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Shalom Paltiel

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Rabbi Shalom M. Paltiel is executive director of Chabad of Port Washington.
It’s important to remember that we don’t own our kids. They’re not ours, and they don’t exist as reflections of us, or to serve us in any way. Nor, I would add, do our kids “own” us, as is too often the case these days. Our kids, like us, belong only to t...
When I heard about Samantha Garvey, a 17-year-old from Brentwood, Long Island, who has been named a semifinalist in the national Intel Science Talent Search, I literally had to pull over to the side of the road . . .
On the one hand, I can see gratitude as a sign of faith, as it means that we acknowledge the involvement of G‑d in our lives. But is faith required in order to be a grateful person? Don’t all decent people say “please” and “thank you”?
I pay my taxes, I am friendly to people around me, and I am charitable to those less fortunate. Doesn’t that make me a good person?
Rabbi, you say that we’re supposed to be good without anticipating rewards. What do you mean? Isn't there the concept of heaven, and rewards, in Judaism?
In our dual quests for the security of routine on the one hand and the excitement of change on the other, we've been quite successful in the former, but have failed miserably in the latter. Why is it so hard for us to have fun?
Orthodox. Conservative. Reform. Reconstructionist. Secular. Religious... Where did all these labels come from? Did Moses organize the people around Mt Sinai in accordance with their denominational affiliations?
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