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Showing posts from July, 2013

Are We Just Going Through The Motions ?

Unfortunately, we have to observe another Tisha B'avthis year. This day is our National Day of Mourning because of several catastrophic events that occurred on this day. The most depressing event that occurred on this day was the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans nearly two thousand years ago. Not only was the central location of Jewish worship destroyed after 420 years of being the spiritual oasis of the nation, but the surviving Jews were banished into exile, while Jerusalem lay in ruins.
The Rabbis declared that day always to be marked with intense mourning. One should refrain from eating, drinking, bathing among other things as well. People come to synagogue and sit on the floor as the Book of Lamentations is chanted in a somber tune.
My question is are we actually feeling the pain and mourning? Does it really bother us that the central location of Jewish worship has disappeared and been replaced with another house of worship by another faith ? 
I ask th…

The Virtue of Failure

Have you ever failed at something that left you feeling really deflated? Have you had your share of setbacks and disappointments? If you have, then you are like everyone in life. There is no one since the beginning of time until the very moment that you are reading this blog that has not failed at something. The question is, how do we react to our failures? Do we wallow in self-pity and despair? Have we fallen down that it is it too hard to get up? Or is it possible to somehow transform a failure into a positive experience?
I think there is a great lesson in this weeks parsha that speaks to this idea. The Torah articulates the 42 stops the Jewish people made along the way from Egypt into the Land of Israel over the course of their 40 year journey. Why was it necessary for the Torah to repeat all the times they stopped at a 7-11 along the way? Rashi explains this with a parable. There once was a king who had a very ill son. They traveled to a faraway land to seek the assistance of a wel…