Say Little, Do Much

Fathers

By RABBI JOSEPH H. PROUSER

With the celebration of Fathers Day and the onset of summer this week, beach season begins. Among the Mitzvot – the sacred obligations — which a father owes his son is, according to the Sages, to teach him how “to swim in the sea” (Kiddushin...
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Camp

By RABBI JOSEPH H. PROUSER

As countless youth prepare for Summer camp, we do well to remember the wisdom of Deuteronomy 23:15 – “Let your camp be holy; let God not find anything unseemly among you.” Originally in reference to maintaining sanitary facilities and latrines (!) in a military encampment,...
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Say Little, Do Much: Truth

By RABBI JOSEPH H. PROUSER

Jewish folklore is replete with tales of the “Golem” – a magical creature (sometimes erratic and tragically lacking in discernment) brought into being from inanimate matter through the mystical offices of leading sages. The 16th century Rabbi Judah Loew of Prague is most famously associated...
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Say Little, Do Much: Democracy

By RABBI JOSEPH H. PROUSER

This Memorial Day, we remember the storied 1945 eulogy preached by Lieutenant Roland Gittelsohn, a United States Marine chaplain, for American casualties at Iwo Jima. Noting the racial, social, and religious diversity of the fallen, Rabbi Gittelsohn observed: “Here no man prefers another because of...
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Say Little, Do Much: Weddings

By RABBI JOSEPH H. PROUSER

This Shabbat, as we read in Parshat Bemidbar of the People Israel’s tribal princes, much of the world’s attention will be riveted to the royal wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle. The royal couple’s wedding day is also Erev Shavuot.

As...
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Say Little, Do Much: Jerusalem

 By RABBI JOSEPH H. PROUSER

The Rabbis (Sanhedrin 37A) describe Jerusalem as tiburo shel olam — “the navel, the belly-button of the world!” Let’s contemplate this curious metaphor. The ancients not implausibly considered the Land of Israel (Jerusalem at its heart) as the center of the known world: the crossroads...
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Say Little, Do Much: Powerlessness

By RABBI JOSEPH H. PROUSER

I recently attended a “Friends of Scouting” dinner keynoted by astronaut Mark Kelly. He encouraged and inspired young Scouts and their leaders, speaking of his youth, his military service, and his storied career.

He discussed the assassination attempt in which his wife, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords,...
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Say Little Do Much: “Hear!”

By RABBI JOSEPH H. PROUSER

“Shema Yisrael!” The Shema is the most famous and central prayer of Jewish tradition. We teach this verse to our children as soon as they are able to speak, and we strive to make these prayerful sentiments our final words on Earth.

“Yet,” Solomon Schechter...
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Say Little, Do Much: Seventy

By RABBI JOSEPH H. PROUSER

Ben Shiv’im L’Seivah, says Pirkei Avot (5:21) – “The age of seventy brings fullness of years.” What an historic privilege it has been to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the founding of a free and independent, democratic and Jewish State of Israel!

Yet age is...
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Say Little, Do Much: Anonymity

By RABBI JOSEPH H. PROUSER

I have noted previously in this column that God’s name appears nowhere in the Book of Esther. Countless Seder celebrants cite the parallel exclusion of Moses from the Passover Haggadah. Moses’ conspicuous absence may be a tribute to his self-sacrificing leadership. Defending Israel from divine...
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