Feeling Schizophrenic

July 13, 2014
Feeling Schizophrenic

This is a really really hard time to be an Israeli “peacenik.” Hamas has obviously had some great success in smuggling long-range rockets from Iran into the Gaza Strip. Rockets have been falling all over Israel, including in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, as far south as Mitzpeh Ramon and as far north as near Haifa....
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Balak 5774 – Time to Kill Balaam

July 4, 2014
Balak 5774 – Time to Kill Balaam

I don’t remember what I said that caused it, but early this morning as I was getting ready to head out on a bike ride I said something that caused my wife to respond “wow, you’re a little grumpy this morning.” Yeah, I was grumpy this morning. I’m probably not the only person in...
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Israel Trail Days 43 and 44: Gevanim to Zofar

June 23, 2014
Israel Trail Days 43 and 44: Gevanim to Zofar

June 15 and 16, 2014 Wikiloc Map:     Gevanim to Holit Night Camp Holit Night Camp to Zofar Distance: Day 1: 25km (15.6 miles) Day 2: 28km (17.4 miles) Total distance since Tel Dan: 918km (569 miles)  Solitude.  That’s the big impression from these two days on the trail.  It’s not uncommon that I...
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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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