books

Bylines and Blessings

Through the marvel of today’s technology, we easily can access millions of brilliant life lessons found in the books, speeches, and words of countless people through the ages. Yet, in most cases sitting a twenty-year-old down with samples of this wisdom will yield little benefit. Most human beings seem to need to make our own...

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A Broken Library System

I have lost faith in many government institutions. The IRS, the Justice Department, the military, and the CDC (among others) have behaved in ways that, sadly, suggest that they are politicized weapons rather than pillars of support for American society. Yet, the one tax-supported institution whose diminishment emotionally pains me the most is not a...

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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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Lewis and Thompson

Don’t you love reading something so true or so beautifully expressed that you simply must re-read it and maybe even write it down so you will come across it again? Reading the news nowadays provides a series of heartbreaking stories. For example, on the day I am writing this, I came across articles on the...

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From Thomas the Tank to Uncle Tom’s Cabin

One of our eight-year-old grandsons is an avid reader. His parents’ challenge is to provide him with a steady supply of high-quality and morally uplifting books. A few days ago, I baffled his father when I asked him what book he or our daughter was reading aloud to this young bibliophile. His reaction went from...

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First Do No Harm

As a young adult, I spent some time in Israel. One bonus of being there was meeting people who came from so many different places and backgrounds. When a rare snowstorm hit Jerusalem it was the very first time that a number of my friends had ever seen snow fall. While there is always something...

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Watery Reminders

Our basement, like so many others in the Atlantic region, flooded during this week’s torrential rains. We are fortunate. Our damage was largely luggage, clothing, tools and other replaceable items. We stored very few pictures downstairs and after running the washing machine non-stop for a few days, clothing has been retrieved. Since—surprise, surprise—the flooding is...

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Am I reading too much?

Hello Rabbi and Mrs. Lapin, I am wondering if it is possible to gain “too much” knowledge. We know that Adam and Eve were exiled from the Garden because of their disobedience, eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil when instructed not to. However, as I have grown to understand it,...

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Comfort Reading

I went to the library yesterday to get some comfort reading. You probably know about comfort food. After 9/11, even fancy restaurants began serving  mashed potatoes, chocolate pudding and other common staples of childhood. As people were reeling from the ominous events that shook the world, eating simple old-fashioned favorites emotionally connected them with a...

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Should my children go to prom?

Question: “Will you go to Prom with me?” Countless teens ask every year about this undoubtedly scantily clad showcase for the (male) eyes, which I eschew as anti-holy behavior. I have a question, with two aspects. If my children are courting during the spring, should they be encouraged to attend, or taught to avoid it?...

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