An elderly friend once told me, “Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think” from the Guy Lombardo song. The flow of our lives is inexorable. I have been told by parents of college age or older children that young children grow up in the blink of an eye. In a similar vein, my father-in-law told … Continue reading Time Flies
Be joyful, says Hashem, as if that’s so easy. In a tradition that values action over belief, this is one of the few emotional mitzvot in Judaism. The Shma commands us to love Hashem in specific ways. We have actions, like putting a mezuzah on our door or teaching Torah to our children, that allow … Continue reading Sukkot: Finding the Places for Joy
The Bible commands us to “afflict our souls” on Yom Kippur as part of a Day of Turning back towards God. Our tradition generally makes a place for physical pleasures because God created a good world that we are commanded to enjoy. Once a year we deny ourselves those pleasures and focus entirely on our … Continue reading Practices for Yom Kippur
I have to remind myself often of what I cannot do. I cannot change Ismaili Nasrallah, the murderous head of Hezbollah. Much as I would like him to realize how much more he hurts his own people, I cannot change his heart and mind. I cannot heal the sick. I have watched friends and family … Continue reading What Does God Ask of Us?
I remember exactly what I was doing on Sept 11, 2001. At 9am that morning I had a meeting scheduled with a couple to discuss their upcoming baby naming. We were reviewing the details of the ceremony, which only takes a few moments. Then we began to discuss the sacred nature of the transition from … Continue reading 5 Years Later