|Exodus|

Inherit the Land

Thought Tools are meant as practical, real-world application of specific principles in Ancient Jewish wisdom.  Before submitting them for publication we ask ourselves whether they would have made sense to our grandparents and if they will make sense to our grandchildren. In other words, are they ‘evergreen’?  Little gets stale more quickly than political columns, […]

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They’re Keeping You Down

Recently, I enjoyed the pleasure and privilege of leading a Passover Seder.  Around the room sat a most stimulating group of enthusiastic participants.  I began by explaining that rule number one at the Seder is that everything we do has contemporary significance.  For example, when a therapist talks a client back through her childhood, it

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Harvey and Montgomery

If you’ve never seen the delightful 1950 movie in which Jimmy Stewart plays Elwood P. Dowd whose friend is a six-foot invisible rabbit eponymously named Harvey, you might enjoy it.  I too have an invisible friend, though I don’t know how tall he is because he is, well, invisible!  He happens to be a highly

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Ditch the Doldrums

There are many life-metaphors to be found in the wonderful world of boats. Boats and people both embark on journeys and both can reach their destinations or sink. When a boat is in the doldrums it is in that notorious windless zone near the equator. Old-time sailing vessels were often stuck there for weeks.  When

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How did Moses know he was an Israelite?

Hello, First I would like to say that I watch your show every morning and I absolutely love it. Thank you so much for what you are doing. I have learned so much! Now for my question, how did Moses know he wasn’t Egyptian and that he was an Israelite? It’s driving me crazy. Am

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Pressing Restart

I have been known to say that Judaism is my way of life while boating is my religion. After all, some religious observances require a special litugical language, unique clothing and are practiced on certain days.  Check, check and check for boating. But even for those of you with other religions, there are many life-metaphors

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Is There Food in Your Purse?

As the rabbi of a large congregation, my father attended many weddings and bar-mitzvahs.  My mother usually accompanied him and on rare occasions I got to go as well.  I always assumed that when this happened, I was being rewarded for good behavior.  It wasn’t until years later that my mother confided that the times

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The Gorilla, the Girl and the Snake

Every September at the Puyallup fairgrounds about 40 miles south of Seattle, occurs one of the Lapin family’s favorite fairs. On one special day each September, we would head to the Washington State Fair. We’d arrive early morning, soon after opening and leave only when the lights started going out late that night.  We love

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Nothing Trumps Your History

When democracies vote, citizens hope to elect leaders whose values align with their own.  The problem is, how do you know?  One clue is to pay far more attention to what they have done over the years than to what they say.  Interestingly, in America’s recent election, the news media along with their attendant opinion-generators

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Steps to Success or Ramps to Riches

This past week I’ve enjoyed speaking for three financial conferences, in Arizona, Tennessee, and Texas. (You can always see if I’m scheduled to speak in your neighborhood by looking here: SPEAKING PAGE Funnily enough, there were two questions I was asked twice by two separate people at two separate conferences. They were both good questions;

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