The Stubborn Independent

Are the values and opinions we hold dear really our own? We all take pride in thinking for ourselves, but are not many (all?) of our personal positions an echo of the culture we were raised in, or drawn from the last social media posting we read? From the shop of...

Be Creative

In the beginning G-d created the Heavens and the Earth... The High Holiday prayer books have been shelved, the Sukkah is stored away (or at least that's the plan), and we start reading the Torah again from the beginning. The custom of restarting the Torah readings at...

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Sukkos in the Rain

We've all become amateur meteorologists. In the northeastern United States the weather during the past week has ranged from cloudy to fog to rain, with rain having more than a fair share. Under normal circumstances, we would stay inside under shingled roofs, and take...

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Erasable Permanent Markers

Yom Kippur is tomorrow night. What happens on this, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar? "Kippur" is often translated as atonement -- to make reparation for bad deeds, and restore a relationship damaged by those offenses. That is a good description -- but why is...

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Royal Treasures

One restless night, Benny, who was having trouble making a living, had a vivid dream. His dream showed him, in precise detail, the whereabouts of a stuffed backpack with two million dollars cash, at the bottom of a dumpster on the Virginia shore. He woke from his...

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The Stick Factor

"How could you forget? You knew we arranged to meet for coffee at 1:30 today!" "Really -- it just slipped my mind. I'm sorry. I just forgot." "What do you mean you just forgot?" "I don't know. My memory isn't perfect. These things happen." "Well, if it was really...

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Life Between the Cracks

I was about 15 years old when I lost a Siddur (prayer book) on a backpacking trip near the summit of New Hampshire's Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. It must have fallen out of my pocket at a pit-stop along the hike. After my return...

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