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What Jews Learn from Swimming

What Jews Learn from Swimming

Whenever I teach about the obligations parents have to children I inevitably cite the alternative opinion in the Talmud (Kiddushin 29a) that states that in addition to the ritual obligations of circumcision and redemption of the firstborn (when applicable), and the...

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In Tribute to My Teacher

In Tribute to My Teacher

On June 10, 2020 the Jewish world has lost one of its greatest and least recognized thinkers. Hakham José Faur died in Israel at age 85. In a way, his life mirrored the trials and vicissitudes of diaspora Jewry. He was born in Argentina to a family from Damascus, he...

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Leaving a Legacy – Yom Kippur 5780

Leaving a Legacy – Yom Kippur 5780

Stan Boutin, a biological scientist at the University of Alberta has been researching red squirrels in the Yukon for more than thirty-five years. In the course of his work on the Kluane Red Squirrel Project he has documented a phenomenon important to the evolution of...

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Hanukkah 5779

Hanukkah 5779

The prayer added to the liturgy during Hanukkah thanks God for the victory over the Syrian Greeks by the Hasmoneans, a victory of “the weak over the strong, the few over the many.” While the Jews did indeed win the war, the conflict between Judaism and Hellenism...

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The War That Did Not End All Wars

The War That Did Not End All Wars

Assessing the sheer carnage of World War I and the new and deadlier ways of killing, H. G. Wells concluded that he had lived to see the “war to end all wars.” He was wrong. Wells died in 1946, having lived through the second - and even bloodier - world war. Wells...

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Confronting the Past – Yom Kippur 5779

A mammalian biology professor once assigned his international students a paper on elephants. The French students chose as his topic “The Cuisine of the Elephant.” The Italian student wrote on “The Romantic Life of the Elephant.” The German student wrote on “The...

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Words to Live By

What lies behind you and what lies ahead of you pales in comparison to what lies inside you.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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