Tag: generosity

Quote of the Day: We All Need a Sabbath Right About Now


“Shabbat, one of the first commands Moses gave the Jewish people, remains as relevant now as it was then. It tells us that happiness lies not in what we buy but in what we are; that true commitment is to be found not by seeking what we lack but by giving thanks for what we have; and that we should never allow ourselves to be so busy making a living that we have all too little time to live. Above all, we should never be led by the crowd when it stampedes in pursuit of gain, for that is how gold becomes the Golden Calf.” — Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Covenant and Conversation

Many of us have extra time on our hands that we’d prefer not to have. People have lost their jobs, activities have been canceled, visits have been postponed, vacations are on hold. Regardless of your circumstances, everyone could use a Sabbath right about now.

You may feel like the last thing you want to do is rest, particularly if it’s been forced on you. But why not take this time as an opportunity? Some of you may want to work on long-delayed projects; others may want to do their spring cleaning early or clean out the refrigerator (ugh).

45 Years, or a 12-Step Program for a Successful Marriage


I would never have imagined that I would be married so many years. In fact, when I first met my husband-to-be, I told him that I didn’t know if I would ever get married. It just seemed like such a traumatic, demanding step; besides, who would have me?

But I was wrong—and I’m so glad I was. In meeting my husband, I found a man who is generous, smart, funny, helpful, and kind. He can also be stubborn, determined, and obsessive about detail. But I digress . . .

Today we will be married 45 years, and I thought I would write about the reasons we’ve had a successful marriage. Yes, there are things I could complain about, but I’d have to confess to my own shortcomings and I wouldn’t want to ruin my image. I’m even going to ask my husband to critique this post, and if I’ve distorted anything or left out anything crucial, I’m absolutely certain he will let me know—in a kind way, of course. (Right, dear?) So here are my twelve steps to our successful marriage, in no particular order:

Mounting Debt at the Holidays: Is it Worth it?


Now you may think I don’t have a dog in this hunt. Jewish gift giving is a fairly recent phenomenon. Then again, there are plenty of Jews who have put up Chanukah trees, too, and talk about Santa Claus coming to town. But I digress.

In my childhood family, gift-giving at Chanukah was very modest. The two years I remember most—one, I received a beautiful knit blouse with large pearl-like buttons. I wore it for years until it fell apart (or maybe I grew out of it). The other nights of Chanukah I received candy, a hairbrush, and other inexpensive treats. Another year my parents bought my brother and me a gift to share: a second-hand bicycle with training wheels. We thought we’d died and gone to heaven. It never occurred to my parents to go into debt for gifts.

In these days, however, the rising credit card debt is worse than ever. Even with the recovering economy, people treat credit cards as cash. A Nerd Wallet study not only reported alarming credit card usage but compared this year’s results to last year’s, reporting that shoppers plan to:

Moments of Generosity and Kindness


She quickly made her way to our table at Denny’s, pencil and pad in hand, a wide smile and a chipper energy. Can I get you some coffee? And then after getting the hot coffee, are you ready to order? When we weren’t, she said, take your time. And she really meant it. Breakfast was delicious. The waitress’ smile and sweetness throughout our breakfast, and her attentiveness, were the icing on the cake—or on the pancakes.

Then at Walmart, I was stuck in one of those endless lines. Fortunately I didn’t have many items. The man in front of me kept glancing back at me, his cart fairly full. Suddenly he turned around and said, you should go ahead, you don’t have that many items. I said, but I do, they’re just piled in this little section here, pointing to the place where children often sit. No, no you go ahead. It’s okay. So I did. As I was leaving, I looked back to thank him, and realized he’d let another women ahead of him.