Rabbi Daniel Lapin

Ham-I-Am

“You look at the sun three times a week?” asked George’s optometrist incredulously. George explained that counting sunspots was his hobby and he depended upon his eye-care professional to keep his vision healthy. “I can only keep your eyes healthy, George, if you follow the rules,” insisted his doctor. How ridiculous of George to keep...

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Love Your Neighbor – Really.

One of the most frequently recurring questions that I am asked is this: “Rabbi Lapin, I try to live my life as an upright and decent person and I try to make my decisions according to the Biblical code of good and evil but I often feel exploited. Sometimes relatives count on my good nature...

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Best Friends Forever

In a Torah-observant Jewish home, Passover may be an eight-day holyday (seven in the land of Israel), but preparations for the Festival, both physical and spiritual, commence weeks earlier. I’ve discussed in previous Thought Tools that Passover revolves around family. Paradoxically, however, Passover is one of the three pilgrimage festivals. In the times of Solomon’s...

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Passover and the Pacific Crossing

To the dismay of my parents and the bewilderment of my wife Susan’s parents, we sailed our family from Los Angeles to Honolulu on our small sailboat a number of years ago. We spent nearly a year in preparation. Susan planned the meals for the entire voyage and wrote down where each item of food...

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Anger Ammunition

Have you ever wondered why the plays of William Shakespeare are still being read and remain popular after four hundred years while most books written fifty years ago are already out of print? The answer is that they reveal reality. They teach how the world really works. Another way of describing it is to say...

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Year of the Squirrel

Sleep, not hibernate. What happens if you extract a little blood from a hibernating ground squirrel, preserve it till the summer and inject it into another squirrel? That active little mammal with his bushy tail will instantly go into hibernation. We don’t clearly understand if cold weather sets off the chemical changes in squirrel blood...

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Well, Well, Well…

Or 3 Rules for Getting Married Here are three questions to ask the young man dating your daughter: (1) Do you wish to marry my daughter? (2) Do you have a job? (3) Do you honor your parents? If his answer to any one question, or to all three questions is, “Well…” followed by a...

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Veterans in Arms

Don’t be an army of one Military tradition has long understood that long before you can hope to control others, you have to have the ability to control yourself. One source of ancient Jewish wisdom, called Ethics of The Fathers, teaches that true strength isn’t forcing our will onto others as much as it is...

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Pens Are NOT Mightier Than Swords

If the pen really was mightier than the sword, the idiom would be unnecessary. Nobody says, “Atom bombs are stronger than paper clips,” or “Ferraris are faster than Fiats.” Most simple slogans are untrue. “He who hesitates is lost” is contradicted by “Look before you leap.” “Out of sight, out of mind” is contradicted by...

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I’d Never Do That!

Are you really sure? Progressive Extremists mocked former Vice President Pence in 2017 when an earlier interview that he had given in 2002 resurfaced. They howled in derision about his commitment to avoid all secluded meetings with women other than his wife. The New York Times even commissioned a poll intended to reveal how out...

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