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Take a Vacation With God, Not From Him

Each year, like so many of you, I eagerly look forward to my summer vacation.  Used properly, a vacation is not only an opportunity to take a break from the rigors of work, but it provides tremendous growth opportunities.  In fact, how we use our vacation and what we do in our down time notRead More...

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101% Guaranteed To Change Your Life

Who doesn’t want to be happier at work?  New research concludes that greater happiness and satisfaction at work doesn’t come from more vacation days, additional downtime, or even more perks.  This study found that the best way to ensure that you’re happy at your job is to spend more time learning. Among the 2,049 workersRead More...

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Vigilance, Not Vigils: Responding to the Tragedy in Poway

The following is adapted from my remarks delivered on April 30 at the Boca Raton community gathering of prayer and unity in solidarity with the Chabad community of Poway, California I want to thank Rabbi Bukiet and Chabad of West Boca for hosting tonight’s event.  Tonight, we are all members of Chabad.  I can’t tellRead More...

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Anger is Contagious Like the Flu

Flu season is currently making itself known around the community, first among kids and now hitting adults.  But diseases and illnesses are not the only things that are contagious.  Without you even realizing it, how you are feeling today is likely influencing and impacting the feelings of people around you. According to Dr. Nicholas ChristakisRead More...

How Can You Inoculate Yourself and Your Family?

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From Montana to New Square: What I Learned On My Summer Vacation

Countless stars filled the heavens, the Milky Way was visible to the naked eye and Jupiter was as noticeable as the moon.  A star shot through the sky.  As we stood there, 6,000 feet above sea level in Glacier National Park in Montana, it occurred to me that the magnificent view we couldn’t tear ourselvesRead More...

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Check it at the Door, Don’t Ever Bring it Into Your Home

In 2001, Indra Nooyi was named president of PepsiCo.  Five years later, she was promoted to CEO, and in 2007 she would become chairman of the company as well.  She recently described the day she was appointed president and put in charge of running the $166 billion company.  Her parents happened to be visiting that night,Read More...

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Two Ways to Live Life – Which Best Describes You?

In 1966 Time magazine ran a now-famous cover story asking: Is God Dead? Nearly 50 years later, a Wall Street Journal article entitled, “Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God” records: The fine-tuning necessary for life to exist on a planet is nothing compared with the fine-tuning required for the universe to exist at all.Read More...

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Remembering Hashem When the Crisis Passes

  The sitting and waiting was becoming unbearable.  A week of preparations, warnings, and constantly tracking a shifting cone can leave you exhausted even before the hurricane begins.  It is easy to stay calm and confident until the many wonderful, well-intentioned people and organizations around the world let you know they are holding Tehillim ralliesRead More...

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Trump Lovers and Haters are Making the Same Critical Mistake

On the morning after this week’s historic upset in the election, the chazzan at the minyan I attended finished the repetition of the Amidah and something unusual occurred.  One person called out “Hallel,” indicating that for him it was a miraculous day in which we should sing out to the Almighty in appreciation.  Immediately, anotherRead More...

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Strategies for Making Real Changes in Your Life

“Rabbi, what is that on your wrist?” “It’s a Fitbit.” “Why do you wear it?” “It tracks how many steps I take each day, the quantity and quality of my sleep, and other important pieces of information.” “C’mon Rabbi, sounds like shtick to me.  Do you really need that?  What does it do for you? Read More...

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Put Awe Back in Awesome

The home of the great composer Ludwig van Beethoven has been preserved and serves as a museum in Bonn, Germany.  One historical gem in the museum is the piano upon which Beethoven composed most of his renowned works.  The piano is estimated to be worth more than $50 million and is understandably roped off andRead More...

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I Don’t Believe in That God Either

Last month marked thirty years since the tragic explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Seven crew members died after the shuttle broke apart 73 seconds after takeoff. As I’m sure is the case with many of you, I vividly remember exactly where I was when this catastrophic event occurred. Along with many American children, myRead More...

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Celebrating Thanksgiving Each & Every Day

Was it President Lincoln in 1863, President Washington in 1789, or the Pilgrims themselves in 1622? While historians may debate when the holiday of Thanksgiving was first instituted, the practice of giving thanks began much earlier. We read in last week’s parsha, Vayeitzei, that Leah names her fourth son Yehudah from the root hoda’ah outRead More...

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When is the Last Time You Had Goosebumps?

Follow your heart. I Love you with all my heart. Have a heart. Wounded heart. Heartache. Heartbroken. Disheartened. It is clear that of all organs in the body, the heart is the accepted symbol of emotion. But this metaphor is not only employed by our English vernacular. The Torah itself promotes this symbolism. “V’yadata ha’yomRead More...

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What Happens When We Die?

Cremation in the Jewish community is growing at disturbing rates, with advertisements appearing in Jewish newspapers promoting it as a legitimate post-death option, including in some cases, shockingly, endorsements by rabbis. The prohibitive cost of traditional burial is often given as a reason for this trend, but it undoubtedly is the result of ignorance asRead More...

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It’s Time for a Spiritual Growth Spurt

While Human Growth Hormone is considered performing enhancing and has been banned by most professional sports, it is becoming increasingly necessary and popular with a different group. Pediatric endocrinologists will tell you that as a result of all of the hormones in our food, milk and even shampoo, many children’s growth is being highly affected.Read More...

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Is Your Judaism Behind You or In Front of You?

It was one of the most inspirational and hopeful interactions I have ever had. A young man from our community who is back from college was telling me about the incredibly positive transformation that has taken place in his life.   Sadly, like too many of his peers from all over the country, when he wentRead More...

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Teaching and Embracing the Sounds of Silence

It has been almost two weeks since the mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.   As we follow the story the way we may read an incredible suspense novel – eager to skip to the last chapter to see how the story ends – it is easy to lose sight of how unbearably painful andRead More...

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How do You Define Quality of Life?

He was a complete stranger when I sat down, but after a three and a half hour delay, I had made a new friend.  My flight to NY to attend what would be the magnificent Tirschwell wedding was delayed significantly and so I found myself a comfortable seat to settle into for a few hours.Read More...