Get latest articles and videos with Jewish
inspiration and insights
A proud polio survivor, I was blissfully unaware of the stigma many attach to paralysis and deformity. Until I wanted to start dating.
And their underlying Jewish values.
Palestinian terrorism verdict shatters long-held myths and illusions.
He ran out of his car and apprehended a terrorist. A timely Purim lesson.
Echoes of Queen Esther who broke protocol in the face of an Iranian threat to destroy her people.
An exciting exhibit presents direct evidence of the Jewish community in Babylonia right before and after the destruction of the First Temple.
Over 650 young Muslims have volunteered to guard Oslo Synagogue on Shabbat in support of the Jewish people.
The tale of the treif turkey.
Our brother demands that we end our relationship with his first wife. None of his siblings want to.
It's the time of year to increase your level of joy. Here's how.
Responding to difficult challenges.
I told the King of Pop that he wasn’t the King of the universe.
Making your marriage thrive by constantly choosing to love.
The last bastion of quiet, wifi and cell phone-free space.
Jazz up your Purim meal with these extra fun dishes.
Attaining the self-assurance you need to achieve true intimacy with another person.
Staying true to yourself while dating.
Making ourselves vulnerable with the relationships in our lives.
Summing up the Purim holiday: They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat.
Kabbala is the Torah's expression of the way the world works. Removed from its source, it's a lot of rubbish. (First in a series.)
One reason why I know there is a God active in our world.
Practical and relevant insights on the weekly parsha.
Advanced-level midrashic and Kabbalistic illuminations on the weekly parsha.
Lessons, stories and discussion questions for parents and kids.
Watch the Purim story come alive.
Sometimes receiving a sign that God is orchestrating events can transform one’s life.
A video series that takes a closer, more grown-up look at the Book of Esther.
Amazing infographic to SHARE with your friends and family about Judaism's most fun holiday.
Mathew Vaughn’s new film has at its core the message that “Manners maketh man”. Or, to put it into Jewish terms, “Manners maketh mensch.” A surprisingly fitting Purim message.
Men whatever you do, never tell your wife that her clothes look, or her food tastes “fine.”
What responsibility do you as a citizen feel that you have to support your government?
Purim and your unique role in life.
A big picture overview capturing the meaning and joy of the holiday.
Building unity through kindness.
October 18, 2009
December 2, 2009 11:27 AM
House is a "character"
Laurie is an actor and he pulls off the crass House character well -- if that's what you want to call it. I appreciate the Jewish sentiments on not hurting or offending others -- we are made in G-d's image and likeness, and we should treat others -- at our best -- as if we were addressing the Creator, no?
November 8, 2009 1:31 AM
For all of you who said that House is just being honest and not mean I think you are completely wrong. Torturing the mentally ill is never ok, especially for his own benefit. How can you call it being honest when House called that man fat? That was only a pure cruel lie. I was a House fan for years and he is a horrible person. He is very honest, but only when it gets him what he wants, not because he believes in telling the truth.
As Jews we believe that it is so important to not hurt other people that it is even ok to distort the truth. In this week's parshah G-d Himself changed Sarah's words to not offend Avraham (Breishis 18/13 see Rashi). It is all the more so wrong to go out of the way to hurt people, even if what you are saying is the truth.
October 24, 2009 6:36 PM
Having lived to 82 and being a cancer survivor thus far I feel free now to express an opinion on this subject.
I can't believe how so many people find that being mean could mean being honest. To whom are they being honest? We live just because our time to pass on has not been reached. During the years given us reexamining ourselves really could be the best way to live a good, honest and kind life. The people around us all have their own issues, why should we burden each other with our own issues? To live being kind and looking forward to reaching out to hold someone's hand if we see they are carrying burdens too hard to handle gives one a sense of peace. Been there and done there!
October 21, 2009 2:48 PM
What is being Mean and what is being Honest?
