Relationships & Family


Why We Should Raise Spiritual Children

Nothing frightens a suburban parent more than the prospect of his child getting into the car of a drunk driver. Parents will grant all kinds of dispensation for what we consider inappropriate behavior if our child just calls us for pick-up instead of getting into the wrong car. My children are not quite at that age yet, but I imagine that I would follow that same wisdom. Wouldn’t we trade anything to ensure our child’s safety? What if I were to tell you that you could exponentially diminish the possibility of your......

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Setting Expectations for Our Kids... and Ourselves

Can we expect “sexual purity” from our kids? Before defining that term, let alone answering the question, I should explain that I am addressing it for two reasons: one news-driven and the other driven by the ongoing challenge/opportunity that is contemporary parenting. Articles such as this one just published by Brianna Sharbaugh are increasingly in play with a variety of parenting and news sites – mostly, but not exclusively, those of a more conservative bent. Since more than half of the nation defines itself as either conservative or conservative-leaning, it pays to......

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Who Are You, Underneath It All?

My grandmother, Florence Wolff Landesman, would have turned 100 on October 1. Unfortunately, she passed away this year, eight months shy of becoming a centenarian. As I sat down to read the news online that day, with my grandmother in my thoughts, various reports reminded me that October 1 marks the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One article I came across featured Robin Steinberger, a young mom whose breast cancer battle included having to tell her five-year-old daughter that she was “still her mommy, with or without hair.” As I read......

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A Wedding Made Unforgettable by Dad's Decision

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: At Brittany Peck’s wedding in Ohio last month, she reportedly worried about who should walk her down the aisle. Putting her feelings first, her father surprised guests when he reached a hand out to Brittany’s stepfather, pulled him from his seat, put their animosity aside and insisted that he participate in the bride’s entrance. The wedding photos taken by Delia Blackburn have gone viral, and it’s clear why: “There are probably more good partners in our lives than we realize the kind of......

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Are Memories the Heart of Wisdom?

A former New York costume designer once mentioned the concept of a “moment” to me. In theater costuming, a moment is some contrasting design element that catches the attention of the audience, so they focus on the lead actors, rather than on the supporting ones – think of a character in a red dress among a group dressed in pastels, another character in a shiny silver tuxedo among an ensemble dressed in muted gray. Why is this a moment? Because the attention of the audience pauses temporarily as they survey the scene,......

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A Reflection on Unconditional Love Inspired by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift, the 25 year-old pop superstar, was quoted in the September issue of Vanity Fair about the one thing she demands in a mate. “If I found someone who would never try to change me, that would be the only person I could fall in love with,” Swift said. “Because, you know I was in love with my life.” At the risk of challenging celebrity wisdom and the ire of Ms. Swift’s millions of followers, I want to tweak Ms. Swift’s requirements for a mate. I imagine what she meant in......

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Recognizing When 'The Whole Truth' Won't Fulfill You

As generations of TV watchers know, the words “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?” pretty much define how we arrive at just decisions in state and local courts where that oath is used. But is it possible, even for the most honest and well-intentioned people, to actually live up to that promise? Perhaps even more importantly, does it lead to the best outcomes? Don’t get me wrong. I think truth is a really important ideal, and the well-known vow aims at inspiring people......

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A True Marriage Celebration

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: Today, our U.S. Supreme Court struck down bans on same-sex marriage in a historic ruling. In all candor, as an Orthodox rabbi, I don’t perform same-sex wedding ceremonies. Yet I applaud this decision with a full heart. “The institution of marriage was celebrated today and re-energized today it is a profound statement about freedom of expression and freedom of religion.” Watch my video for more insight and discussion.     Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith in action changing the world for......

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What's in a (Father's) Name?

As Father’s Day approaches, the power of names in general – and fathers’ names in particular – is very real to me. In the words of William Shakespeare: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet.” Juliet, by inviting Romeo to deny his father’s name and be “baptized” instead as her lover, is arguing that names don’t really matter.? And as much as that is true, it’s also false. We have three daughters, and who knows what family name they’ll each choose as......

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Ten Dads, in Detail: Wise Words

Father’s Day (June 21) is close at hand, so to launch a new week on The Wisdom Daily, we’re sharing ten uplifting, funny and poignant insights about the fatherhood experience – kicking off the list with two quotes from our co-founders, Brad Hirschfield and Irwin Kula. Whether you celebrate the holiday in appreciation of your dad, your kids or an influential father figure (or all those relationships!), we hope you’ll find words of wisdom here.   1. A Great Team “How sweet, those two or three games a year my father would......

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