Playing Catch With My Daughter

June 23, 2017 – Volume 5, Issue 33 –29th of Sivan 5777
Parshas Korach

My eight year old daughter has recently taken to asking me to play catch with her. This is a soft toss with a rubber ball, something akin to THIS. It’s fun for both of us. In her words: let’s play catch every day this summer. I get to teach her how to throw, how to catch and of course occasionally show off and wow her with some of the fancier moves I’ll purposefully display (like rather than catching the ball, hitting it with my hands in the air and volleying it back to her). I love to see her genuine large smile (and those dimples!) on her face.

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When Power Goes to a Leader’s Head

June 16, 2017 – Volume 5, Issue 32 –22nd of Sivan 5777
Parshas Shlach

When we think of the word successful, words such as: fame, prestige, wealth and power may come to mind. These qualities are in and of themselves, neither good or bad. Power for example, can give someone great control. Powerful kings of old could often do what they wanted, unchecked and unrestricted. ​Of course this is not always a bad thing. If Bill and Melinda Gates want to use their wealth and power to try and supply water to third world countries, the world will be a better place. But what if the heart of a powerful person is filled with egoism, desire for personal grandeur and a loathing for anyone who does not adore him/her? Like a loaded weapon, such unfettered power is in dangerous hands.

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The Time I Dove Off A Cliff

June 9, 2017 – Volume 5, Issue 31 –15th of Sivan 5777
Parshas B’haloscha

Ever been to a 4D movie? Most of us have experienced 3D, you put on the less-than-cool glasses and things on the screen jump out at you. Well, 4D is that, PLUS! 4D is where effects from the movie also pull you into the movie experience. For example, if the scene in the movie is on a boat, you may get misty water on your face. A pleasant fragrance may emanate if the main character of the movie walks into a chocolate store. It’s an ingenious way of making the movie come alive for the viewer. 

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Before a Marriage Goes South

June 2, 2017 – Volume 5, Issue 30 –8th of Sivan 5777
Parshas Nasso

Marriage. It can be very rewarding, but most will not say it is easy. And, though walking down the aisle no one would want to utter it out loud, it’s a strong possibility that the couple who look so loving and beautiful under the wedding canopy, will end up divorced. I do not mean this cynically, but the simple statistics lean to marriages ending in divorce versus “happily ever after.” Through the work I’ve been doing as a Marriage and Family Therapist I’m exposed to marriages that have often hit a rough patch on the road to marital bliss. I’d like to use this article, based on our torah portion, to address one aspect of the sacred bond called marriage.

We see the ugly side of marriage in this week’s portion and the tragic end to a relationship wrought with suspicion and extramarital affairs. The sotah woman who has been caught becoming too friendly with a man (not her husband) is the subject of a part of our weekly portion. The suspicions that her lackadaisical attitude towards the sanctity of her relationship, have generated more than a raised eyebrow from her husband.

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The Keen Clerks of Home Depot, Costco and Frankel’s Bookstore

May 26, 2017 – Volume 5, Issue 29 –Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5777
Parshas Bamidbar

There are certain kinds of stores I love to patron. Home Depot, for example, though I have no aptitude toward handy work (this seems to be an inherited trait), I like to imagine and dream of the possibility of building something with my own two hands. I enjoy Costco because it helps bring me an abundance mentality mindset. There’s plenty to go around. I relish going into Jewish bookstores (including our local Frankel’s) as I get so much pleasure from learning that simply being around sefarim (torah books), gives me a high (I’ve seen similar reactions in friends who enjoy their scotch, while simply browsing at a liquor store). But there is another type of shopping experience I love as well.

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