It was the kind of thing you would hear from old men. “Things just ain’t the way they used to be.” “This new generation is going to hell in a handbasket.” “I remember when things were different and better, back in the good old days!” Now that I am becoming a bit older myself, I […]
It seems that war is one of the most common of all human activities. Study history of the human race, and you will not find many years that were not blemished by warfare. Read the literature of the world, and you will find very few books whose pages are not bloodstained. Study the Jewish tradition, […]
I have had a long and abiding interest in the process by which we make decisions in our lives. Long ago, I was taught that the best way to make a decision is to impartially examine all of the relevant available facts. Impartiality guarantees objectivity. Sadly, however, we are seldom truly impartial and, therefore, our […]
The old and crumbling building housed a synagogue that was a “gift” from Joseph Stalin to the Jews of Odessa. Historically, Odessa was a metropolis with a large Jewish population and many dozens of synagogues of all types. With the advent of the communist regime, and especially under Stalin’s heavy fisted rule, almost all of […]
Did you ever really pray for something you wanted? I mean, really fervently, desperately, pray hard for something that was vitally important to you? If you did, and I think we all pray this way at moments of urgency, you violated an anonymous piece of wisdom: “Be careful what you pray for, because you just […]
The popular media often accuses the Jewish people of an obsession. Some accuse us good-humoredly of an obsession with food. Others maliciously accuse us of being obsessed with money. I agree that there is a Jewish obsession. I maintain that it is justice with which we are obsessed. I define an obsession as an idea […]
There must be at least a thousand jokes that begin, “A Catholic priest, an Orthodox rabbi, and a Protestant minister enter a bar….” I’ll begin this week’s column with a story about a Catholic priest, an Orthodox rabbi, and a fine Jewish layman. They won’t be entering a bar together, that’s for sure. They won’t […]
Every so often, I come across a sentence of another person’s writing which expresses one of my own thoughts in a language far superior to my own. Over the years, I have contemplated and written about the concepts of “honesty” and “integrity” and the difference between the two.
Every parent knows this fact, and every teacher can confirm it. No two children are alike. Every mother of more than one child knows that all children are already different in the womb. Every experienced teacher knows that no two pupils learn in the exact same manner.
The poem had a place of prominence on our kitchen bulletin board for many years. We had clipped it from a women’s magazine, and although it was too sugary and sentimental for my personal literary taste, it was very encouraging to my wife and me as we raised our teenage daughters. The poem was written […]