Article Archive for November 2011
The Talmud in Pesachim 54b lists the day of one’s death as the first of seven items that are hidden from humankind. As obvious a statement as this may seem, it is important to remember that, originally, humankind was not intended to die. Mortality was introduced only when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (which God warned them “for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die- Genesis 2:17), thus introducing death.
While we of the modern world scoff at the ancient alchemists who tried to turn lead into gold, many alchemical practices are at the root of today’s scientific experiments. Ironically, the fate and condition of alchemists in ancient and medieval society was often similar to that of the Jews–at the whim of the city rulers.
Dear Matchmaker Rabbi,
I met someone who seemed interested but before we had the chance to meet, I was asked very directly if I would be willing to relocate. My response was, “Not sure as we hardly know each other,” and then I was told, “My time is very valuable.” So, while still agreeing to meet him, I let him know if he could not make the appointment we had set to please let me know. And so he did try to reach me and left a cell phone message. I was left with the option to meet very briefly on a work day when it appeared more convenient for him. Very disappointing encounter, and we never met.
Born to a Chassidic family in Romania, Solomon Schechter (1847-1915) grew up to be a great scholar whose work had a deep and profound impact on Jewish life. After following the traditional Jewish path of study, Schechter studied at universities in both Vienna and Berlin, before eventually taking an academic post in the Judaic Studies department of Cambridge University. Through his academic work, Schechter was introduced to the “Historical Judaism” movement, which asserts that Jewish law was not static, but rather has always developed in response to changing conditions.
In their natural habitats, every creature on earth helps create a balance that allows the environment to flourish. This biological fact is part of the mechanics of Planet Earth. But the animal world offers humankind another benefit, for animals can be powerful examples of behavior.
Spatchcocking is easy and takes only a few minutes and either a very sharp knife or really good kitchen shears. While the process is simple and easy, the time saved in cooking equals big payback. Because the turkey is butterflied, the heat is more evenly distributed, and a 12 pound turkey will take about 1 ½ hours to roast versus a whole turkey, which will take over 3 hours to roast. A spatchocked chicken takes about 30 minutes to roast, while a whole chicken takes an hour.
It is nearly time for Thanksgiving, and throughout the United States communities are putting up posters for holiday food drives.
What does it mean to live transformationally? At its heart, this idea is related to one of the greatest gifts that we as humans possess: The ability to perceive and envision greatness in others and in the world as a whole.
In essence, living transformationally means being able to hold a vision of the people around us and the world we are in and live out of that vision. Doing so – and doing so effectively – enables that vision of greatness to emerge in others and in the world as a whole. As more and more of us live this way, the world becomes transformed – both because of who we are and because of the effects that we produce all around us.
I really was not interested in a long distance relationship, and frankly was not expecting much when I went online. But, it turns out it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.