Jacob

Frozen in Fear

Most people may know that the Passover holyday recalls Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. But did you know though that amazingly, one incident came close to jeopardizing the whole enterprise? Just before Moses and Aaron confront Pharaoh, God threatens Moses for neglecting to circumcise his son. Had Moses’ wife, Tziporah, not intervened, God would have terminated...

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Leave Before You Can Travel Forward

I was profoundly disturbed when a member of my congregation told me that he didn’t care that his father had just passed away. They had been estranged for years, he explained, yet I still felt sullied by listening to his utter lack of affection or even respect for his late father. My admonishment to him...

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Mission Possible

Each one of us is unique, of course.  It’s just that some are, well, a little more unique than others. Our president is certainly unique. Over the past few years, President Trump has worked at a pace that younger presidents did not attempt or manage. Whether you agree or disagree with his policies, he takes...

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Are You a Pious Pushover?

Anyone who spends any time in neighborhoods populated by Bible-believing, religiously inclined people, knows that, for the most part, such people are kinder, gentler, more empathetic and more compassionate than the general population.  Sometimes, however, unselfish behavior can morph into unwarranted meekness and timidity. Here are five questions that might help determine if you have...

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Be a Heel

High heeled shoes for women, and at times for men, go in and out of style. Yet, two English expressions that revolve around the heel seem to be negative. We speak of someone’s weakness as his Achilles heel and we use heel as a pejorative term as in, “He’s such a heel.”  In the Lord’s...

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Bury the Blame

With immigrants in the news, let me tell you about fifteen-year-old David Sarnoff whose father died shortly after his family immigrated to America.  To support his mother and siblings, David got a $5/week job as office boy at the Commercial Cable Company in New York.  (Government funded welfare programs weren’t to arrive for another 30...

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You + You = YOU

“Money, money, money…” sang Abba in 1976.  What is it?  It is funny how challenging it is to define.    Is it those metallic discs clinking in your pocket? How about those strips of colored paper in your wallet?  How about when you write a check? Is that money?  What if you write on a...

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The When and Where Matter

This evening, Tuesday April 17, Susan and I are doing a live TV show in Akron, OH before a studio audience.  Among other teaching, we will accept questions from people in the audience to which we shall respond by employing principles of ancient Jewish wisdom.  This is what we do with our Ask the Rabbi...

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What kind of role models are these!

My wife and I love listening to your podcast. I have a question that no Rabbi has been able to answer to my satisfaction. (It could be that they have answered the question accurately but it never resonated with me.) It’s about Jacob and his children. Jacob is revered by us and his children were...

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Ignore that STOP Sign

Don’t we all start out with optimistic plans? We are going to accomplish great things, be great spouses and parents, build our businesses and ever so much more.  Yet, somehow, we sometimes find ourselves still single, still yelling at our kids, still working at a dead-end job struggling to make ends meet. We haven’t made...

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