“Equality” I was blessed with the good fortune of having been born as a Jew in the United States of America. I have often reflected upon the meaning of that good fortune. I was born just months after the outbreak of World War II and have often been haunted by the fact that my young […]
Imagine standing at a crossroads. We have all been there. We have all experienced moments in our life’s journey when we had to make a crucial choice and decide whether to proceed along one road or along another. (Except for Yogi Berra, of course, who famously said, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it.")
It was a lesson I learned long ago, when I was a high school classroom teacher. I was new at this line of work, and found that my greatest challenge was to find ways to motivate the students. I tried various approaches, which all were basically attempts to motivate by giving. I tried giving special prizes and awards, granting extra privileges, and even resorting to outright bribery in order to get the students to pay attention, do their homework, and learn the subject matter.
My first exposure to the study of the Bible was in the Yiddish language. We spoke only English at home, but almost all the teachers we had in the yeshiva I attended were Holocaust survivors who had escaped to the safety of these shores only a few years prior.
It is an old word, and it describes a behavior that has been around since the very beginning of history. Yet the word seems to me to be used more and more frequently these days, and the behavior it describes has gotten out of control.
Although many of his adherents deny it, he definitely had an anti-Semitic streak and was at least, for a time, sympathetic to the Nazi cause. Yet he was one of the major psychological theorists of the 20th century, and I personally have found his insights into the human mind both fascinating and practical.
Parshat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim May 5, 2012 To read more articles and essays by Rabbi Weinreb, visit his blog at www.ou.org/rabbi_weinreb. (Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb is the Executive Vice President Emeritus of the Orthodox Union) “The Knave” It was a year when the holidays fell on the same days of the week as they do this […]
For several years now, I have been taking a train to work every day. Not a subway train, mind you, but an old-fashioned inter-city railroad train, complete with a conductor who collects the passengers' tickets and even shouts, "All aboard!"