Hayey Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18)

14 Oct
October 14, 2014

I officiated at a funeral this week of a man who died somewhere around age 95. No one in the family is exactly sure of his age, but since he’d been celebrating his ninetieth birthday for the past five years, I figure it’s safe to assume that he was close to 95 one way or another. Read more →

Other Articles

07 Oct
October 7, 2014

Articles about Jewish Holidays and Sacred Seasons

07 Oct
October 7, 2014

About Rabbi Reuben

07 Oct
October 7, 2014

Love Your Children as You Love Yourself

28 Sep
September 28, 2014

Perhaps the five words of Biblical advice known to more people than any others are found in the phrase, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” from Chapter nineteen of Leviticus. Of course this is advice more easily given than taken. For how many of us really have the ability to love our neighbors in the first place, let alone as we love ourselves? More often if we even know our neighbors it is a casual acquaintance not likely to produce profound emotion whether positive or negative. Read more →

Making Ethical Behavior Ordinary

21 Sep
September 21, 2014

There are hundreds of ways to illustrate your values, to show your children by example the kind of adult you want them to become. What you want your children to learn is that we make choices about ethical behavior every single day. It is not something that happens self-consciously, or only under duress. To be fundamental to your children’s character, these choices must be integrated into their lives until such behavior seems ordinary and everyday. Read more →

Teaching Your Kids That You Believe In Them

14 Sep
September 14, 2014

If you look back on your life, you will probably acknowledge that it was the little things, the small gestures of support, encouragement and love that meant the most to you. Whether they came from a parent, a colleague at work, a high-school sweetheart or a life companion, these simple, heartfelt reminders of their faith in you probably meant more than all the external rewards of a lifetime. Read more →

Five Ways to Develop an Ethical-Action Consciousness in Children

07 Sep
September 7, 2014

Everything teaches something. Here are five ways to help your children develop an ethical-action consciousness in their everyday lives. First, be an ethical-action cheerleader, and acknowledge your children’s positive behavior. Few learning experiences are as effective as being caught in the act of doing something right. One of the most important things you can do, is to simply make sure that your children know that you notice their ethical behavior. Look for opportunities to acknowledge their ethical decisions and praise them for good moral judgments. When a child offers to help a younger sibling with homework or spontaneously does a favor for someone without expecting anything in return, they deserve recognition for behavior that reflects good character and values. Read more →

Teaching An Attitude Of Gratitude

01 Sep
September 1, 2014

A few summers ago we went on a driving trip to the Grand Canyon. I remember one particular day standing near some tourists high up on the edge of the canyon looking down into a deep and beautiful gorge that seemed to stretch on forever. Amidst all the “Oohs,” and “Ahhs,” I overheard one of the tourists remark to this guide, “Wow, I sure would have liked to be here when this was being made.” The park ranger turned to the man and simply replied, “You are.” Read more →

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

28 Aug
August 28, 2014

I will never forget how intensely uncomfortable I felt sitting in a restaurant with a friend one day, as she pointed to her young son and daughter sitting in the booth next to her and casually asked me, “Tell me the truth, which one of them do you think is more beautiful?” Read more →

Understanding Moral Development

21 Aug
August 21, 2014

The other day I was watching a group of preschool children playing together at my synagogue. At the same time that I was thinking how cute and adorable they were, I realized that I really had no idea exactly what kind of adults these children would grow up to become. I suddenly imagined Buford Furrow Jr.’s mother looking at her sweet and innocent son at age two or three or four, dreaming of him growing up to be strong, competent, successful and loving. What happened to turn an innocent child into a morally twisted adult who could calmly walk into a Jewish Community Center and open fire with an Uzi on little children? Read more →

The Moral Challenge Of Giving

14 Aug
August 14, 2014

For most of us holidays are times of joy and celebration, of family gatherings and too much food, of songs and parties and gifts. But holidays also provide many of the best teaching opportunities for parents of the entire year. Read more →

Teaching Your Children To Teach Themselves

07 Aug
August 7, 2014

The best parenting is parenting that leads your children to become their own best teachers and life-guides. In essence it is the art of helping them to develop within an “internal parent” whom they can call upon for guidance, support, encouragement and wisdom for the rest of their lives. Read more →

Letting Go

01 Aug
August 1, 2014

I’ve never forgotten the sad look in her eye when a mother stood up during one of my parenting seminars and wistfully remarked that from the moment her daughter was born every single day brought another experience of learning how to let go. Indeed, “letting go” for many parents is a life-long challenge and a constant source of emotional trauma. Read more →

When Life Doesn’t Turn Out the Way You Expected

28 Jul
July 28, 2014

In a “Frank and Ernest” cartoon, you see Frank rousing slowly from his sleep, then looking out at the sun coming up. He says dryly, “Well, the sun is rising in the east . . . so far, so good.”

There is a beautiful story back in the book of Genesis. Abraham is complaining to God that life hasn’t turned out the way he imagined it would. Here he is almost 100 years old and he has no heir to take over his house someday. The writer in Genesis tells us that God brought Abram outside and said to him, “Look at the heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” Read more →