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View from Central Park

Foods from generation to generation

I confess: Come the holidays, and I am definitely a sentimental cook and eater. Proust’s famous tea-soaked madeleine that arrested time, transporting him to his childhood. That’s me.

Granted, when it comes to matzah, it might be a bit tough. The original food-evoking item might actually need to have a flavor in the first place in order to evoke one a generation later, but let’s just chalk matzah up as an exception.

It might not be madeleines, but for each of us there is a food or two whose memory is so strong and very much tied to particular scents, memories, people whom we love. Ever so briefly, it returns to us a moment from the past.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 10 April 2014 01:57 )

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View from Central Park

One day at a time

One day at a timeI RECEIVED a very touching, very moving children’s book in the mail last week. Painfully, it is a book I wish the need for did not exist. It is called, The Cancer That Wouldn't Go Away: A Story for Kids about Metastatic Cancer, by Hadassa Field, illustrated by Christina G. Smith. As the title suggests, it is a book geared to helping children cope with the profound psychological effects of their changed life under the impact of the serious illness of a parent. It is unlike other children’s ...

Last Updated ( Friday, 28 March 2014 06:03 )

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Reflections

The day my mother stopped playing G-d

“MY dear friend Helene died last week,” my mother informed me sadly as if consoling us both. “I’ll miss her terribly. She really changed my life and the way I viewed the world.” I turned and looked into my mother’s face, aged not so much by years as by the losses and disappointments she has endured. She is not prone to “waxing philosophical” so her statement intrigued me. “What do you mean, mom?” I asked, quietly taking her hand. “Do you remember when you told me that yo...
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View From Denver

Non-reason in Judaism and physics

Non-reason in Judaism and physicsIT turns out that reason has less of a hold on religion and science that one might suppose; or, at least, on Judaism and physics. In Jewish legal lingo, a “decree”  is a rule that runs against reason. The classic decree is that of the Red Cow. Its ashes, ritually prepared, contaminate its preparers; at the same time, these ashes purify the impure people on whom the ashes, mixed with spring water, are sprinkled. Same object: ashes. Two diametrically opposed results: impurity and purity. ...

Last Updated ( Friday, 28 March 2014 06:03 )

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Conservative Lens

Noah: One of the most moral stories ever told

Next week, the film “Noah” opens. Having taught the Torah from the Hebrew for more than 40 years, I consider the biblical flood story one of the world’s most profound moral teachings. As I will show, it means that G-d cares about goodness more than anything else. Let me explain by answering the most frequent challenges to the story. Q: Why did G-d destroy the world?

Last Updated ( Thursday, 20 March 2014 03:26 )

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