Susan’s Musings

Renewing Hearts

On a podcast to which I recently listened, a popular host confessed that, now in her forties, she is questioning whether the way she conducted herself in her twenties was wise. Yet, when she was in her twenties, she had no doubts whatsoever that she was behaving in the best possible manner and that she...

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To Obey or Not to Obey

I was brought up with mixed messages. On one hand, I was taught obedience to authority. Parents and teachers, my elders in general, and doctors and policemen were all to be respected and their directives were to be followed. On the other hand, a Chanukah play at school annually featured the saga of Chana and...

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18% or 20%?

Whatever side of the political divide you occupy in the United States, life seems scarier, crazier and less predictable than it did, even just five or ten years ago. At the same time, for most of us, what impacts our personal lives on a daily basis matters most to us. I may be very concerned...

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Ready for Combat?

Exactly how truculent, pugnacious and belligerent do I want to be? Even those words sound unappealing, so my natural inclination would be to answer, “Very little.” In fact, I have spent years working on the character traits that Ruchi Koval describes in her book, Soul Construction: Shape Your Character Using 8 Timeless Steps from the...

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My Pronouns Are:

During the contentious 2020 presidential season, I read of a knitting group which banned any member who posted anything supportive of President Trump. Note, that they weren’t suggesting that politics had no place in knitting, which might have been reasonable, but rather that only those on one side of the political divide had the right...

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Spiritual Sickness or Mental Illness?

Shootings. More shootings. Along with calls to eviscerate the Second Amendment to the Constitution are discussions of mental illness, both with respect to red-flag laws and also in trying to understand a general increase in violence. Yet, over the years, the lines distinguishing between sin, crime, and mental illness have become increasingly muddied. Labeling actions...

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Threats and Promises are Meaningless

I was recently in the waiting room of a medical facility. As we masked strangers waited and waited and waited to be seen, a video monitor rotated different messages. One of those was, “(Name of facility) has a zero tolerance policy towards abusive or disruptive behavior.” That sounds fine, but at one point, a disgruntled...

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See a therapist?

Don’t you just love it when you expect to hear a standard piece of advice and instead you hear something that spurs you to look at an issue in an entirely different way? In my case, a magazine I was reading presented a relatively common parenting issue. A mother wrote in revealing that her eight-year-old...

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The Truth Isn’t Always True

It’s been over a year and I have yet to write about the events of January 6th, 2021. Few Americans are paying attention to the hearings regarding those days. Even fewer paid attention over the past year to the betrayal of the American justice system in its treatment of those who were accused of crimes...

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The Blessing of (Extended) Family

For many of us, June is an event-filled month. Graduations, weddings, Father’s Day, and stepping-into-summer celebrations abound. This month has already been a packed one for my husband and me. Joined by many of our children, we attended the wedding of our niece as we celebrated the adding of a new home to our family...

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