Truths You Can Use

Truths You Can Use

Truths You Can Use Archives

What Everybody Ought to Know About the Jewish High Holy Days

This Wednesday evening Jews around the world will gather in synagogue to begin the Jewish New Year. Known as Rosh Hashanah (meaning “Head of the Year), this holiday centers around prayer, study and a festive meal. It also begins the […]


Can God Make You A Better Person?

“Without God all things are permissible.” -Fyodor Dostoyevsky I was recently in the executive lounge at an upscale hotel. After filling my plate with pita chips and hummus, I began nibbling on the way back to my table. A chip […]


There Is No Such Thing As Atheism

My teenage students often ask me why we need religion. We don’t need it answer questions about why it rains or why the sun shines. Science gives better answers to those. We don’t need it to explain human behavior or […]


Are You Two-Faced?

The Hebrew languages contains an array of hidden meanings and insights. Rabbi Daniel Lappin probed many of these in his book Hidden Treasure. One of the most intriguing is the word for face, panim. It is in the plural form. […]

5 Rabbis Explain Jesus

  For every complex question, as H.L. Mencken once put, there is usually an answer that is “clear, simple and wrong.” His observation rings true when it comes to a question I get at least once a week. What do […]

How to Jump on a Moving Train

A biblical scene haunts me every time I read it. Moses stands alone in the cleft of a rock. He has led the Jewish people out of Egypt. He has devoted his life to God’s service He yearns to see […]

Can God Help Us Focus?

We live in a world full of distractions. Sometimes it feels hard to work with focus for any significant amount of time. My brain wonders, twitter beckons, and I suddenly feel hungry for my fifth snack over the last 3 […]

A Prayer for Oklahoma

A Prayer for the People of Oklahoma Eternal God, We stand in shock and horror; Bring comfort to those who have lost– Those who have lost their loved ones, their homes, Their neighborhoods, their faith. Be with them–Let your outstretched […]

What Everybody Ought to Know about Passover: A Series

In less than a month, Jews around the world will set down for a special meal known as a Passover Seder. Begun more than 3000 years ago, as the Jewish people prepared to leave Egypt, the Seder is one of […]

Do You Know Your Responsibility?

Sometimes the Bible is startlingly relevant. In a recent podcast, writer and blogger Michael Hyatt pointed out the practical wisdom shared in the 18th chapter of Exodus, where Moses receives instruction from his father-in-law Jethro. Let us recall the context: […]

Do You Believe in Miracles?

Do you believe in miracles? I believe in miracles of hope and of change. Miracles of character and of action. Miracles of transformation when we discover something inside of us we did not know we had. We witness this type of […]

Is Purim the Jewish Halloween?

Purim is not the Jewish Halloween. This is a common misconception because Purim does involve dressing up. Yet, it is not only a fun-filled holiday. It actually teaches profound lesson. One of them can be found through an exercise in […]

How To Talk With God: 10 Bible Verses on the Power of Prayer

One of the Bible’s central themes is the relationship between God and human beings. In particular, the text explores the way we communicate with God. The conventional term for this type of communication is prayer. It can take many forms […]

How To Take the First Step To the Rest of Your Life

Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. What he didn’t say that the first step is the hardest step. Jewish wisdom teaches this in the story of a man named […]

Does God Have an Opinion on Gun Control?

  Friends, I had a fabulous conversation on Fox News with my friend Father Jonathan Morris. We touched on not only on gun violence, but on the role of God and religion in politics. I thought you might enjoy the […]

Arguing for the Sake of God

David Wolpe tells the story of advice given to a student beginning advanced study Talmud. (The Talmud is a series of discussions by the leading rabbinic sages between 100-500 C.E.) If you happen to fall asleep during class and are […]

Have We Become a Nation of Spiritual Narcissists?

Noah is the biblical hero who builds an ark, saves the animal kingdom and helps rebuild the world after a great flood. In spite of his heroism, he is not without fault. Consider his seeming lack of concern with anyone […]

Love Is All You Need

During the Olympics this year, a video caught my eye. It begins with a woman biking in the rain. Then we hear snippets of different languages as mothers begin to wake up their groggy children in bed. The same moms […]

Stop, In The Name Of God!

In 1903 philosopher W.E.B. DuBois said the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line. The problem of the 21st century may well be the problem of the religion line. The two are interconnected and feed […]

Previous Posts

Will God Condemn Brittany Maynard for Choosing to Die?
On the most sacred Jewish holiday of the year--Yom Kippur--we literally imagine our own funeral. Men traditional wear a white sash that will also serve as their burial shroud. The purpose is to picture our own death in a way that helps us live ...

posted 10:06:23pm Nov. 02, 2014 | read full post »

The Strange Book of the Bible We Read in Sukkot
Tonight begins the Jewish “Festival of Tabernacles.” Known in Hebrew as Sukkot, we spend time in  temporary outdoor dwellings. They remind us of the fragility of life our ancestors experienced during their journey across the Sinai ...

posted 3:57:40pm Oct. 08, 2014 | read full post »

When a Rabbi Announces He is Gay
Religious leaders are public figures. We live on display. People look at what we drive, what we eat, what we ...

posted 8:01:44am Oct. 08, 2014 | read full post »

Is 75 the Perfect Age to Die?
Dr. Ezekiel Emauel, the well-known bioethicist and brother of the mayor of my town, argued recently in an essay in the Atlantic Monthly that 75 is the perfect age to die. After that, he said, most people have little to contribute to society and ...

posted 9:02:23pm Oct. 05, 2014 | read full post »

Yom Kippur: The Happiest Day of the Year
Yom Kippur is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. It is filled with solemn prayer, and most Jews fast. How, then, can it be the happiest day of the year? Allow me to explain... Picture the scene: It is 1944, in Glasgow, Scotland, in ...

posted 1:29:44pm Oct. 03, 2014 | read full post »


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