What We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself (Passover 5780)
Pantaphobia is a very rare medical condition in which the patient feels absolutely no fear. Thanks to a middle-aged American woman known to science as SM-046, who in the mid-‘90s the media dubbed “the woman with no fear” and whose brain scans were examined by doctors, we know that this condition is caused by damage to the amygdala, the section of our brain that regulates primal emotions and instinctual reactions.Read more
The Messenger Who Can't Speak (Pesach 5779)
Do you think that leaders who are assertive, self-assured, speak clearly, and “call a spade a spade” are better leaders?
Think twice.Read more
Why is This Freedom Different from All Other Freedoms?
There few things more delightful that getting into an argument with your teenage child about the meaning of “freedom”. No, my dear son, it doesn’t mean the absence of a curfew or being free to do your homework at the last second. No, my beloved daughter, it’s definitely not the freedom to stay out that late at a party.Read more
Nietzsche and Pesach: How the Exodus Ruined Everything
Frederick Nietzsche believed that the Egyptians were blond.
My apologies; I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start from the beginning:Read more
The Seder: Liberation and Radical Empathy
Cross-posted at The Times of Israel, April 19, 2016
Every culture has etiological myths, foundational stories that relate the origins of the people in question. Those stories — which generally have a supernatural dimension — are not merely explanatory, but convey something essential about how that group sees itself.Read more
Back to Childhood for a Day—or More
Cross-posted at the Times of Israel
Every time I go back to Argentina my mother makes me feel like a child. She reminds me to button up my coat, impervious to the fact that I survive quite well during the other 350 days of the year, many of which I spent in freezing temperatures. She also reminds me, with gestures that futilely try to be discrete, not to put my elbows on the table, ignoring the fact that in the last few decades I’ve dined with business leaders, politicians, and social leaders, none of whom found my table manner particularly disturbing.Read more
Redefining Freedom as Pesach Nears
Cross-posted at the Times of Israel.
Those of you with young children or grandchildren surely know books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Big Nate. My kids love them and I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, of course, to wean them from these literary paupers. I started a quixotic quest to introduce them to the classics with one of the favorite authors of my youth: Alexandre Dumas. In so doing, I couldn’t help but think about Pesach.Read more
Our Great Incomplete Journey
Passover is a holidays of journeys. The journey of the Hebrews from Egypt to the Promise Land; the journey from Slavery to Freedom and the ultimate journey: the Jews' road to peoplehood. Somewhere along this momentous journey, a ragtag bunch of slaves become the People of the Book and gave to humanity the eternal ethical and moral values that guide us to this very day.Read more