Archive for 'Holocaust Related Issues'

When “Peace at any cost” becomes a prelude to mayhem

Aaron’s construction of the Golden Calf has always perplexed me. It seems as though Aaron gets away with a free pass, while everyone else who actually worships the calf is punished. Surely tradition teaches וְלִפְנֵי עִוֵּר לֹא תִתֵּן מִכְשֹׁל “do not place a stumbling block in front of a blind person” (Lev. 19:14). What greater stumbling block could one put, than to cause another to worship idols? Yet, Aaron gets off with hardly a reprimand. Asked in another way: How ...

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“Purim Torah” or Purim Synchronicity?

Purim Torah is a remarkable genre of Jewish literature. It is rabbinic satire at its best that centers around the festivities of Purim. Those individuals writing Purim Torah display remarkable wit in weaving Talmudic logic in fabricating conclusions that border the absurd and sublime.

Earlier this week, I received a delightful section of a fabricated Talmud–replete with all the Aramaic expressions one would expect to find in a Talmudic debate. The selection contains a discussion involving President ...

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Purim Memories and Reflections

Purim is here once more. For me it is a bitter-sweet holiday.

The year was 1996. Earlier that day, I went to the hospital to wish my father a “Freilach Purim” (Happy Purim).  I was reading the Megillah for my synagogue, when suddenly, somebody informed me,”Rabbi, your father just died.” Feeling stunned, I could not finish reading the Megillah.

Death is as mysterious as life; I believe we have to find meaning in the events that occur around us.  Psychologist Victor Frankl ...

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From Skinhead to Haredi Jew: A Tale of Personal Transformation

In the previous posts, we touched upon the dynamics of the shadow archetype that hides the inner person that exists inside us. The key to a optimum psychological state of health requires that we get understand the hidden depths of our souls and psyches. Here is a remarkable story about coming to terms with one’s shadow, compliments of  NY Times and the Failedmessiah–two excellent websites.

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From Skinhead to Orthodox Jew

Adam Lach for The New York Times

Pawel in the Warsaw ...

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Meetings: My Close-Encounter with a Presbyterian Professor

In 1996, I received my doctorate from the San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo (SFTS), California.  SFTS is really a gorgeous school, nestled in the foothills of Marin County. One could hardly have asked for a better place to study and engage so many thought-provoking teachers. I believe I was the first rabbi ever to go through their Doctorate of Ministry program. It proved to be a wonderful learning experience that introduced me to Biblical Greek, Christian biblical exegesis, ...

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