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The Obstacle is the Way

01/14/2021 02:19:12 PM

Jan14

Rabbi Moskowitz

In 2009, Sonia Vallabh noticed that her mother’s memory had started to fail, soon followed by her ability to reason.  Over the coming weeks and months, it was painful to watch as her mother spiraled into a state of constant confusion and discomfort.  After her mother’s tragic passing in 2010 at the young age of 51, an autopsy showed that she had died from a rare type of disease known as prion disease.
At the time, Sonia was...Read more...

Moshe: Start with the Why

01/07/2021 03:43:02 PM

Jan7

Rabbi Moskowitz

Simon Sinek, in his book “Start with Why,” argues that all transformational leaders or great organizations communicate with three basic words: What, How, and Why.   Sinek argues that while every organization or leader knows exactly WHAT they do, and most know HOW they do it, few organizations know WHY they do what they do.  They can’t answer the simple question of what their exact purpose is or why they exist.  But...Read more...

Be Safe AND Smart

12/31/2020 05:06:46 AM

Dec31

Rabbi Moskowitz

I never had the privilege of meeting my paternal grandfather.  Growing up in what is now Czechoslovakia, he came to America all alone at the tender young age of sixteen.  His plan was to work for a few years and earn enough money for the rest of his family to eventually come over from Europe.  Unfortunately, like so many other stories, that never happened.  World War II broke out and his entire family was murdered by the...Read more...

The Magic that Happens when we Work Together

12/24/2020 04:01:32 PM

Dec24

Rabbi Moskowitz

It all started with one person.  Last week at a Dairy Queen in Minnesota, a man decided to pay for the order of the people in the car behind him.  “I’d like to pay for the car behind me.  Whatever they’ve ordered, I’ll cover it.”  Darla Anderson, the cashier that afternoon, assumed that would be the end of it.  Yet that one, small act of kindness generated a marathon of acts of kindness that lasted almost...Read more...

How You Spend Your Time Says a Lot About You

12/17/2020 03:37:42 PM

Dec17

Rabbi Moskowitz

I was talking to a friend from New York this week who was sharing the ways that COVID has transformed his life. While he works in a Yeshiva and still drives to work, his commute has been cut down dramatically. Because more people are working from home, traffic is lighter and a commute that once was 45 minutes each way is now only 20 minutes.
It’s clear that he’s not alone. According to one survey of over 10,000 working Americans,...Read more...

This Chanukah, Think about Fred

12/10/2020 03:31:36 PM

Dec10

Rabbi Moskowitz

One of the most inspirational and impactful stories I have read is in a short, easy-to-read book called “The Fred Factor,” by Mark Sanborn. Fred is the ordinary-looking postal carrier with a small moustache who once delivered mail to Sanborn’s house in the Washington Park area of Denver. But...Read more...

The Last Jew Home

12/03/2020 02:54:21 PM

Dec3

Rabbi Moskowitz

While we in the Diaspora will begin praying for rain this Motzei Shabbos by adding the line V’sein tal u’matar l’vracha, many are aware that our Israeli brothers and sisters have been saying it since the seventh day of Cheshvan. Less familiar is exactly why they...Read more...

Thanksgiving Values We Can All Celebrate 

11/27/2020 03:42:20 AM

Nov27

Rabbi Moskowitz

When Wanda Dench, a woman in Mesa, Arizona, sent a text message four years ago to her grandson to tell him that Thanksgiving dinner would be at her house at 3 p.m., it seemed like a pretty innocuous thing to do. After all, she had sent similar messages to all of her other grandchildren and...Read more...

There is a Lot We Can Choose 

11/19/2020 04:35:24 PM

Nov19

When Rabbi Jonathan Sacks zt”l recommended a book as “an astonishingly inspiring book” and “one of the most inspirations books I have ever read,” you obviously take notice.
Over the summer, I listened to a podcast where Rabbi Sacks zt”l was interviewed by popular media host...Read more...

“Youthful” is Not an Age. It’s an Attitude.

11/12/2020 04:33:43 PM

Nov12

Rabbi Moskowitz

In Rabbi Soloveitchik’s eulogy for Rabbi Chaim Heller, one of the great Torah educators of the twentieth century, the Rav describes what it means to be authentic Jew:  “It swings like a pendulum between the two ideals of maturity and childishness.  The great man, whose intellect has been raised to a superior...Read more...

The Challenge of Fluency

11/06/2020 03:25:38 AM

Nov6

Rabbi Moskowitz

Two years ago, on an early morning flight to New York, by the time I boarded the airplane the overheads bins were already full and I was forced to gate-check my bag.  Reflexively, despite the inconvenience, I quickly took my Tefillin out of the bag before handing it over to the agent.  Personally, I...Read more...

Living a Life of Self-Control and Restraint

10/29/2020 05:45:00 PM

Oct29

In the early 1960’s at Stanford University’s Nursery School, researcher Walter Mischel gave children a choice: they could either eat one marshmallow right away or, if they could hold out until the adult instructing them returned to the room, they would be rewarded with two marshmallows.  Mischel then...Read more...

America the Beautiful

10/23/2020 03:05:53 AM

Oct23

Rabbi Moskowitz

As we approach the upcoming elections, it is difficult not to feel discouraged at the current state of political discourse in our country.  Articles abound about voter frustration, increased divisiveness and Armageddon-like predictions, no matter which candidate wins.  The level of vitriol in...Read more...

Bereishis: The Difference Between Urgent and Important

10/16/2020 02:58:20 AM

Oct16


If you are like me, then Monday morning hit you like a ton of bricks.  For the past few weeks, I’ve been pushing off all non-essential things in my life, always saying to myself , “I’ll get to that after the Yamim Tovim when things slow down a bit.”  Need to clean out my car… after...Read more...