I lke the character the writers created for the program House. I also agree with Jan Schulman's comments that the "House character is created to be a healer", and he will 'suffer no fools'. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The words House says in the video are the bare truth. He does say what I think, but probably wouldn't say to the people on the basketball court. It is not House in that scene who is trying for control. It is the patients that through their actions and illness can control their own world and the people around them. It doesn't seem as though he is mean, .... brutally honest perhaps. There is a fine line between being perceived as mean and requiring others to be honest and responsible for their own actions. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I would rather have the brutal honesty of being forced to see my faults, than a pat on the hand, lots of compassion and a bag of pills.
October 21, 2009 10:05 AM
House is a Healer
Jan Schulman's analysis is exceedlingly astute. Kol Ha Kavod!
October 21, 2009 6:59 AM
He's nothing but a bully!
If House were to take on someone who was bigger, stronger, badder than himself, I would have respect for him. It's so obvious that he's taking on weaker people, that I feel the exact opposite, and even revulsion.
In short: he should go and pick on someone his own size, or bigger. Let's see how he does then.
October 20, 2009 11:06 PM
They don't get what they want
This was a choreographed event, scripted actually and it seems as if the person being a jerk does get what he wants. But did that person achieve their desire? Probably, but that is because the scene writer wrote the ending in this manner. Real life is not the same. People are mean but eventually you come in contact with someone meaner than you. This is not karma and has nothing to do with that philosophy or mindset. Generally people are kind or ambivalent enough that they ignore or do not care what this type of person does. But there are other times when this attitude is confronted by a more antagonistic or belligerent attitude and the mean one comes out the loser in every way. Other times, some one will come in and straighten out the mess unobtrusively, leaving the intolerable one looking quite foolish. Also, as time progresses, the mean person becomes even more isolated and faces a greater loss of credibility. Eventually events progress to the point that this person is faced with themself. As a result, this individual will either reject themself or others will marginalize said person to the status of a non-entity and then move on with their lives and leave the jerk to his or hers. Anyone who seriously believe these people find their joy or happiness in their actions or attitudes are deluding themselves.
Now, there are some people considered mean by some and who are thought to be straightforward by others. Yes, there is difference. What is considered mean by some can become great kindness when the end result is finally realized, especially when the lesson saves someone from a disastrous decision or lifestyle. Compassion is not always the benevolence that some wish it to be. Compassion does involve allowing people to be faced with their mistakes and understanding what they have done.
October 20, 2009 10:53 PM
because they're bullies
Mean people get what they want because other people back down trying to keep peace.
Mean husbands get what they want because their wives are trying to please them and keep the marriage together.
October 20, 2009 7:00 PM
House is a healer
House's goal in life is not to be mean; it is to heal. That goal drives him and he will suffer no fools. He is hardest on himself and drives those around him to be the best they can be. His mental problems are caused by his inner conflict; he wants to be able to control everything around him, but he cannot. when he struggles to make a diagnosis, that is when he is the most angry: he wants the answers from himself and he wants them now. I hope all my doctors are as driven. and we should all want to be the best that we can be.
October 20, 2009 6:13 PM
Mean people get what they want because most people are insecure and mean people play into those feelings, causing others to crumble.
October 20, 2009 6:13 PM
Regrettably society has changed ... and not necessarily for the better in many cases
It has been my personal direct experience that in fact mean people do get what they want because they bully and most people simply back down. Someone once told me that people are ruled by fear and greed. Many of the issues that have occurred in the world in recent years can well attest to that. We seem to have become a society ruled by bullies; manipulated by fear. If we arent living in a state of chaos, we dont seem to be happy.
I dont believe that we should confuse intelligence with meanness and plain respect and manners. The two can go hand in hand; they just dont appear to much any more.
The internet is both a gift and a curse. On the one hand, it allows us from all parts of the globe to communicate at the touch of a button. On the other hand, it has removed virtually all levels of direct communication and people no longer know how to interact - that creates meanness.
