November 2023

A Frindle Distraction

As the media sowed frenzied fear during COVID, and the government imposed isolation on citizens, destroying relationships and the economy in one draconian move, people turned to mashed potatoes. Just as had happened after 9/11, comfort food and comfort reading proliferated. Quite frankly, I do not want to be comforted right now. As the hostages...

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What Is Ancient Jewish Wisdom Good For?

Back when I used to build boats, launch day was fraught with tension. I know what you’re thinking. The crane is lowering the new boat into the water, the customer stands there watching anxiously with his family. Will it sink right there in front of everyone? Wrong! The chances of a new boat that was...

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An Open Letter to American Jews (and an explanation for Christians)

Many of you feel understandably dazed and confused. People that you’d always thought of as friends or colleagues seem astonishingly complacent about the mass murder of Jews. Institutions like academia, media, and minority advocacy groups, that you’d always trusted as embodying the very best of enlightenment liberal outlook proudly side with those who raped, tortured,

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Was My Vasectomy a Mistake?

I have been listening to you for 4 years. I am very thankful for all the wisdom you share through your podcasts, books and experience. I am a Happy Warrior, I am a 39 year old male, married with two beautiful kiddos 18 and 15. I recently heard your interview with Linh Podetti on The...

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Guest Musing: A Word from Our President

This seems a good time to bring this Musing back. This Musing may not be what you expect. Abraham Lincoln is my guest, but I am not reprinting his proclamation setting the precedent for a national observance of Thanksgiving. That proclamation is well worth reading, with its call, “…to set apart and observe the last...

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What ‘Good Deeds’ Does God Ask Us To Do?

Where in the Torah does it mention doing good deeds? Are these the 216 Mitzvahs? James E. Dear James, Let us make sure that we are speaking the same language. The word ‘mitzvah’ – מצוה – is often incorrectly translated as ‘good deed’. That is wrong. The root of the word is TZ-V-H, צ-ו-ה, which...

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Angry, and Showing It

A piece of advice I try to take to heart is, “Don’t get furious, get curious.” That is wonderful advice when a parent, spouse, child, or friend disappoints you. If someone breaks into your home and points a gun, curiosity might need to take second place to a different reaction. Speaking or writing while amid...

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A Force for Good

You have just arrived in a strange city and you’re hungry. Spotting a restaurant over the street, you enter and gratefully, sit down. The waitress soon comes because no other table in the restaurant is occupied; you have the place to yourself. Glancing at the menu you place your order, but the waitress irritably informs...

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My Sister Loves Pets

My sister is a pet person and goes out of her way to treat her pets and has been known to pick up stray animals and get them to the vet for treatment. Sometimes this treatment can be very costly. The pets move into the house however months later the pet seems to become a...

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Testing Accommodation

Though I am more than a few years removed from high school, I still receive—via email—copies of my alma mater’s student newspaper. A recent edition gave me pause. It contained an article describing changes to the school’s policies about how examinations were to be administered. My school was highly academic, a feature that I didn’t...

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