A principal of a prominent high school called me recently, after her son dropped out of drug treatment. Despite her normally strong demeanor, she was on the verge of a break down. “We did everything right with our kids. We provided them with everything, yet he sits at home and refuses any help,” she said. Finally she asked the question that most parents inevitably ask, “What did we do wrong?”
In June, we learned that the NSA had been collecting US call records, which created quite a controversy. The NSA’s Director, General Keith B. Alexander, defended “bulk” collection as an essential counterterrorism and foreign intelligence tool, saying, “You need the haystack to find the needle.”
If you have minor children, then probably the most important decision that you’ll have to make with regard to your estate plan is who should take care of your children if you die while they’re still minors. In legal terms this is called a guardian or conservator of the person. Many people in this situation are at a loss when trying to choose among family members and friends, since each person will have pros and cons.
If you’re in the mood for a quick nosh or nibble, beware. Research shows that reckless snacking is the cause of most Americans’ excess calorie consumption—and it can very easily add up to weight gain. Similarly, mid-morning snacks can detour a diet because many people snack out of routine, not hunger, and their snacks are often too high-calorie.
As an educator and as a principal, I am often asked, “When does reading begin?” Traditionalists would say reading begins in the first grade, with reading readiness as a precursor in kindergarten. This thinking is based on the assumption that the stronger the level of reading readiness, the more successful the reader. Few would disagree with this assertion.
When you think about fatal illnesses, the flu isn’t the first disease that comes to mind. However, the flu is a serious illness that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes can be deadly. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others.
This historic event brought together Sephardic leaders and was coordinated by The Friedlander Group. Yehuda Azoulay, founder of the Sephardic Legacy Series, an institute for preserving Sephardic Heritage, was the initiator of this momentous occasion bringing together people from 25 cities, and over 30 Sephardic organizations. Sephardic Jews of all backgrounds were united for the first time in the US Capitol.
The second annual gathering of Jewish refugees from Arab countries was held recently at the UN. The event was organized by the Israeli delegation to the UN, headed by Ambassador Ron Prosor, the World Jewish Congress and the World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries (WOJAC). The event featured esteemed panelists, testimonials of Jewish refugees from Arab countries, and the screening of a short film entitled “The Forgotten Refugees.”
According to the holy Zohar, the term Shabbat can be used to refer to an exceptional tzaddik, such as Ribbi Shim’on bar Yohai. Just as the spirit of Shabbat gives life and meaning to the rest of the week, the tzaddik gives life and meaning to his generation. Reflecting on the life and deeds of Maran Hakham Ovadia Yosef, zt”l, we might say that the term fits him aptly—he was the Shabbat of our generation.
An agreement was signed recently by European and American rabbinical councils, in which world rabbinic leaders declared that the Chief Rabbinate of Israel leads the Jewish world. The agreement was signed during a conference in Berlin by the chief rabbis and representatives of the European Rabbinical Council as well as the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA). Deputy Minister of Religious Services Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan also signed the treaty.