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In Honor of Thanksgiving

To take a brief break from the poisonous dose of divisiveness and controversy that has become the norm in our contemporary society and infuses our lives with anger and frustration, I decided, in honor of Thanksgiving, to write about a subject that transcends controversy—gratitude. Who in their right mind can say anything negative about appreciation and thankfulness? Well, more than I could have imagined. 

Imagining the Worst-Case Scenario

As I was impatiently waiting for Hurricane Dorian to choose its final path, I read the weekly portion, Shoftim, in preparation for the following Shabbat’s sermon. With the storm and its potentially devastating outcome in mind, the ancient text presented itself in a
new light. 

Learning to Let Go

Earlier this year, I read a review in The New York Times of a book titled “How to Hold a Grudge”, surprisingly portraying the practice in a rather positive light. I acknowledge that at times holding a grudge may fill us with temporary satisfaction and even a sense of moral superiority; nevertheless, for my own benefit, I try to adhere to the commandment “Thou shalt not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge” (Leviticus 19:18). 

They Always Come Back

At The One School’s graduation ceremony, I gave a message to the parents, which upon further reflection I find to be relevant in helping us strengthen our important relationships. 

Hoping That Reason Will Prevail

Reading about Jews who are blamed for spreading diseases, especially amidst an undeniably growing anti-semitism in America, throws me back to the Dark Ages. During the Bubonic plague of the 14th century, for example, dozens of Jewish communities in central and northern Europe were attacked by their Christian neighbors, who accused them of deliberately poisoning air or water to unleash the plague.