The Three-Fingered Salute

June 18, 2014
The Three-Fingered Salute

I feel the need to start with a disclaimer, lest some of my readers on the right make unfounded assumptions. The kidnapping of Israeli teens Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach last week was horrible, I pray every day for their safe return, and I believe the Israeli government’s response – arresting hundreds...
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Shelach 5774: Commandments, or Advice?

June 11, 2014
Shelach 5774: Commandments, or Advice?

Last November I wrote a blog post, “Does God Care if Women Wear Tefillin?” where I put forth the idea that God is a “big picture” sort of force, and all the details in the commandments (mitzvot), as interpreted by the rabbis, are really advice for us on how to align with that force....
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To Bless, or Not to Bless? That is the Question.

June 3, 2014
To Bless, or Not to Bless?  That is the Question.

A few days ago someone posted a question on Facebook: if you are eating food that is not kosher, should you still say a blessing? Most traditional rabbis will instinctively say “no.”  After all, eating non-kosher food is a sin, and you shouldn’t say a blessing for doing a sin. There is also a...
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Dr. Leff’s Guide to Happiness

May 30, 2014
Dr. Leff’s Guide to Happiness

Everyone wants to be happy. America’s Declaration of Independence enshrines the “pursuit of happiness” as a core American value. I’ve written about “The Secret of Happiness” before – my conclusion then being that happiness is a result not a goal. Last week I read an article someone posted on Facebook about happiness: “The Way...
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Israel Trail Day 42: Crossing Makhtesh Ramon to Gevanim

May 29, 2014
Israel Trail Day 42: Crossing Makhtesh Ramon to Gevanim

May 20, 2014 Wikiloc Map: Makhtesh Ramon to Gevanim Distance: 24.6 km (15.3 miles) Total distance since Tel Dan: 865km / 536 miles When I tell people I’m doing the Israel Trail in sections, they often ask “how do you deal with getting back to your car?” I think I’ve now covered all the...
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Bamidbar 5774 – Finding God in the Wilderness

May 22, 2014
Bamidbar 5774 – Finding God in the Wilderness

And the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai …Numbers 1:1 Regular readers of this blog know that I’ve been spending a lot of time in the desert lately. My 35th day on the Israel Trail, back in February, was my first “real day in the desert.” I’ve now spent 8 days...
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