December 2023

Faith and Faithlessness

As a fan of all types of puzzles, I enjoy seeing both jigsaw puzzle pieces and words fall into place. The separate becomes connected and the random suddenly makes sense. I tend to follow the same steps when reading, looking for patterns that tie disparate topics together. As such, when I recently read two disturbing...

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Out with the Old?

It is quite exciting to tell ourselves, “This year is a new chance.” “This year will reveal an improved version of ourselves. Just wait and see how our marriages, families, and businesses thrive. It’s an opportunity for a new beginning.” I’m all for looking ahead and upgrading our game. But let’s not be too quick...

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Kicking the Snooze Bar Habit

Dear Rabbi and Susan, Upon stumbling on your teachings and podcast, I caught a comment you said about how a man should never hit the snooze button. I, however, hit my snooze button all the time! It’s really bad, and the reason why this is important to me is because for the past 4 years...

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Where Are All the Christmas Lights?

I grew up in a neighborhood inhabited only by Italian-Catholics and Jews. Nary a Protestant to be found, not to mention anything more exotic. This time of year, homes boasted one of two motifs. Windows either sported a lit menorah for about an hour and a half on each of the eight nights of Chanukah,...

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How Do I Find a Rabbi

Following from your comments in the Deep Dive on My Daughter the Lawyer, I would like to ask some questions about finding a local rabbi. First of all, am I correct in assuming that, even though you refer to yourself as my rabbi, you recognize the importance of our primary Rabbi being someone in the...

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Define This

The adolescent daughter of friends of ours has an annoying habit. To almost anything said to her, she aggressively retorts, “Define __”. For instance, when I saw her last week, I innocuously greeted her with “Hello Denise, how are things with you?” “Define things” she snapped back. There was, of course, no good answer. One...

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Of Funerals

Several weeks ago, I wrote about our 19-year-old grandson studying at an Israeli college, who attended his first funeral. It was not the funeral of an aged relative, but of someone only slightly older than him, who was killed fighting in the war in Gaza. Last week it was the turn of our daughter’s 13-year-old...

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5Fs for Teenagers?

Dear Rabbi and Susan Lapin. I got The Holistic You book and I am blown away by how the 5 Fs interact. In addition, your latest podcast relating to the Daily Mail scenario was truly eye-opening… I have learned so much from you and really appreciate your honesty without the warm butter LOL. I have...

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Demeaned, Dethroned Debate

I did not watch the dueling governors, Ron DeSantis and Gavin Newsom, last week. Reports tell me that millions of Americans did do so, but I have yet to come across any of them. Like me, those people I’ve asked watched a few opening minutes or caught a highlight reel the next day. But watch...

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Starting a New Business

I would like to start a real estate investment firm, for two reasons. First, my employer reduced me to half-time, and second, I want to work from a home office so that I can help my wife with our child who has autism. The question is related to engaging in entrepreneurship while the spouse opposes...

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