When it comes to ethical boundaries, the obvious ones are pretty clear: don’t transgress against others, don’t steal, don’t kill, etc. Yet, when it comes to transgressions of a lesser level, how do we hold ourselves accountable? When boundaries aren’t as obvious, how do we keep ourselves on the straight and narrow? A simple, ethical…

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Holiness–what exactly is it? Be holy, act in a manner that commands respect and doesn’t demand respect, treat others as you want to be treated; these are all mottos to live by. The most important one for me is the words of the Sage Hillel, “If I’m not for myself, who is for me, and…

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I want to talk about our identity. How we dress, who we spend our time with, how much money we make, what club, community, religion–or even sect of a religion– we belong to, holds such an important value in our society, when in truth, it separates us from who we really are or who we…

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Envy… jealously… the thought that shiny objects or the lifestyles of the rich and famous will make you happy… “If I only had such and such”. It’s not about begrudging anyone else. I don’t believe this world is a zero-sum game; God is unlimited and provides for all of us and can give every single…

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I want to talk about guilt vs. shame. I have always understood shame to be ‘I am bad’, and guilt being ‘what I have done is bad or wrong’. When I am bad, I have nowhere to go, I have no way of repenting, because I, myself am useless. However, when I have done something…

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What is love? My teacher Ted has taught me that life is the journey of falling in love with oneself. I have so often misconstrued what this means, thinking that if I love myself, I must be too egotistical, or I will automatically think I’m better than, or I’ll stop seeking the counsel of others,…

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In the Talmud, it states that the sin God hates the most is someone who lends money to his fellows and then charges them interest. Personally, I can think of many worse things, and I’m sure you can as well, so why is this sin so terrible in God’s eyes? The answer is quite profound,…

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This week is the holiday of Purim, which in some ways is similar to Halloween in that we dress up in costumes and wear masks. I believe the reason for the mask and costume, on a superficial level, is that dressing up is fun and the holiday is about fun and celebration. Yet when I…

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Depression, addiction, compulsions, anxiety, overeating… I have so often heard, “why can’t people have willpower, why can’t they just stop, why can’t they be happy, how selfish is it to kill oneself, get over yourself, what is wrong with you, go get help, and so on and so forth. Let me start by saying, as…

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The war in Ukraine is at the top of all our minds, and at least for myself, I’m thinking of the financial implications that uncertainty brings. Truthfully, this brings me a bit of shame; there are people hiding and fearing for their lives, and I’m worried about the economy and the financial implications this conflict…

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