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I am sure many of our hearts are still heavy from last week’s gruesome attacks in Paris, and yesterday’s heartrending attacks in Israel. To be a citizen of the world poses many challenges to us. How do we remain open to horror that occurs halfway around the world when it sometimes seems that this is all the news brings us? How do we place it in some sort of proper perspective? How do we keep ... Read More
I'd like to share two occasions in which I took part this past week. The first was a family outing to the Oregon Historical Society on Veteran's Day. There was a powerful display on World War II and on the American "propaganda" posters of both world wars. I was moved by both, given hope and also saddened.
The December 2015 issue of Psychology Today has an interesting article about the science of first impressions. Among the striking findings is an argument that we humans have only developed the tools to "read people" over the last 13,000 years. Before the advent of agriculture and larger human settlements, we all lived in smaller tribal units where everyone was known.
Failure is unavoidable. The news media depend on this for their content, and we all know too well what our personal failings are. Most of us also don't enjoy the feeling of failure. Yet given its prevalence, and our continued survival as a species, failure seems essential for us as well. Why is that?
The juxtaposition of last week's parsha, Noah, and this week's Torah reading, Lekh Lekha, provide us a special vantage point to witness God's development as an educator. That divine unfolding provides us with a model that we can also use, whether we work as teachers, managers or want to improve our home life.
Whether or not we modern Jews live halakhic lives--lives that are organized around Jewish law--there is tremendous value and guidance in our legal tradition. Let's turn our attention to two such legal concepts and see if they can shine a little light on our how we go about our days.