Categories
Words of Life

I was disturbed by the fantastical words of a guest at a recent business meeting held over a restaurant meal. Our guest began by ordering chicken a′ la king. What had a king to do with that speckled dish upon our table? Did he think...

Instinct

Our dog, Pip, is a sheep dog, and he has a natural herding instinct. Whether he is playing with dogs, children, or sheep, he instinctively begins to run round and round to gather them into a group. Pip was born on a sheep farm, and...

Repentance & Conversion

They arrived at Sinai in a state of repentance. (Rashi, Exodus 19:2) The Sages teach us that the Children of Israel went through a conversion process at Sinai: Acceptance of Mitzvot, Purification, etc. This mass of newly freed slaves had to repent for their constant...

The Secret Ingredient

Whenever I offer to join my wife and son as they cook, they both have a terrified look on their faces and urge me to use my time for more important things such as learning or taking Pip, our dog, for a walk. They...

Tikkunim VI – Removing Obstacles

The Talmud teaches that removing obstacles is a form of Tikkun: Takanat HaShavim. Beit Hillel understood that if the Teshuva process demanded absolute adherence to the letter of the law, the law would be an obstacle to Teshuva: AND THAT IF A BEAM WRONGFULLY APPROPRIATED HAS...

The Instincts of Others

My granddaughter knows that Pip will not enter the dining room on Shabbat. All we have to do is say, “Shabbos!” and he leaves the room. She was baking Challah on Thursday with her mother, and Pip was desperately reaching for the food on the...

Rushing Toward Expectations

I decided to take four students who could not go home for Chanukah vacation on a trip to Mount Lassen National Park for some cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The park is magnificent. The ride for five large men in a tiny Mazda GLC was uncomfortable,...