December 2019

Reach Your Promised Land

As the new year and a new decade dawns, it is natural to wonder what lies ahead. Whatever they are, keep your dreams alive.  Maybe you wish you were happily married, or prospering, or healthier.  Accepting your current circumstances as your normal reality is a terrible trap. Who would have blamed the Israelites for accepting […]

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Caveat Parente!

If your five-year-old cannot translate the above title or write an essay about the play on words with the better know phrase ‘caveat emptor,’ perhaps you should hold off sending him or her to kindergarten. Ok. I’m exaggerating. But if an article in Psychology Today reflects current trends, I am not off by much. The

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Should women be preaching?

My question is very frequently asked in Christian circles and the answer is split. I must know what your response would be.  The question is very simple. Are women allowed to pastor and preach? Yes or No? Please explain in detail and reference from verses. I appreciate all of your work. I look forward to

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From Hair to There

A ‘Your Mother’s Guidance’ post by Rebecca Masinter Genesis 37:2 introduces us to Joseph at 17 years old, described in Hebrew as a “na’ar,” a lad.  The transmitter of Biblical wisdom known as Rashi quotes an earlier source on the words, “and he was a lad,” and tells us that he acted like an adolescent

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Of Cannibals and Chanukah

Let’s use our imaginations for a thought experiment. In 1946, a crew is airlifting the latest model Dodge from Detroit to a car dealership in Brisbane, Australia. On the final leg of its flight the airplane develops engine problems over Papua, New Guinea.  The crew’s only hope is to shove the shiny new sedan out

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The Candyland® Congress

When trying  to evoke what a tough mother I had been, my children sometimes mention that I often ruthlessly defeated them when we played Candyland®, a game that appeals to the five-and-under crowd. Clearly, only the most heartless mother would fail to manipulate the cards allowing her toddler to jump ahead by drawing Queen Frostine. 

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No Friends?

The following question came across my desk. Teachers know an old truism that when one student  verbalizes confusion about material being taught, it usually means that more than one student needs help. I imagine that the many parents agonize over their children’s relationships and this is not a unique scenario.    I am writing to

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How do we explain to our son why circumcision matters?

Dear Rabbi Daniel and Susan, Could you help me out? We are reading a Torah Sidra [portion] every Saturday evening as a family.  We happened to read the Sidra that included Genesis 17.  I have three children and the oldest is a boy of 9. I am sure you can guess where this is going. 

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Hey Buddy, Got a Light?

What three changes could you institute that would improve your life? Most people know exactly what they ought to do and what they ought to stop doing that would make their lives better. Which begs the question—why don’t we just go ahead and do these things? The answer is what I call “The Force of

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No Growth Allowed

On April 29, 1986, a catastrophic fire erupted in the main downtown Los Angeles Public Library. By the time the fire was under control, tens of  thousands of books had been destroyed, including irreplaceable historical documents. Many firefighters were injured fighting the blaze, and it remains the worst library fire in United States history. Last

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