Genesis

In Front of the Eight Ball

“Rabbi Lapin, please stop talking and writing about money; all you’re doing is perpetuating anti-Semitic stereotypes!”  This was the phone call I received a while ago from the head of one of the Jewish organizations concerned with anti-Semitism.  Knowing it was futile, I still recommended that he worry more about Moslems than about me. “Rabbi …

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What’s in a Name?

In an act of unprecedented ostentatiousness, Gerald Guterman chartered the famous ocean liner, the QE2, along with its one thousand crew members to celebrate his son’s bar-mitzvah in 1986. Our son’s bar-mitzvah was solemnized in a small synagogue built on the Los Angeles ocean front in the 1940s.  Guterman was trying to add meaning to …

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Do orthodox Jews interpret the Bible literally?

Question: My pastor tells me that, “The most orthodox view historically seems to be not a literal interpretation,” with the creation story in Genesis 1-3. Would you agree with this? Are there other passages in the Torah like this? Are their hints in the Hebrew that suggest something to be non-literal?  ∼ Jarred Answer: Dear …

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What exactly are we supposed to subdue?

Question: “The first mission or command given to mankind is be fruitful, multiply, subdue and have dominion. Can you explain this in detail? I’ve heard that the word “subdue” specifically means to take rulership over something or someone hostile.  Who or what is the word hostile referring to?   ∼ Scott C. Answer: Dear Scott, …

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Truth and Lies

What parent, at one time or another, hasn’t wished for an absolutely reliable, invisible lie-detector? What business professional interviewing a potential hire hasn’t wished for exactly the same thing? Now I know what you’re thinking. ‘Invisible’ is impossible. True, but so is ‘absolutely reliable lie-detector,’ so I saw no harm in adding ‘invisible’ to the …

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Sneering At Virtue

Here is one of the most important lessons to teach your children: Wrongdoers detest those who don’t join in. It’s also not a bad lesson for you to understand and absorb if you want a clear picture of the behind-the-scenes politics in your place of business. It is just as necessary in order to understand …

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This Way or That

Want to lose weight? It’s always hard, but why make it harder than necessary by using the wrong strategies? Everyone knows that there are two prongs to this challenging goal: eating fewer calories and increasing exercise. Where to start? Is it more effective to sign up at a gym and use the exhilaration of mastering …

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