Thursday, August 26, 2010

Heads or Tails? by Rabbi Moss

Question of the Week:
I read somewhere that there is a custom to eat the head of a fish on the night of Rosh Hashana, to symbolise that in the coming year "we should be the head and not the tail." What does this actually mean? I can't make head or tails of it... (sorry...)

Answer:
We face today a crisis of leadership. In almost every area of life - familial, communal, global and personal - there is a gaping void at the top. Rather than leading with vision and purpose, today's leaders are often no more than followers.

Friday, August 20, 2010

How Much Does It Cost Me?

By Yossy Goldman

What do we cherish? What do we truly value? What do we make time for?

There is a rather curious juxtaposition of ideas in our parshah this week. The Torah cautions us against allowing Ammonite and Moabite men to convert and join the Jewish people. The reasons? Firstly, because they did not greet you with bread and water on the road when you were leaving Egypt. And secondly, because they hired Balaam... to curse you.

Such a diverse set of crimes lumped together in one verse. In the same breath we are told to shun them because they didn't play the good host when we were a tired and hungry nation trudging through the desert from Egypt and because they hired the heathen prophet Balaam to destroy us. How can we possibly compare these two reasons? The first is simply a lack of hospitality while the second is nothing short of attempted genocide!

How to Stop a Crying Baby; by Rabbi Moss

Question of the Week:
I feel so hard done by. I hate feeling like this when I know I have many blessings to be grateful for, like a great family and wonderful children. But I find that no matter how hard I work, how hard I try, others have it so much easier than me - they get left inheritances, win prizes, travel the world and I just slog and slave to live a decent life, and still I struggle. I harbour such negativity it is unhealthy. How can I start feeling more grateful for my blessings and less resentful about my hardships?

Answer:
I hear your frustration. Let me offer you some wisdom that I was taught this morning. I learnt it from my baby daughter.

She has been unwell and very moody and clingy over the last few days. This morning she would not stop crying, for no apparent reason, and nothing I did would placate her. I made funny faces, dangled her dolly in front of her and rubbed it in her face, sang silly songs, and made strange noises by cupping my hand underneath my armpits. But she continued to sob, oblivious to my efforts to make her smile.

So I changed tactics. 

"Fusion & Fission"; Weekly e*Torah by Rabbi Avrohom Altein

Friday, August 13, 2010

That Annoying Restaurant Kid

"The Healer's Guilty Conscience" by Rabbi Moss

Question of the Week:
I work in the line of healing and unfortunately a patient of mine just passed away. I feel as though it was my fault, because though I did all I could, I didn't save her. This is the first time I have experienced this, and was wondering, does Judaism have any insight on dealing with the guilt of losing a patient?

Answer:
There is a paradox at the heart of all caring professions. This paradox applies to all those who deal with people's real life problems, such as rabbis, doctors, therapists and manicurists.

The Personalized Judicial System; Weekly e*Torah by Rabbi Avrohom Altein

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Over 30 Prominent Endorsements For Medicine & Morals

As we near the launch of the fall course, "Medicine and Morals," JLI is obtaining endorsements for the course from top lawyers, doctors, professors and medical ethicists. Amongst others, the course has been endorsed by Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services, The Hon. Tevi Troy and over 30 prominent academics. This course has been described as "a fascinating and engaging tour of the subject of Jewish medical ethics" as well as one which "brings a framework of understanding to some of the most difficult medical ethics questions we face."  These endorsements go a long way to both attest to the level of professionalism of the course and attract prospective students. "Medicine and Morals" is being offered for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit and therefore has the ability to attract a more academic and professional crowd.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Time To Pray; A Poem

I got up early one morning,
And rushed right into the day;
I had so much to accomplish,
That I didn't take time to pray;
Problems just tumbled about me,
And heavier came each task,
'Why doesn't G-d help me,' I wondered.
He answered, 'You didn't ask.'

I wanted to see joy and beauty,
But the day toiled on, gray and bleak;
I wondered why G-d didn't show me,
He said, 'But you didn't seek.'

I tried to come into G-d's presence;
I used all my key to the lock.
G-d gently and lovingly chided,
'My child, you didn't knock.'

I awoke so early this morning,
And paused before entering the day;
I had so much to accomplish,
That I had the time to pray."

Why Don't Women Just Say It?

Question of the Week:
Last week you wrote that women are relationship beings, and men are loners. Well if women are such relationship experts, why can't my wife communicate clearly and just say what she means?

It was her birthday yesterday, and when I mentioned it last week, she said, "Don't you dare do anything for my birthday!" So I didn't. Now she won't speak to me. I did exactly as she said, and I'm in trouble. Am I missing something?

Answer:
Yes, you are missing something. It's called women's intuition. Your wife has it, and you never will. Men are literalists, women are intuitive. It's been that way since the beginning of time.

Medicine and Morals: Your Guide Through Life's Tough Decisions