On Taming our Inner "Cats": Thoughts on Parashat Ki Tissa, February 19, 2011

An ancient Greek parable tells of a cat that was magically transformed into a Princess. The Princess was elegant, well mannered, and always with a ready smile on her face.  Everyone seemed to be enchanted by her nobility.

And then, one day, as the Princess greeted a group of admirers, a mouse happened to run into the room. In an instant, the Princess was transformed back into cat-like behavior. The illusion was over. Everyone realized she was not really a Princess after all, but was a cat  who was posing as a Princess.

A Spanish Politician and Journalist Speaks Up for Israel

Shalom and happy Yom Yetushalayim. I recently received a copy of an article by a leftist Spanish journalist, in which she lambasts "the left" for its blatant anti-Israel prejudice. I thought you would like to see this. Please circulate it among your friends, fellow students, and family. Yes, some journalists still have moral courage. I've also posted this article on the Institute's website: www.jewishideas.org

Walk, not Talk: Thoughts on Parashat Behukotai, May 21, 2011

A man who lives near our synagogue recently attended an evening service in order to say kaddish in memory of his father. Although we almost always have a minyan present, that night we had a problem. The weather was bad, some of our "regulars" were out of town--we only had eight men at services.

Our guest was agitated and angry. He had come to say kaddish, but we were not able to provide him this opportunity. He stomped angrily out of the synagogue, indignant that we did not have a minyan when he needed one.

Yes, it is a pity that we missed minyan that night.

Religion and Superstition:Thoughts for Shabbat Vayikra, March 12, 2011

During the past week, I received an email from an organization in Israel seeking donations for which donors would merit success, happy marriage and good health. The organization offered to have a Torah scholar pray at the Kotel from the Fast of Esther through the 7th day of Passover. They assured donors that this is a "very powerful time for hidden blessings to be revealed."