Category Archives: Mysticism

Mysteries

Mysteries What part of our lives is a real mystery?  I’m not talking about our yet-to-be-solved life problems nor about messages made deliberately unclear or ambiguous in order to confuse people. Leo Bronstein, who was a professor at Brandeis and … Continue reading

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Death Be Not Proud

Death Be Not Proud We think of our life stories as headed toward a concluding sentence, after which, if they were novels, we would see written: “The End.” Not that everyone conceives this “end” the same way.  Take Heidegger, the … Continue reading

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The Meanings of Our Lives

The Meanings of Our Lives People commit suicide when their lives seem to them meaningless.  At least, that’s been my experience, which I’ll share with you. I’ve talked two women friends out of killing themselves, which they seemed quite serious … Continue reading

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The Eternal Feminine

The Eternal Feminine The other night I had a dream where some medical expert was examining me for breast cancer.  He seemed properly qualified to do this and the examination did not in the least bother me.  Then I noticed … Continue reading

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Light on the Longest Hatred

Light on the Longest Hatred I’d intended to devote this column to leisurely reflections on what I sometimes term “the Jewish assignment” in history.  Reflections prompted by a biography I’m now reading, with the title, Rabbi Leo Baeck: Living a … Continue reading

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The Other Culture War

The Other Culture War People live and die by ideas.  That’s not the only thing we live and die by, but ideas are big in the lives of all of us.  For the last 100 years or so, trend-setting thinkers … Continue reading

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Confessions

Confessions Last night I was trying to cope with a digestive disaster and wondering what on earth could have caused it, since it didn’t seem to have the usual obvious connection with food.  Two explanations presented themselves. First, a possible … Continue reading

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The Right Way to Act

The Right Way to Act An essay of mine with that title, excerpted from my Good Look at Evil, is now posted on academia.edu.  It’s on the question of how to conduct oneself during one’s Holocaust.  The title is meant … Continue reading

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How Did I Get To Be This Happy?

How Did I Get To Be This Happy? If I put this question to an existentialist, the answer would be: “Because you’re inauthentic.  You walk around in bad faith.”  The human situation can be deemed absurd (if you’re feeling French) … Continue reading

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The Baal Shem Tov

The Baal Shem Tov The Baal Shem Tov (Master of the Good Name) is the preeminent Hassidic master, the 18th-century founder (1700-1760) and prototype of any follower who practices in that tradition.  His very presence was said to be a … Continue reading

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