wouldn’t want to see on the nightly news.

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Insecurities of a Homeschooling Mom

September 20th, 2018 Posted by Homeschooling, Practical Parenting 6 comments

It is no secret that I love homeschooling. That doesn’t, however, make me opposed to traditional schools. One of my major concerns during sixteen years teaching at home was, “Am I causing my children to miss out on Mrs. Richman?”

Mrs. Richman was my fifth-grade teacher. Our class full of easily bored and, hence, mischievous kids adored her. We worked harder in her class than for any other teacher. She introduced us to Shakespeare, setting us passages to memorize that I still remember. We honed our writing skills and in eighth grade I submitted a composition I had written for my fifth-grade class, and received an ‘A’ on it. She loved Greek mythology which, years later, led me to take classes in Greek and Roman classics in college.

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Sharing downloads – is that ok?

September 17th, 2018 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 2 comments

Hello, 

 I recently downloaded Tower of Power from your website. Is it ok to share this with people inside my organization or should we purchase a separate copy for everyone? 

 Thank you, 

Mike 

Dear Mike,

Before answering your question, we want to compliment you on asking it in the first place. The question shows a sensitivity that suggests that you run your business on ethical grounds and that you don’t box ‘religious behavior’ into only some parts of your life while you isolate it from others.

We are delighted for you to share our teachings in the same manner as you would share a physical book. You are welcome to assemble a group and listen to the download together just as you might read aloud from a copy of a book that you own. You can also pass on a book you own to one person at a time and as such could pass on your download to one person at a time.

What is not permissible, according to both Scripture and United States copyright law, is to xerox a book in place of buying many copies. You will find a note of this prohibition in the front of most books.

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Storm Shelter

September 17th, 2018 Posted by Thought Tools 17 comments

I am spoiled. When I contemplate boating, I picture vacationing with my family among the magnificent islands of the Pacific Northwest. But except for a blessed few people and times, boarding a ship has not meant leisure, but instead was a risky way for crossing oceans.

Traveling by ship was dangerous and frightening in the days before exotic cruising. Ships served as the precarious means of transportation to start a new life, for trade or as a means of livelihood like the potentially deadly 19th century whaling ships and, indeed, today’s commercial fishing boats.

The book of Jonah opens with a different type of boating:

And Jonah arose to flee… from before God…
and he found a ship going to Tarshish…
(Jonah 1:3)

And God sent a big wind over the ocean and there was a great storm
upon the ocean and the ship appeared likely to shatter.
(Jonah 1:4)

And the sailors were terrified … and they threw all the articles
on the ship into the ocean to make it lighter
and Jonah went down
to the bilges of the ship, lay down and fell asleep.
(Jonah 1:5)

The word ship appears four times in these three consecutive verses. Only by looking at the Hebrew text can you see that the word in the first three instances differs from the fourth. The first three use the the Hebrew word ONiYaH. The final instance of ship uses the word SeFiNaH.

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Let’s Hear It for Gender Quotas

September 13th, 2018 Posted by Susan's Musings 26 comments

California is moving towards requiring her publicly traded companies to enforce gender quotas on their boards. I am against quotas in general and find that, as with most social manipulation, the results are rarely those that are promised by their promoters. While I think there is every chance that this legislation will move forward, I worry that the biggest outcome will be more California businesses relocating to Texas. Unfortunately, the relocated management will then probably retain its destructive voting habits and continue to support the types of politicians and policies that made California uninhabitable. However, despite my usual wariness of quotas, and my concern that Elizabeth Warren is pushing for this on a national level, I am wondering whether my own family needs to use strong-arm techniques to get more equitable representation on our family What’s App chat. 

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