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When Pinchas Visited Hospice


  Pinchas 5779

 Standing outside the door of the hospice home, in the hot evening sun of late-July, we were waiting for someone to answer our multiple knocks—on the door, on the patio slider with the drawn curtains, and even on the garage windows where we had detected movement moments earlier.


We were later than usual and were already familiar with the staff’s preference for no visits after six, but it wasn’t an unreasonable hour so I persisted, thinking, “Why should Leon* miss out on his regular visit and prayer just because of my oversight and the minuscule inconvenience for the staff?”


Earlier that afternoon I had been preparing for and recording our weekly… Read More »

In the Big City or the Burbs - A Nation That Dwells Alone

 Balak Email - 5779

Where do you think it’s easier to be Jewishly observant -  New York or California?

 If you answered New York you could be forgiven. One borough can contain more Jews, more kosher restaurants, more synagogues, more schools and study halls and religious-social opportunities than most states in the union. With such a supportive environment, what could be easier than living, eating, praying, and celebrating as the Torah teaches?

 But, as I discovered in an enlightening talk I had with a young man this week, somehow the plethora of Jewish opportunity can also come with a downside: in the busy city there is often also a profuse availability and accessibility of debasement and debauchery… Read More »

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