Monthly Archives :

March 2012


James Cameron is Impressed with the Universe

This week, James Cameron went boldly where no one had gone before, alone. Fifty years ago a pair of scientists plunged to the deepest part of the ocean. They went together. They had each other. But Cameron went alone. That is a completely different experience. When one is alone, there is no noise, no distractions, just oneness with whatever one is experiencing. Cameron’s experience in…

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Do You Really Want It? | A Guest Post

A guest post by Rabbi Aaron Fink (my father), Dean of Ateres Bais Yaakov on Monsey NY. Part of a weekly Dvar Torah (Torah “Thought”) series. Pesach 2012 Shir Hashirim Shlomo Hameelech’s great Song of Songs, teaches us just how much kivayachol, Hashem Yisborach loves us. This relationship is kodesh kadashim but is so difficult to comprehend. Nevertheless, it is part and parcel of the zman cheiruseinu. In fact,…

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Richard Dawkins Urges Others to Ridicule and Show Contempt for Religion

At the Reason Rally last weekend Richard Dawkins plead with those in attendance to rid our world of religion. But it wasn’t enough to preach to the choir (hehe) and reaffirm their atheist beliefs. Dawkins urged the 20,000 in attendance to ridicule religion and show contempt for religion. This is further than previous calls to action by atheists. It used to be enough to challenge…

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Pacific Jewish Center | The Shul on the Beach was on New Girl

Several people who watch the Fox Television show New Girl let me know that our shul was in the frame for a few seconds. Very cool. Here is your proof! Venice Beach was the key prop in a scene where one character (Jess) tries to help another character (Schmidt) relax. There is no where in the world to find more relaxed people than Venice Beach.…

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The New American Haggadah | Book Review

I was intrigued by an article in the New York Times about the New American Haggadah so I bought a copy.  I thought the name was a tad odd but then Apple called their third generation iPad the “New iPad” so maybe it’s en vogue to just name things by adding the word new in front of an obvious name. What do I know? Before I even…

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behind curtain

Modesty Gone Awry

An interesting article about modesty has been making its rounds. The author grew up in an environment where she was required to dress very modestly. She wore clothes the would not attract attention and was conscious of her appearance at all times. Unfortunately, her story took a sad turn when she developed an eating disorder in college. The point of the article is that modesty gave…

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Rav Kook on Sacrifices and Eating Meat

Following the strident discussion (mostly on Facebook and Twitter) about the morality of eating meat, (See: The NY Times Ethicist Wants to Know Why You Eat Meat) I thought it appropriate to mention the radical opinion of Rav Avraham Isaac Kook on the future of animal sacrifice. This is especially appropriate this week as we begin the book of Leviticus, where we learn all about the…

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The NY Times Ethicist Wants to Know Why You Eat Meat

Crowdsourcing is the new way to do research. Need help answering a question? Ask your friends on Facebook or Twitter! Everyone is doing it. Even Rabbi Slifkin is crowdsourcing for his animal encyclopedia. (Give him a hand if you can…) The NY Times Ethicist is also crowdsourcing. The Ethicist wants to hear the strongest case for eating meat. What right does a human being have…

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How to Solve the Shidduch Crisis WITHOUT Advocating for a Bunch of Nose Jobs

The reactions are pouring in, fast and furious. With an emphasis on furious. Noted author and trailblazer Yitta Halberstam wrote what might be the most universally offensive article about shidduchim that the world has ever seen. Ms. Halberstam is best known for co-authoring the “Small Miracles” series of books. She was also featured in an article in the NY Times about orthodox Jewish women breaking…

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Mourning Responsibly With Our Brothers and Sisters in France

Tragedy struck the French Jewish community today. An unidentified gunman shot several people outside a Jewish school. When Jewish people are suffering anywhere in the world, Jews all over the rest of the world suffer with them. It is a great testament to our unity and sense of camaraderie that we can feel the pain of our Jewish brethren though we have never met. Death,…

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