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Purim is the opportune time to work on piercing through the darkness and strengthen your connection to God.
Like Solomon Northup, Esther could not reveal her true identity.
Children went from being our employees to our bosses, replacing responsibility with entitlement.
The Arabs of Egypt are screaming for the rights that the Arabs in Israel already have.
Eighteen years after a series of deadly terror attacks leading up to Purim, a unique quilt helped stitch together broken hearts.
My groovy, let's-all-make-aliyah theme song that describes the various major redemption moments of the past century.
Matthew McConaughey and finding God in mysterious places.
Where is our shame?
Our eldest son is acting out in strange ways. Is this a passing phase or a cry for help?
Sometimes it is through the darkness that we can bring out our greatest light.
How to find God.
There’s an Esther, Haman and Mordechai in all of us.
How to bring more love and joy into your own marriage.
It’s Purim time, is everyone happy? If not, try these tools with your kids.
If it is, here’s an important Purim silver lining.
Three keys to peering into the soul of the person you’re dating.
Although they mean well, these three words are like a knife digging deeper into my heart.
7 tips on how to really thrive while being single.
Delve into some mind-boggling concepts in this exploration of the Jewish definition of God.
Read each word carefully... and all its secrets will be within your grasp.
Is God needed to create the universe?
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.
An in-depth video series exploring Esther’s true role in the Purim story.
Watch the Purim story come alive.
Amazing infographic to SHARE with your friends and family about Judaism's most fun holiday.
Summing up the Purim holiday: They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat.
You voted for the three best jokes of the year and here they are!
With the Sochi Olympics now over, let’s go back 100 years and imagine what a Russian “Olympics” in these shtetls would have really looked like.
Are you surprised to hear an Academy Award winning actor thank God so publicly?
Purim and your unique role in life.
A big picture overview capturing the meaning and joy of the holiday.
The only failure is not trying.
July 7, 2007
June 12, 2012 5:53 PM
smoking is everyone's business
Smoking is a bad example to others(especially children). It causes the smoker to be less alert because his brain is not able to use all the oxygen that is normally available when he breathes. It raises insurance premiums. It causes sadness to family and friends when the smoker dies earlier. It lowers the voice of women causing them to sound like men ( permanently). It causes the death of innocent non-smokers who breathe in second-hand smoke. It does not occur in the lifestyle of the descendants of Ya' acob in the Tanakh.
June 12, 2012 5:52 PM
People must be responsible for their actions, good or bad. I smoke 20 cigarettes a day (Marlboro red, not the weak stuff). Am I going to die sooner? Maybe, But that's my own decision, and not anyone else's, and it's not anyone's business but mine. Let people make their own choices. If they screw up, it's their own fault.
October 22, 2012 6:06 AM
i give you all the permission in the world to kill your self, but once you start harming others with your second hand smoke, thats when i draw the line and say that NO YOU CANT SMOKE!!! You can do what you want till it affects others. And smoking affects other people!
June 12, 2012 5:51 PM
feel free to ask
"lo habayshan lamed"-pirkei avot
we have to get our kids to ask questions and not be afraid to ask them. a kid should feel that he knows something not because he was tought but because he asked and he "bought" the answer himself, and look up to those people who answerd his questions and didnt make him feel "dumb" for asking.
June 12, 2012 5:50 PM
teach children to make good choices by showing them the way...
Interesting! very good film clip. Teaching children these days? You need to show them the "Proof". Or they do take the word of authority, even if there wrong, or teach something that is not totally acurate. its up to parents, the main teachers, to help our children think for themselves. To ask quesitons, why? To make sure that they are not being misled. THis clip shows the evil inclination that this Man was saying, he was sujesting that the child try smoking to really see if it is bad. Just like the serpent says to eve in Gad eden, hey eve, why not try it, you wont die. She did die, but he wasnt exactly telling the whole truth. THings may look and taste good at first, but they also may be harmfull to your health long term.aka cancer, leading to death. We need to teach by example, lead by example, and show our children why we say what we say. There is a reason for everything. and we need to teach our children that, not just the good in life will be put before us, but also the bad. and it is up to us to choose good or bad, but for everything we do and choose, there is either a blessing that follows after or a curse. teach children to think for themselves and choose for themselves, even if they get sick, make mistakes, eat the wrong food, eventually they will learn, even if it had nasty consequences. Thats life here on earth. thank you.
June 12, 2012 5:49 PM
Do as I Do
As parents we are always encouraging our children to copy us, begining with the foods we feed them from the time they're in utero, moving on to "copy me" when we begin teaching them to talk; how to dress by the clothes we pick out for them as infants (because a 2 piece bathing suit is so cute on a baby girl!) then we want to contradict everything they want to do that is exactly what we taught them to do! So Do as I say not as I do becomes the status quo and our teens are out of control! Let's start with do as I do and stick with that...Consistancy is all our children need to learn what is and what is not a good choice, and there won't be too many things for them to question that are difficult for us, as parents, to counter-mend when peer pressure enters stage left.
