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Entries by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach from 12/2011

How Jacob Was Prepared to Risk His Soul in Confronting Esau's Evil

| Posted 12.01.2011 | Religion

Our forefather Jacob taught us that only by challenging evil and standing up for what is good, can peace be brought to the world. If we can learn from these achievements of the past, then we are likely to repeat them.

Excerpt: 10 Conversations You Need to Have With Yourself: A Powerful Plan for Spiritual Growth and Self-Improvement

| Posted 12.02.2011 | Books

How strange that half of the population seems prepared to squander everything important in the pursuit of material success, while the rest are content to gorge themselves on junk food in front of reality television. At issue is the most basic urge of all: hunger.

The Jewish Obligation for Humane Treatment of Animals

| Posted 12.07.2011 | Green

There is a difference between legitimate, kosher Shechita, which may look unsavory, but which still accommodates the highest ethical concerns of the Jewish religion, versus any cold-hearted violation of ethical norms designed to speed up the slaughter process.

The Rebellious Man of Faith

| Posted 12.12.2011 | Religion

In constant struggle against malevolent forces who seek to defeat him, Jacob gives birth to a new concept of religion: not the subservient man of the spirit, but the rebellious man of faith.

Unfaithful Husbands Can Still Be Faithful Leaders

| Posted 12.13.2011 | Politics

Cheating on your wife is a terrible sin and a horrible violation of a marriage. But it does not mean that the person cheating will be a crook in the rest of his life or a failed public servant, as indeed some of our greatest presidents have demonstrated.

Christopher Hitchens and the Fall of a Worthy Adversary

| Posted 12.16.2011 | Media

I have no doubt that Christopher Hitchens will have an afterlife. As one of the most original and provocative writers of his generation, his words will continue to mesmerize, incite, confound, and entertain.

Hanukkah and How War Should Be Celebrated

| Posted 12.20.2011 | Religion

For Jews, practicing our religion has never been as straightforward. Throughout history we have had to fight and die simply to observe our faith. Hanukkah represents a triumphant moment.

To Beard or Not to Beard, That Is the Question: Musings on the Fall of Matisyahu's Facial Locks and Other Natural Disasters

| Posted 12.22.2011 | Huffington Post

Our country is pure, and raw and passionate, and all the same structured, and ordered and cultivated. So too, should all real individuals be. And only a man with a beard can combine the bohemian and the bourgeoisie in a manner that we can read upon his face.

Absence of Gratitude is the Source of Clerical Burnout

| Posted 12.26.2011 | Religion

Rabbis, Ministers, and Priests are burning out because of an absence of communal thanks and personal gratitude.

The UN Mourns the Death of Kim Jong Il

| Posted 12.29.2011 | World

The decision by the United Nations to lower its flags to half-mast for the death of Kim Jong Il is a vulgar and all-too-predictable display of that global body's immorality.