Angel for Shabbat

Thoughts for Thanksgiving

It is sometimes heard in Orthodox Jewish circles that Thanksgiving Day is a "non-Jewish holiday" and should not be observed by religious Jews. This view is historically wrong and morally dubious. This national holiday belongs to Jews as to all other Americans.

A Three Year Old Bride? Thoughts on Parashat Hayyei Sarah

Students were told by their teacher that Rivka was three years old when she married Yitzhak--who was forty years old. A student asked: Is it reasonable to think that a forty year old man like Yithak would marry a three year old girl? The rabbi responded: if our sages say that Rivka was three years old, that's how old she was! There is no room for further discussion. Actually, there is a lot more room for discussion.

Recognition Hunger: Thoughts for Parashat Lekh Lekha

In his book, “Games People Play,” Dr. Eric Berne wrote of a phenomenon that he described as recognition hunger. Humans have a deep psychological need to be recognized, to be validated. It is a natural desire to want to be loved and appreciated. These signs of affirmative recognition convey a message: your life matters, you are good, you make a difference. When someone sincerely praises or thanks us, we feel better about ourselves.

Prayers that Ascend: Thoughts for Parashat Vayetsei

A story is told of the great Hassidic master, Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev. He had been visiting a town and attended prayer services in the local synagogue. One day, he stopped at the synagogue door and did not enter the sanctuary. People asked: Why did the Rebbe not enter the synagogue? Rabbi Levi Yitzhak told them: “The synagogue is too crowded.” But the synagogue was empty! The Rebbe explained: “The synagogue is full of prayers, there's no room left for us."