Passover

Problem or Progress?

Do you wear a watch? The answer to that question may depend on your age. You could say that watches are the new handkerchiefs. I rarely iron. Nonetheless, when I was a young girl my mother taught me to do so and the first items entrusted to my care were my father’s handkerchiefs. I remember...

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Matzoh, Money and Marriage

Here’s an unusual thought experiment: Imagine meeting a twenty-year-old man who is suffering from near total amnesia. He explains to you that he knows how to read and write, drive a car and live healthily, but has no idea at all of what he ought to be doing to prepare for successfully living the rest...

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Recite, Repeat, Rejuvenate

Very early in the Passover Seder we ask a question, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” followed by four examples of unusual behavior. This section is often inaccurately called “The Four Questions.” From there, we annually follow the same program, reading, singing and/or chanting the same words, eating the same foods and doing …

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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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Get a Good Mood from Food Dude

Food is fuel, isn’t it? A meal for a human is the equivalent of adding wood to our fireplace. After all, our body temperature must be maintained at about 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Just as a home furnace converts firewood, coal, oil, or natural gas into heat, so do our bodies convert food into heat. Naturally...

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Passover’s 15-Step Program

Countless people will soon be observing a Passover Seder.  There are many important aspects to running an effective Seder, but perhaps the most important and the least known is that the Seder, meaning order, is an arrangement of fifteen indispensable steps from start to finish.  In order to explain this to you, I must first...

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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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Thought Tools April 10, 2012

A certain Passover image is burned into the memories of many American Jews. They remember Grandpa droning his way through the standardized text of the Seder (Passover evening program) while his children make a dutiful effort to listen. His grandchildren succumb to abject boredom. Today, that picture has become rare. Those grandchildren have grown up....

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A Tale of Two Houses

IMPORTANT NOTICE: In observance and honor of the closing days of the Passover holyday, our offices and store will be closed from sunset on Sunday, April 24 through late night Tuesday, April 26. Celebrities frequently crash and burn in flagrantly flamboyant ways. Their home lives implode and their careers slide. Other people often weather huge...

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Fifty Pounds of Potatoes, Fifteen Dozen Eggs…

  At the end of the meal, after proclaiming in a loud voice, “Thank you HaShem (God); thank you Grandma,” three year old Eli noticed that everyone at the table was looking at him. He explained to the group, “I like to thank both those guys.” Which pretty much sums up our Passover. With God’s...

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