Sukkos:  When Labor Leads to Love

10/01/2020 09:50:59 AM

Oct1

Rabbi Philip Moskowitz

Several years ago, the Guggenheim in New York hosted an exhibit called “America” that was nothing more than a fully functional public toilet.  Visitors to the museum were welcome to use it just as they would any other facility in the building.  It was located behind...Read more...

Reach Out and Take My Hand

09/10/2020 10:40:01 AM

Sep10

Rabbi Philip Moskowitz

It continues to amaze me just how much of modern Jewish and Israel history can be told through a series of handshakes:

On September 23, 1938, a handshake between Hitler and Neville Chamberlain became a symbol of Nazi appeasement. On July 25, 1945, a handshake in...Read more...

This Elul,  WOOP Your Life Into Shape!

09/02/2020 05:04:29 PM

Sep2

Rabbi Philip Moskowitz

 

Visualization has long been part of elite sports.   Athletes use all of their senses to imagine how they’ll swing the bat or what the motion will feel like as they shoot the ball.  They...Read more...

Are You a Hero or a Bystander? 

08/27/2020 10:39:16 AM

Aug27

Rabbi Philip Moskowitz

On October 27, 2017, my first cousin Dan Leeder, a sergeant in the Durham, North Carolina, police department, received a call on his radio about a car stuck on the local train tracks. 

A fellow officer, Tony Parker,...Read more...

Why Can't the Hotshot be ME?!

08/19/2020 07:20:28 PM

Aug19

Rabbi Philip Moskowitz

In the mid 1960’s, George Leonard conducted research for Look magazine on the subject of human potential.  He interviewed countless psychiatrists, brain researchers, and philosophers across America on the subject of potential and found that “not one...Read more...

Let’s Share More than Our Germs

08/13/2020 10:22:13 AM

Aug13

Rabbi Philip Moskowitz

When my wife Arielle and I were first married, she was working as a nurse at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City.  One of the things she quickly sensitized me to was the importance of properly washing my hands.  Working in a hospital, she was...Read more...

Why Delay?  The Danger of Procrastination

08/06/2020 11:21:34 AM

Aug6

Rabbi Philip Moskowitz

One of the deadliest days in American military history could have been easily avoided. On September 6, 1862, Union General George B. McClellan led 87,000 men into the Battle of Antietam against Stonewall Jackson and his 50,000 Confederate...Read more...

Good Things Come to Those who are Willing To Wait 

07/31/2020 05:24:34 AM

Jul31

Rabbi Moskowitz

152 years ago this week, on July 28, 1868, Secretary of State William Seward certified adoption of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
After the Civil War, many of the former Confederate states passed laws known as the “Black Codes,” which sharply limited the...Read more...

A Jew Can Never Give Up Hope

07/22/2020 07:27:56 PM

Jul22

Rabbi Philip Moskowitz

In 1969, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross famously identified five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining (struggling to find meaning), depression, and acceptance. 

In the years since her research, psychologists have found that while these stages are not linear and don’t...Read more...

Put Away your Markers and Stop Labeling

07/15/2020 01:37:19 PM

Jul15

Rabbi Philip Moskowitz

In May 1916, Theodore Roosevelt delivered a provocative speech on the subject of being an American:

I stand for straight Americanism unconditioned and unqualified, and I stand against every...Read more...

Our Ears are the Window to our Soul: Be Careful What you Let Enter Them 

07/09/2020 10:36:50 AM

Jul9

Rabbi Philip Moskowitz

In Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” having been summoned home to Denmark to attend his father's funeral, Prince Hamlet is shocked to find that his mother has already remarried Hamlet's Uncle Claudius, the dead king's brother.

Claudius has had himself crowned king despite the fact that Hamlet was the heir to his father’s throne. To Hamlet, the whole things reeks of foul play, and when his father's ghost visits the castle, Hamlet's suspicions are confirmed. The ghost describes that to kill him, Claudius poured poison into his ear; for Shakespeare, the act of pouring poison into the king’s ear isn’t just a physical description, it’s symbolic.Read more...

Please, Don't Erase our History, Wrestle with it

07/01/2020 11:30:43 PM

Jul1

Rabbi Philip Moskowitz

Last summer, when my children and I went on our annual pilgrimage up north, we decided to do things a little bit differently.  While we couldn’t stop at every exit, whenever we would see a sign for a battlefield or other historical site, we would Google...Read more...

How To Beat Decision Fatigue

06/24/2020 11:39:12 PM

Jun24

Rabbi Philip Moskowitz

I’m tired of making decisions. It seems like the last few weeks have been filled with an endless litany of difficult decisions to make. Every night, after the kids go to bed, my wife and I go through our list of things we need to decide. Do we feel safe...Read more...

Love to Read, Learn to Lead

06/18/2020 09:30:21 AM

Jun18

Rabbi Moskowitz

Several years ago, after giving a class about David Ben Gurion and Chaim Weitzman, I was approached by a few people in the community.  The individuals who approached me were highly accomplished and educated.  They were at the top of their fields and successful,...Read more...

My Message to the Graduates:  Be More Like Norman the Doorman

06/10/2020 06:25:03 PM

Jun10

For hundreds of thousands of students and families across the country, we are at the tail end of graduation season, celebrating the hard work, persistence, and accomplishments of the many graduates. 

But there is...Read more...

Embrace Your Mask, No Matter How Uncomfortable it Makes You Feel

06/03/2020 10:15:16 PM

Jun3

Rabbi Philip Moskowitz

Who would have dreamt that just three months ago, when many of us put on masks to celebrate the holiday of Purim, that masks would now become ubiquitous and a mainstay of everyday living.  “Don’t leave home without it,” once reserved for your...Read more...

Fri, January 15 2021 2 Shevat 5781