June 12, 2012 5:48 PM
give them real examples
as with cigerettes the facts of every action and its resulting reaction or consequence is the best way to teach children to think for themselves. I am sure that the best thing all children can learn to help them make good decisions is that there is a God who has provided us with a guideline for living that is greater than any human expert advice.
June 12, 2012 5:47 PM
before free thinking-a strong sense of faith
we need to first give our kids a pure sense of what's wrong and what's right.when they grow abit,we can share evidence.but it is important to plant the seeds of morality and faith from a very young age.and this strong sense of right and wrong is developed through our personal example and emotional attatchment to the ideal at first.then the child can grow in to an independent adult who thinks in a staight manner.
June 12, 2012 5:45 PM
When there is evidence, it is wise to believe!
Some of you seem to be missing the point. This man was not advocating critical thinking! He was teaching the "important" lesson that when you are faced with evidence that what you desire is damaging or unhealthy, don't accept it, but rather hide behind the excuse that you are thinking for yourself (as though YOU are the expert and will do all the research that those who really know have already done). No need to examine evidence; after all, "you are thinking for yourself!" For example, if faced with real evidence that G-d created the world, has a plan and purpose for it as outlined in the Torah and will always be involved in the macro and micro of the universe (our lives included), then don't check it out, just claim you are thinking independently and stay within your comfort zone.
June 12, 2012 5:45 PM
Do we mean it?
Clever clip; it exposes a real problem. So often we teach the truths that are important to us as if they should be accepted on our authority, and - like the cigarette lobbyist - only say "think for yourselves" when we really mean "don't accept that other (wrong) person's authority."
Moral of the story: Teach our children to challenge our own most cherished ideas too, not just to accept them unexamined because we say so. As a side benefit, that also requires us to be more reflective about our own beliefs.
June 12, 2012 5:44 PM
needs more details
It's important that we talk/teach our kids on matters that concern them, but, don't leave them hanging; explain to them in a detailed manner, but leave the decision making to them. Isn't that how we learned?
June 12, 2012 5:43 PM
One teaches children the love of learning, that inquisitiveness is good and to be skeptical enough of everything to do the research. Independent thought developed with examples set is good.
June 12, 2012 5:42 PM
research for yourself
I teach my grand-daughter that when something is stated a a fact, we should try to look it up, most times online. Not on everything we say as parents, but things that the child may want to know more about.
I personally get all kinds of e-mails that misstate facts to embellish them. In trying to make a point, lots of people blow up the truth, and we can't take what is said as fact by almost anyone, including newpapers, radio, TV, etc. Everyone has an agenda, you need to see if the facts are true.
June 12, 2012 5:41 PM
Absolutely stupid !
How many times do we have to repeat the same stupid errors to find out that they are wrong. A certain amount of prejudice as well as listening to others is necessary to keep things and us in order.
Do you have to put your finger into the outlet to find out that what people tell you is true ?
Independent thinking is fine, but it must come with a complementary dose of common sense.
June 12, 2012 5:41 PM
Judaism is about thinking & questining. At the end of the day, even when I'm far away from grasping the concept, I still have to beleive. "Nowadays" we beleive whatever is on the screen even when proven false. So its about time, that we take our time to questiom & find out the truth. Thank You for this min opener
June 12, 2012 5:40 PM
When i was young i took all comments as "real truth". Some years ago i began to think a little thanks to a woman who wrote books in Mexico. She was Ikram Antaki. She made good radio programms of several topics but all of them with a deep research.
I was surprised because i did not think, i just believed all that i heard. Then i became to read books about "critical thinking". It's hard to me but i need to think properly.
"Smoke is bad"
Sure, but i need to read, see, and undertand all the evidence that probes it.
Centuries ago, humankind believed that we lived on a flat world. Today, we believe other thing. What changed our thinking ? Technology, creative thinking and evidence that our planet is like an orange. :-). And brave people that defend their thoughts.
June 12, 2012 5:39 PM
June 12, 2012 5:37 PM
The speaker was right to encourage children to think for themselves, to not take people's words at face value. However, the children must also be taught to seek reliable sources in their investigation, and to wonder about the motivation of the speaker. A child must also learn that the advice of parents is protective and nurturing, and children will have increasing opportunities for research and reflection as they grow more critical, aware, and experienced. So the motivation of parents to protect, grow and guide should be highly valued at every age, but becomes more balanced with the child's own ability toward insight as they mature. Building only on the past, and only on the more's and culture of one's own family and state is a mistake as seen throughout history where both good and bad advice has been forced upon scientists and inculcated into social thinkers forever.
June 12, 2012 5:35 PM
Independent or Creative
If the purpose of thinking is to reveal or come closer to revealing some truth, independent thinking would seem to be counterproductive. How can one reach "Truth" if he/she does not build on the thinkers of the past? That is hardly independent thinking. Creative thinking, on the other hand, needs to be developed. Not the answer you were looking for, but I was not just going to take your "word" for it.
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This Purim express your love for one another with delicious, life-enhancing cuisine.