Monday, October 30, 2017
Sunday, October 22, 2017
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
He lost his seat in Congress, his audacious bid to resurrect his career as mayor of New York City, and his high-profile marriage. And he undermined Hillary Clinton’s shot at the presidency in the closing days of the tumultuous 2016 campaign.Upon hearing this, especially now during the "Ten Days of Repentance", I could not help of thinking about the famous Midrash in Kohelet Rabba 7:32, brought down by Rabbeinu Yonah in his book "Shaarei Teshuvah":
On Monday, Anthony D. Weiner, sobbing as the judge spoke, learned the final, personal cost of his seemingly uncontrollable habit of exchanging lewd texts and pictures with women and girls: 21 months in prison.
Our sages tell of a band of robbers who were thrown in prison by the king where they languished for a while till they dug an escape hatch and fled. One of them, though, decided not to escape. And when the jail keeper arrived and turned one way and caught sight of the escape hatch, then the other way and noticed the remaining prisoner, he said to him, “Fool! There’s an escape hatch right before your eyes and you’re not using it?”Way back in 2011 I suggested that Mr. Weiner leverage this scandal to return to who he really is. It is such a shame that he did not take my advice!
However, all is not lost. The gates of repentance are still open. Imagine if Anthony Weiner spends his 21 months in prison immersed in Torah study! Imagine what progress he can make in becoming the Jew he was meant to be!
Let us all learn from Anthony Weiner's tragic fall from grace to clean up our own acts. We all have something that needs fixing. The tunnel leading out of prison is wide open. Will we be wise enough to use it?
Thursday, September 14, 2017
If the Orthodox experience has taught us anything, it is that complete immersion succeeds. Like the immersion in the mikveh, in which every centimeter of the body must touch water, so, too, our commitment requires totality. It is an immersion in our books; immersion in prayer services as punctuation marks for time; immersion in a 25-hour Shabbat experience without smart phones and the internet; immersion in round-the-clock Jewish education, at all costs.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Sunday, September 03, 2017
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
The stomach growls "ewww".
The Jew's body complains, saying, "Give me the food and drink that I am accustomed to!"
A voice, coming from deep within, answers:
"When is the last time that you thought about the Holy Temple that was engulfed in flame?
When was the last time you were in pain because of the ongoing desecration of God's Holy Name?"
The Jew answers, "My mind is devoted to making a living.
This is my exemption.
I don't have time to think about redemption!"
The voice lets out a hardy laugh.
"Lying to oneself is definitely not cool
It is no big deal to deceive a fool."