to Beyond Twelve Gates. Can you tell the temperature of a tub of
water just by looking at it? Unless it's hot enough to give off
steam or cold enough to freeze, you probably can't. Can you tell
how warm or cool a room is by seeing it through a pane of glass?
Probably not. Looking inside ourselves, we can become aware
that our most powerful motivators often can't be 'seen' from the outside.
Love, hate, passion, greed, fear, desire, lust, compassion,
charity, goodness -- all the emotions that set us in motion tend to be
limitation in our ability to assess others is that we can only see the
'act', and not the 'person.' A limited view of a person's
background, thoughts and feelings makes it near-impossible to accurately
judge people. Following the direction of 'Judge every
person in a favorable, meritorious light' (Ethics of the Fathers) is a
path to wisdom, harmonious living, and peace of mind.
Parshas Ki Sisa Exodus 30:11 -- 34:35
The portion begins with G-d's command to Moses to
take a census by collecting an equal contribution of a half-shekel coin
from every adult male between the ages of 20 and 60, with the profits
going to the Mishkan (Tabernacle). G-d
designates Betzalel, of the tribe of Judah, and Oholiav, of
the tribe of Dan, to supervise the upcoming construction of the Mishkan.
The mitzvah of Shabbat is
then repeated to caution the nation that even the construction of the Mishkan
does not supersede the observance of the weekly day of rest.
returns to the narrative of the Revelation at Mt. Sinai
and describes the horrible sin of the golden calf.
G-d relents to Moses' prayer that the Children of Israel should
be spared from annihilation for this great transgression, and Moses
descends from the mountain with the two tablets of the Ten Commandments in
hand. Upon witnessing a segment of the population dancing around
the golden calf, Moses smashes the tablets and burns the idol, initiating
the process of repentance. Moses again ascends the mountain to pray
to G-d that the Jewish people should be forgiven and regain their status
as the chosen people. Moses eventually returns with the second set
of tablets and a renewed covenant with G-d, his face radiant as a result
of the Divine experience
aren't the only ones giving their babies unusual names.
Compared with decades ago, parents are choosing less common names for
their kids. Study researcher Jean Twenge
of San Diego State University, and
author of "The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement" sees
the uptick of unusual baby
names as a sign of change in our culture from one
that applauded fitting in, to today's emphasis on being unique and
standing out. When taken too far, however, this individualism could lead
both to narcissism and unanticipated difficulties for one's child.
being named Reef or Shaqueesha and then walking into an interview
for a bank manager job. Even with an impressive resume it will
be an uphill battle to have anyone
take you seriously. Someone remarked that he has two
friends .....one named Rolin Tobacco (his parents thought the name
was hilarious) and the other named Martini. Both hate their
names because no one takes them seriously. They have had interviewers ask
them if they were trying to be funny or if this was "some kind of
joke" after looking over their resume in job interviews.
A list of other unusual names:
Chino (after the prison)
Sambucus (latin Genus for sumac (a plant))
of the great challenges of parenting is making decisions that are in the best
interests of our children, rather than what pleases or satisfies
ourselves. Rabbi Simcha Wasserman, z'l, would
often say, "the generation
gap is caused by 'my son the doctor.' "Seeking
vicarious fulfillment through our children for our own
unfulfilled, frustrated desires is a recipe for disaster. Good parenting
requires that we constantly adhere to the principle expressed by King Solomon:
"Educate a child according to HIS (or her) way." When we
focus on what is best for our children, many of the typical child-rearing
obstacles will be removed, or become more easily manageable.
Quote of the Week
Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But
no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are beyond question, the
most formidable and the most remarkable race which has appeared in the
world -- Winston Churchill
Joke of the Week
It was a sweltering August day when the Greenberg
brothers entered the offices of the anti-Semitic car-maker, Henry
Ford. "Mr. Ford," announced Hyman
Greenberg, eldest of the three, "we have a remarkable invention that
will revolutionize the auto industry." Norman Greenberg, the
middle brother, said, "We'd like to demonstrate it to you in
person." The four stepped outside, and the youngest brother,
Maxwell Greenberg, proceeded to demonstrate on a sweltering day
how an interior air conditioning unit in a
black Edsel could make a broiling car quite comfortable.
Negotiations began, with the Greenberg brothers
asking for $1 million, and the name 'Greenberg Brothers Air Conditioning'
stamped right next to the Ford logo. "Money is no
problem," responded Ford, "but no way will I have a 'Jew-name'
next to my logo on my cars!" They haggled for a while, and settled
on a final agreement. The Greenberg brothers were paid $1.5 million, and
on every Ford vehicle, clearly appearing on the a/c control panel, you'll
see three names clearly defined: HI -- NORM -- MAX