Relationships & Family


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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Whose Hands Mean the Most to You?

This month, the Whitney Museum of American Art opened the doors of its new building in Manhattan’s meatpacking district. One of the inaugural exhibitions, America is Hard to See, includes my favorite work of art: The Artist and His Mother, which?Arshile Gorky worked on from 1926-’36. There are two popular interpretations for why Gorky, an influential pre-abstract expressionist, spent a decade and ended up depicting his mother’s hands as white circles. Some say Gorky’s loose, painterly style was conducive to leaving parts of the work incomplete, because his memories of his mother......

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To My Own Beloved Graduate

My youngest daughter graduates in a few weeks. No, not college graduation, nor even a high school graduation (so there will be no famous speaker like those featured yesterday here on The Wisdom Daily). This is an 8th-grade graduation, but there is nothing “just” or “only” about it. The fact is, if someone had told me 13 years ago that our wonderful daughter would be graduating grammar school as a typical student, I would have told them that they must be smoking crack. To be sure, part of that estimation would’ve been......

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The Connection Between Your Heart and Mine

It’s been said that being a parent is like having a piece of one’s heart walking around outside of one’s chest. Being a parent means being vulnerable to everything that can go wrong in the world. It means (or should mean) being intimately attuned to someone else’s physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual well-being; feeling their sorrows and their joys. However, this is not only true of being a parent. It’s the complicated blessing of being a person who loves any other person deeply. When someone is beloved to me, and I to......

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College Admissions Heartbreak: A Bounce-Back Guide

Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard from numerous parents about the cruel shock their children have experienced upon being rejected from the college of their choice. For many young people, living in protective and privileged environments unprecedented for previous generations, this may be the first time they’ve been faced with such rejection. In our hyper-competitive, brutal, ridiculously terrifying college admissions environment, this rejection evokes (in both parents and kids) feelings that run the gamut from devastating disappointment and anger to massive embarrassment and humiliation. I have personally seen kids cry as......

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The Short Film 'Gift' Teaches Appreciation of All We're Given

I dare you to watch Daniel Yam’s short film Gift and not be moved. I don’t think it’s possible. The story, set in Singapore, depicts a tense father-son relationship and conveys a strong point of view about what it means to be rich. I wonder: Is the definition of wealth actually not about how much you have, but about how much you give?     On the viral popularity of Gift, director Yam said, “I have learned that a well-told story can resonate very widely and very loudly.” His film explores how......

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Parents Who Mistrust Vaccines

I found myself quite engaged recently while reading a deeply personal, highly moving piece in the Washington Post, “Why Parents Want to Believe in a Vaccine Conspiracy.” That headline on Susan Senator’s essay drew me in, as it certainly signals that parents averse to immunizations are misguided and even self-deceptive. On the other hand, the author at least engages the error-riddled thinking of those whose views she explains… or is that, explains away? By explaining why people would trust unsubstantiated conspiracy theories as a means to coping with the pain of raising......

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Nuts to All That? Digesting the New Allergy Research

Peanut allergies. Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard about this. Causing everything from discomfort to death, peanut allergy was barely heard of 20 years ago, yet in America the number of kids who live with this deadly danger has more than quadrupled in the last eight years alone. What is going on here? Well, it turns out that it may be a very big deal, but not in the ways we’re often led to expect: Is it possible the peanut allergy phenomenon might have more to do with parents, and......

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