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Life is Unfair (Thank God!)

July 17, 2019, by

Please complete the following quote from Pirkei Avos (4:1): “Who is considered rich? A person who ________________.” If you’re like most people, you probably completed that phrase with “is satisfied with his lot” or “is happy with what he has.” But that’s not what the mishna actually says. “Eizehu ashir? Hasameiach b’chelko” – “Who is

Only Shooting Stars Break the Mold

July 5, 2019, by

On June 26, 2019, Twitter user @ssavannahkramer, a student from Michigan, tweeted, “Somebody please read the first word of all my tweets over the past few months.” The next tweet in her thread, i.e., the previous one chronologically, said, “Once you start to believe that a person is more than just a person, you are

Book Review: Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land

July 1, 2019, by

Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land The Hebrew Bible in the United States: A Sourcebook Meir Y. Soloveichik, Matthew Holbreich, Jonathan Silver and Stuart W. Halpern, Editors The Toby Press, LLC This book may seem something of a departure – both for our occasional reviews and for Yeshiva University, whose imprint graces this book. One realizes

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

June 24, 2019, by

The Rolling Stones famously sing: You can’t always get what you want You can’t always get what you want You can’t always get what you want I have a joke for you on that subject. (Warning: There may be a moral at the end.) At the turn of the 20th century, recent immigrant Shloimie Fleischer

“The Emperor’s New Clothes” was Right!

June 12, 2019, by

A few weeks ago, I published an article titled The Ugly Duckling was Wrong, in which I analyzed the classic children’s tale, determined that its lesson was not what we might assume it to be, and then disagreed with what I concluded was the real lesson. For some reason, this resonated with readers, though I’m

The Power of a Bracha

June 12, 2019, by

One of the first mitzvot we teach our kids is to say brachot before – and as they get older, also after – eating. We train them to say the words, and hopefully also start instilling a concept of the meaning behind this mitzvah. Often, we tell them that eating without saying a bracha is

Building Relationships Through Torah Study

June 5, 2019, by

Last week, we discussed creating a relationship with Torah through its study. This relationship can be described as “ownership,” but it is an active, intimate type of ownership. We immerse our bodies and souls into the words on the page, lose sleep contemplating the ideas behind those words, and ultimately contribute to the eternal process