Month: May 2020

My friend rejects social distancing – I don’t want to offend him

Dear Rabbi & Susan, I am caught between a rock and a hard spot.  There is a member of our community who does not believe in social distancing or abiding by any of the government-mandated precautions against COVID-19.   While my father was in the hospital, I was very firm with him about not visiting...

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The First Time You…

In the charming 1980 South African movie masterpiece, The Gods Must Be Crazy, the Kalahari bushman hero found an empty Coca Cola bottle dropped from his plane by a careless pilot.  No life experience or knowledge gained till now prepared Xi to understand the bottle’s purpose.  He couldn’t imagine its value other than as a...

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We Shall Cower in Our Basements?

I just placed a library hold for a book reviewed in my morning paper. I have no idea when I will be able to pick it up. As in so many cities, our libraries are still closed. Why? I understand that initially governments responded by closing down areas under their control. Yet, weeks have passed...

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Children Raising Mothers

A ‘Your Mother’s Guidance’ post by Rebecca Masinter While discussing the role of the Levites, Numbers 3:4 mentions Aaron’s sons Nadav and Avihu who had previously died.  The verse says: “Nadav and Avihu died before God when they offered an alien fire before God in the Wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children…” This...

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Being a recipient of kindness

Friends of ours have blessed us with a huge mitzvah during a difficult health challenge.  How does one acknowledge something so abundant and beyond helpful?  We, at the moment, do not have the means to reciprocate. Any direction would be greatly appreciated! Kind regards, Stacy Dear Stacy, Our best wishes are with you as you...

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Cave Grave

I love boating along coastal British Columbia. Occasionally, we spot First Nation burial apparatus, a box or platform, often a canoe, into which the departed is placed and which is then perched upon high stilts or wedged into tree forks. The Choctaws buried their dead by leaving them atop a high scaffold. Eskimos placed their...

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A Room with a (Distorted?) View

With local libraries closed, my reading has branched in two directions. I am re-reading old favorites from our shelves and browsing available library downloads for fresh selections. Among the latter is E.M. Forster’s 1908 novel, A Room with a View. Written just over a hundred years ago, it may not qualify as a new book...

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No Cameras, Please!

My husband recently shared a family legend, describing how he decided to add joy and mirth to our young daughter’s birthday party by joining the festivities in a gorilla costume. The screams and tears of the young girls attending were not part of the original plan. One of the column’s readers asked if we had...

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Obstacles in religious growth

Hi there! I know this will seem a ridiculous question, and I feel ridiculous asking. I was raised Pentecostal Christian.  I did drugs and was very lost. I was married at 18, and had my first child, then divorced after 1 year due to drug abuse and violence.  I then shacked up with my current...

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Pandemic Pandemonium

Oftentimes, when people start a story by saying, “I’m not proud of this…” the truth is that they really are rather proud of whatever they are fake-confessing.  But I am really, really not proud of this. What I did was just plain incredibly stupid. It was a male sort of thing.  Honestly, I wouldn’t even...

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