Dear Rabbi provides advice for life based on Talmudic wisdom and includes essays on a variety of timely subjects.
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I suppose gods in human form may well have dropped in on this blue marble from time to time, but I strongly doubt that one has ever tooled around Rodeo Drive in a T-bird with the aplomb and good looks of Warren Beatty. Reading “Star,” the new biography by Peter Biskind, one can’t help but be blown away by the actor’s overwhelming accomplishments. Think of the movies, the grosses, the reviews, the Oscars, the endless nominations springing from this quadruple-threat voracious reader and marketing maven, who is nimble at the Steinway, savvy in the ways of politics, and a full-time Adonis, with accolades accruing from divers ones who believe he belongs not just up on the silver screen but in the Oval Office. More spectacular than a Tinseltown résumé that would humble Orson Welles are the star’s legendary exploits on the bedsprings. Here recounted are innumerable love affairs, with women of every heft and feel and station in life, from actresses to models, hatcheck girls to First Ladies. It seems that endless varieties of pulchritude salivated to plunge into the kip with this virtuoso of the percales. “How many women were there?” asks the author. “Easier to count the stars in the sky. . . . Beatty used to say that he couldn’t get to sleep at night without having sex. It was part of his routine, like flossing. . . . Allowing for the stretches when he was with the same woman, more or less, we can arrive at a figure of 12,775 women, give or take.” As a supplicant who has yet to achieve double digits when it comes to bedding the juicy gender, and those conquests requiring the aid of my Hypno-disk, I could not help imagining the following account of one gal’s irresistible swoon into the Guinness Book. But let her speak for herself...more...
LOS ANGELES, Calif -- Bob Dylan is recording his first Christmas album, Bullypulpit.com has exclusively learned and has been quietly compiling a collection that includes both Christmas carols and modern songs. At least four songs have reportedly been recorded for the album including, “Must Be Santa,” “Here Comes Santa Claus,” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas" and “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”Dylan's spiritual pendulum swings back and forth. In 2007 Dylan went to Chabad Lubavitch for Yom Kippur, where he got an aliyah to the Torah. JTA Reported back then:
The recording sessions have been taking place at fellow recording artist Jackson Browne's Groove Master’s Studios in Santa Monica, California, where Browne produced his album, "I’m Alive."
Prominent media expert and best-selling author Michael Levine said the move by Dylan was "completely consistent with his longstanding tradition of doing the unexpected. Concerning Bob Dylan literally nothing would surprise me which of course is part of his lasting appeal. He confounds like no other pop artist ever."
The inclusion of “O Little Town of Bethlehem," written by an Episcopal priest named Phillips Brooks in 1867 after a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, is likely to fuel speculation about Dylan's religious beliefs that have swirled ever since he publicly converted to Christianity in 1979, recorded explicitly religious material on three subsequent albums and for a time refused to play his old songs. Religious references on subsequent recordings became less overt after 1981's "Shot of Love."
The other three songs, “Must Be Santa” by Hal Moore and Bill Fredricks, “Here Comes Santa Claus” by Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by Buck Ram, Kim Gannon and Walter Kent were all written between 1943 and 1960.
"A Christmas album by Bob Dylan in the pipeline doesn't really shock me," said Scott Marshall, author of a forthcoming book on the singer, "God and Bob Dylan: A Spiritual Life". "At first glance it may sound bizarre, but I don't think Dylan cares much about what his detractors might make of it. Dylan still sings songs from "Slow Train Coming" to this day and he's both never renounced being Jewish or renounced his experience with Jesus some three decades ago. He remains enigmatic and this will probably be talked about for years to come."
Bob Dylan's religious odyssey took a turn home on Yom Kippur.As always be sure to see my friend Larry Yudelson's Tangled Up In Jews site for more background on the Jews and Jewishness connected with Bob Dylan.
The folk legend attended services at the Chabad-Lubavitch of Atlanta... Dylan was born Jewish but has dabbled in several faiths.
He arrived at morning services wearing a ski cap and a tallit, and stayed for the duration, the Web site said. Dylan was called to the Torah for an aliyah by his Hebrew name, Zushe ben Avraham, according to the Chabad outpost's rabbi, Yossi Lew.
Dylan was in Atlanta for a concert following the holiday.
...I do not use the traditional Yeshiva approach to designing a "syllabus", i.e., start on page 2A and learn as much as time permits in the tractate. I also do not emphasize the notion of the texts as part of "the Halakhah." This concept is a relatively modern construct, composed of many strata of texts, commentaries and codes. Some would argue it is a tool of those who foster rabbinic authority rather than a purely intellectual asset of our rabbinic heritage.Please see my article for more details. /repost from 8/5/06/
The Morality of Meditation
By DAVID DeSTENO
MEDITATION is fast becoming a fashionable tool for improving your mind. With mounting scientific evidence that the practice can enhance creativity, memory and scores on standardized intelligence tests, interest in its practical benefits is growing. A number of “mindfulness” training programs, like that developed by the engineer Chade-Meng Tan at Google, and conferences like Wisdom 2.0 for business and tech leaders, promise attendees insight into how meditation can be used to augment individual performance, leadership and productivity.