Seemingly harmless words

Seemingly harmless words

By Sara Gila Margulies Imagine if someone claimed that he had discovered the secret to attaining unspeakable wealth and that he was willing to share his discovery with the world. Who would be foolish enough not to jump at such an opportunity? Well, in Sefer Tehillim (Psalms), Dovid HaMelech (King David) already revealed to us just such a secret: “Who is the man who desires [eternal] life…Guard your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from speaking deceit.” It’s guaranteed. When we work on protecting our mouths from speaking hurtful,…

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The miracle at Entebbe

The miracle at Entebbe

  By Rabbi Yossy Goldman Much of what I write in these columns reflects what I have learned from people and my experiences over the years, whether in congregational life as a rabbi, or in my engagement with the the wider community on a variety of levels. But this month I learned a lot about life, people, and Jews from a historical event. The 4th of July 2016 was not only American Independence Day. It was the 40th Anniversary of the incredible and miraculously successful rescue at Entebbe. Arab terrorists…

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The critic within us

The critic within us

  By: Leonard Carr As human beings we often make the mistake of using faculties that Hashem gave us for self-perfection and growth to avoid facing ourselves by applying those qualities to others. A good example of this is the ability to judge between right and wrong. Judgment is based on comparison. In judgment you make a distinction between what you encounter compared to a principle or belief about how things should preferably or necessarily be. In order to be able to choose appropriate responses from their opposites, or to…

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Passing on the sugar

Passing on the sugar

  By Richard Sutton Our bodies are a gift from G-d and it’s actually a mitzvah to make every effort to ensure that we keep them healthy and vital. Maimonides cautions us that “maintaining a healthy and whole body is an integral part of Divine service,”[1] as, without a healthy body, a person cannot serve Hashem to his fullest. Like many things that add value to our lives, looking after our health is not easy. It’s hard work, time consuming, and, with so much information available, it can be somewhat…

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An exercise in coming together

An exercise in coming together

  By Chandrea Serebro It is an utterly moving experience to watch a group of grade eleven learners from Torah Academy, along with Moletsane High and Pace College in Soweto, and from two schools in Beit Shemesh, Israel, ride into Durban on their bikes after traveling 500 km. The celebration marking the end of the journey is particularly rousing – a goose-bump moment – not because they push themselves physically, making the trip in five days, but because these boys are all heroes. They have all gone beyond themselves, on…

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Leading the way in kindness

Leading the way in kindness

By: Chandrea Serebro What Jew doesn’t feel immense pride when he sees Israel standing at the forefront of the global community, frequently even arriving first on the scene, when it comes to offering aid to disaster zones like Nepal after their 2015 earthquake, Haiti after their 2010 earthquake, and Thailand after their 2004 Tsunami, often without even a remote vested interest in the country in question? Showing kindness to non-Jews – a mitzvah in its own right – falls under the category of what our Rabbis called darchei shalom, lit:…

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Leaders to us, parents to them

Leaders to us, parents to them

Chief Rabbi Moshe Dov Casper, z”l, by his daughter, Batya I have been asked to write about my father, Moshe Dov (Bernard Moses) Casper, z”l, which means ignoring the soft, nurturing love of my mother’s influence. So that is what I will do. My dad was the uber nurturer in our home. It was he who checked that the front door was locked at night, who read bedtime stories to my brother and me before lights out (when he was home), who said our nightly shema with us (again, when…

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