jewish

Should I stop my child playing?

Question: Dear Rabbi Daniel & Susan Lapin, I am a Christian woman who is enjoying the journey of learning our Jewish roots. I recently ordered your library collection and I am quite enraptured in the wisdom that is shared. You are absolutely right when you say, ‘You need a rabbi!’  I have a question regarding...

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Is Judaism defined by one’s mother or father?

Question: In the Bible, genealogies are stated mostly in terms of fathers and sons. Yet, in speaking to contemporary Jews, I am told that the determination of whether one is a Jew or not depends upon the mother’s lineage and faith.   Is that the Biblical standard or was that changed over time? ∼ Christopher...

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Field and Stream

Are you a specialist in your field of work?  What career field should I go into?  Will history graduates find work in their field?  Why is the word field by far the most common metaphor for work, career, or profession?  Why not ask, “what river do you work in?”  Or, “what road of work do...

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Well, Meet My Father-in-Law

Having debuted in 2006, Psych is the USA cable network’s longest running original series.  It is set in Santa Barbara but for reasons having to do with production costs and trade unions, the series is filmed in Canada.  The scenery is recognizably coastal British Columbia, which my family and I know well from our summer...

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Yes, Boss!

Our office and store will be closed from sunset Monday night 3/25 Pacific Time through an hour after sunset Wednesday night 3/27 in obedience to God’s command to not work on the festival days of Passover.  We appreciate your patience. Please look for your Thought Tool one day later than usual. ____________________ Please be aware...

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Then the Bear Said…

Usain Bolt set a new Olympic record in London for the hundred-meter race. Though true, it wouldn’t be particularly helpful if he advised aspiring athletes, “It’s easy; just move your legs faster.” Similarly, while true, it isn’t helpful to remind ourselves that success comes to those who do what they must rather than what they...

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Future is Spelled P-A-S-T

He struck success when his children were aged 10, 7, and 5.  He and his wife moved out of their dilapidated house near downtown Dallas and into a mansion in Preston Hollow.  They worried about their children becoming spoiled and never growing the will to struggle and succeed.  They dreaded their kids developing the decadent...

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Trial by Mouth – originally published Jan. 28, 2009

    Celebrity endorsements can mean a great deal to a company. So we thought it a tremendous coup when Illinois Governor (though probably not for long) Blagojevich give an unsolicited plug for our audio CD, Perils of Profanity: You Are What You Speak. After all, while the governor is not being impeached for his vulgar...

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It’s the Genes, Stupid – originally posted Feb. 2007

    February. An often bleak, cold and dark month. This may be the reason why, aside from the obvious commercial implications, cheerful, bright, pink and red valentines endlessly bombard us as soon as February approaches. For women’s magazines the theme of the month’s issue is pre-ordained – romance. Generally this means that even more clap trap...

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Remember the Titanic – originally posted May 28, 2009

Have you noticed that among the obituaries that newspapers publish of famous or influential people, ordinary folk also get mentioned if they were the last of their kind? So, we were informed when the last Civil War soldier’s widow passed away a few years ago as we will hear when the last survivor of the...

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