October 20, 2009 5:08 PM
Some people use being mean as a facade to hide their weaknesses and vulnerabilities. As the saying goes, "Hurting people hurt people."
October 20, 2009 5:04 PM
He cuts through the politically cirrect talk and gets to the heart of the matter
House dies not disguise the truth. We admire that he enters center stage from a postion of strength. We pay attention to him because we like his honesty and ultimately his respect for mankind who he assumes can rise to the challenges that have befallen us even when i facing reality is harsh.
October 20, 2009 3:12 PM
This might sound bad but... I think a lot of the mean things House says, other people are thinking, they just wouldn't have the nerve to say it out loud. Either that, or they just can't believe someone would so blatantly state their opinions regardless of how badly they're making the ridiculed person feel. This is what makes House funny. He's blunt and says exactly what's on his mind. Yes, he doesn't care about how the other person feels, but in a way I think there are some people out there who respect that (and I do, to a certain extent). A lot of people out there wish they could tell people off the way House does.
However, that isn't to say I approve of what House said to people in this particular video clip. Hurting the mentally ill's feelings like that is awful. It was funny in this clip because this is just a show and not real life (for the reasons I stated above), but if this were real life, that would be just cruel - and perhaps funny to the immature people out there.
October 20, 2009 2:38 PM
When it stops being funny
For Sam: It stops being funny and all your guilt dissipates, when the sharp cutting wit is directed at you, personally. At that point, quick-witted manipulation becomes less of a sitcom TV script and a lot more real world. And then you cry.
October 20, 2009 2:27 PM
Because they "charm"- only if they're men, though
Mean men can seem masculine; people admire their meanness for what is misinterpreted as prowess, strength, masculinity. They can seem like masculine role-models to men, and sexy to women, unfortunately.
A woman who behaves similarly would not receive the same admiration, as she would be perceived as "bitchy" (hope that word doesn't offend).
October 20, 2009 6:43 AM
I'm Not Positive Why I Like some Mean People.
I like some mean people. Many are quick witted and sharp. I do tolerate them, and they usually do get what they want. Generally they have thought through what they want and they get it. Never let a mean person define who you are! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I like the character 'House" that Hugh Laurie plays. The unsure allow themselves be hurt by him but smart people can give as good as they get and don't take his barbs personally..
October 19, 2009 8:20 PM
Feeling just a wee bit guilty
I'm wondering about what might be wrong with me that I found that to be hilarious. What is funny about picking on people? In a philosophical sense, that was horrendous, yet I found it really funny.
October 19, 2009 5:37 PM
I dont' agree Marcy
People don't have to be brilliant or talented to get what they want. The incidence of social deviant behaviour is increasing according to some experts in the field. These people get want they want because; a, they are persistant; b, they have learned the art of manipulation; c, they understand the importance of planning and set up; d, don't have a conscience; etc. I dont' include 'House' in this of course. I wouldn't call 'House' mean, just at least a cut above in intelligence and perception, which makes it difficult to relate to those who can't keep up.
This is am important question relating to power and control. it is misleading in this context of 'House'. i think 'House' has a conscience.
Hitler was a, persistant; b, learned the art of manipulation; c, understood planning and set up, and d, had no conscience.
October 19, 2009 5:12 PM
A theory why mean people seem to get what they want.
Most folks are lovers, not fighters. They feel its better to let the mean, unpleasant people get what they want, since they have to associate with them hardly at all. Also, implicit is the suspicion that mean people know something we don't and we could stand to learn something and profit from it.
October 18, 2009 11:25 PM
Thoughts on Why Mean People Seem to Get What they Want
People seem to tolerate those "mean" people, who are brilliant or talented, and have certain skills that others need , can use, or from which they can make money. Whereas, other "mean" people, who are not perceived as talented or intelligent, don't usually get what they want.
Display my name?
Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.