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Yaffa Ganz

The Four-Hour Bris

June 27, 2009, by

In the old days, when I was growing up, most babies seemed to be born on time, and the bris took place on the eighth day as prescribed in the Torah. The moon also circled the earth and the earth circled the sun. That’s just the way things were. Nowadays, since the Theory of Relativity

Second Thoughts: Financial Concerns

April 20, 2009, by

Who am I, with my minuscule (and usually depleted) bank account, to speak about the great financial concerns of the world? What wisdom can I scrounge up which can help fill the empty coffers, or soothe the taut nerves of the world’s bankers, investors, depositors and filing clerks? In short, what can I, with my

Second Thoughts: Price of Progress

March 18, 2009, by

The rabbis tell us that our physical world is a down-to-earth image of the heavenly spheres. The plan of the Beit Hamikdash, for example, is based on kabbalistic architectural plans which contain great truths and express Divine wisdom. I’m not sure what that means, but it is our job to attempt to contemplate and fathom

Second Thoughts: From Badbad to Kushwait

March 4, 2009, by

I dunno – I just don’t know. You’d think that after 2365 years the story would be over already. Finished, old hat, dead as a doornail and utterly boring. I mean, how long can the same story keep happening, over and over again, even in up-dated versions? Yet here it is again in all its

An Election Platform For The Holy Land

February 5, 2009, by

Election time is here again. The great moment when we see democracy in action and the people – the ultimate sovereign – are able to choose leaders of the nation for the next four years. America did it and now it’s our turn here in the Holy Land. But even though all democratic elections look

Second Thoughts: Back to War

January 8, 2009, by

War. Such a horrible word. Born and bred in the U.S.A., I had never experienced War. Except for bits and pieces, I was too young to remember much of WWII. I have a clearer reminiscence of Israel’s War for Independence. I was still too young to be overly involved in the Korean War during my

Second Thoughts: Candles in the Desert

December 18, 2008, by

Fire. It’s a powerful, primal force. Just the word itself gets your adrenalin going, ready to start coursing through your veins! Unconstrained, it is one of the most destructive forces in the world. Contained, limited, controlled it is one of the most powerful tools given to mankind. Those eight tiny sparks of light we kindle

Second Thoughts: Life After Mumbai

December 4, 2008, by

My son just called. The one who does his Reserve Duty in Israel’s Home Guard Command. His elite unit’s job is going in after natural calamities, accidents or terrorist attacks, shoring up buildings and pulling people out. He called to say he’s on his way to the airport. They may be on their way to

Second Thoughts: High Hopes and New Beginnings

October 30, 2008, by

Long ago, Chazal told us Kol hatchalot kashot – All new beginnings are difficult. But what would life be without new beginnings? They are a source of new hope, new plans, new possibilities. Still, they take a lot of getting used to. This year I found myself dealing with an oversized trio of New Beginnings

Second Thoughts: Hidden From Sight

September 10, 2008, by

One morning last week I awoke to a mercifully cloudy sky. After six weeks of blazing sunshine and unrelenting heat, the grey canopy above my head offered both a measure of relief and blissful anticipation of cooler weather and rain. Blessed be the clouds which hide the sun, I mumbled in a silent, personal prayer