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Showing posts from May, 2011

Me First?

The New York Times recently reported that after analyzing language and lyrics in 30 years of hit songs, University of Kentucky psychologist Dr. Nathan DeWall found “a statistically significant trend toward narcissism and hostility in popular music,” and claimed that, “Late adolescents and college students love themselves more today than ever before.” I’m no fan of such blanket pronouncements on generational issues that pop up periodically and create a fuss with representatives of the accused age group howling in protest while the older folk sigh and sing a chorus of “Kids!” from “Bye Bye Birdie.”

Coincidentally, in the past few years there has been a huge surge in popularity of the narcissism of Ayn Rand, the so-called “philosopher,” and her belief in and promotion of what she called “Objectivism,” an emotion-free reason-based concept that glorifies (in her words) “man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life …” Simply stated, in Rand’s ethic, a person…

The Day the World Did Not End

"Celebrating the creation of the world (and a young man's entry into adulthood) at Shabbat services."

That's what I said when I was asked what I'd be doing on May 21, 2011, the day that the world was supposed to come to an end. And that's what I did - along with counting the 32nd day of the omer.

Because I'm a Jew, I refuse to waste time worrying about when God's going to pull the plug on this world. So last Friday I welcomed Shabbat, said the b'rachah "... al sefirat ha-omer," and counted off the 32nd day of the omer. And the next morning - in gloriously sunny weather - I davvened Shabbat morning tefillah and sang siman tov u-mazel tov over both a soon-to-be-married couple and a bar mitzvah.

If the deluded folks who were hell bent (so to speak) on being carried up in a Jonestown-type rapture had spent nearly half their energy on living each day to the best of their ability as they did on packing up and preparing to meet their maker, I thin…