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Weekly Email by Rabbi Moss

Thousands of people enjoy the wisdom and inspiration of Rabbi Moss' weekly emails.

Are Your Parents on Another Planet?

Question of the Week

I feel uncomfortable with the idea that G-d is always watching me. It seems stifling to think that I am under constant surveillance. I had enough helicopter parenting when I was a kid. Do I really need someone breathing down my neck all day as an adult?

Answer

I agree, the last thing we need is for G-d to be a helicopter parent. But I don't think that is what He is. 

There are three models of parenting: the helicopter, the space ship and the sailing boat.

A helicopter parent hovers around their child, correcting every mistake, shielding every threat, catching every fall. They don't allow their child to speak for themselves, take risks or get hurt. Though it all comes from love, they are… Read More »

Jerusalem is Not Alone

 

Question of the Week

One question I had is about the traditional words of consolation said to mourners:
"May G-d comfort you together with the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem."
What exactly is the consolation in those words? How does comparing the loss of a loved one to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans two thousand years ago make me feel any better?
 
Answer
 
 
There are several parallels between the fall of Jerusalem and the passing of a soul. By contemplating these similarities, the mourners can find a profound message of hope in the midst of sorrow.
 
Although the destruction of Jerusalem primarily affected those who actually lived there, nevertheless it was a… Read More »

Which Political Party is Correct?

 

Question of the Week

I am a staunch libertarian, and my wife is a big time socialist. We are happily married because we don't talk politics. But I do wonder, what is the Torah's viewpoint on political issues? Which political ideology would Judaism espouse?

Answer

It's refreshing to hear that you and your wife can disagree on politics and stay together. If only more people could put their differences aside and celebrate what unites them, the world would be in a much better place. You are a model for that better place.

There is a story of a group of Jews in the 1920's who were debating this very topic: which political philosophy aligns with the Torah? Each was able to quote the Torah as support for their preferred ideology.

One… Read More »

A Kabbalistic Kiddush

 

Question of the Week

I make Kiddush over wine every Friday night, but I would like to know a deeper meaning behind it. Is there some mystical ideas you can share that I can meditate on when I say the Kiddush?

Answer

It all goes back to the very first Friday of history. Adam and Eve were created on Friday afternoon, the time when all last minute things get done, like making humanity.

On that first day, they were told not to eat from the fruit of one tree, the Tree of Knowledge. The mystics teach that this fruit was a grape vine, a fruit that contains the potential for great good and great evil. Over a glass of wine friendships are made and lost, lives are enhanced and destroyed, hopes are created and dashed. It is the Tree… Read More »

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