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+ 357 Our systems, perhaps, are nothing more than an unconscious apology for our faults, a gigantic scaffolding whose object is to hide from us our favorite sin.


+ 422 The Google algorithm was a significant development. I've had thank-you emails from people whose lives have been saved by information on a medical website or who have found the love of their life on a dating website. Tim Berners-Lee


+ 474 For the first time we're allowing developers who don't work at Facebook to develop applications just as if they were. That's a big deal because it means that all developers have a new way of doing business if they choose to take advantage of it. There are whole companies that are forming whose only product is a Facebook Platform application. Mark Zuckerberg


+ 377 It is just that we should be grateful, not only to those with whose views we may agree, but also to those who have expressed more superficial views; for these also contributed something, by developing before us the powers of thought. Aristotle


+ 297 The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best. Epictetus


+ 264 Imagine for yourself a character, a model personality, whose example you determine to follow, in private as well as in public. Epictetus


+ 374 In every one of us there are two ruling and directing principles, whose guidance we follow wherever they may lead; the one being an innate desire of pleasure; the other, an acquired judgment which aspires after excellence. Socrates


+ 287 He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. Thomas Jefferson


+ 321 If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour? Thomas Jefferson


+ 347 Every nation whose affairs betray a want of wisdom and stability may calculate on every loss which can be sustained from the more systematic policy of its wiser neighbors. James Madison


+ 388 War should only be declared by the authority of the people, whose toils and treasures are to support its burdens, instead of the government which is to reap its fruits. James Madison


+ 322 Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. James Madison


+ 429 We owe it, therefore, to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not interfered and shall not interfere. But with the Governments who have declared their independence and maintain it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States. James Monroe


+ 495 It is to deny, what the history of the world tells us is true, to suppose that men of ambition and talents will not continue to spring up amongst us. And, when they do, they will as naturally seek the gratification of their ruling passion, as others have so done before them. The question then, is, can that gratification be found in supporting and maintaining an edifice that has been erected by others? Most certainly it cannot. Many great and good men sufficiently qualified for any task they should undertake, may ever be found, whose ambition would inspire to nothing beyond a seat in Congress, a gubernatorial or a presidential chair; but such belong not to the family of the lion, or the tribe of the eagle. What! think you these places would satisfy an Alexander, a Caesar, or a Napoleon? — Never! Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored. — It sees no distinction in adding story to story, upon the monuments of fame, erected to the memory of others. It denies that it is glory enough to serve under any chief. It scorns to tread in the footsteps of any predecessor, however illustrious. It thirsts and burns for distinction; and, if possible, it will have it, whether at the expense of emancipating slaves, or enslaving freemen. Is it unreasonable then to expect, that some man possessed of the loftiest genius, coupled with ambition sufficient to push it to its utmost stretch, will at some time, spring up among us? And when such a one does, it will require the people to be united with each other, attached to the government and laws, and generally intelligent, to successfully frustrate his designs. Abraham Lincoln


+ 407 Whenever, if ever, he and we can come together on principle so that our cause may have assistance from his great ability, I hope to have interposed no adventitious obstacle. But clearly, he is not now with us — he does not pretend to be — he does not promise ever to be. Our cause, then, must be intrusted to, and conducted by, its own undoubted friends — those whose hands are free, whose hearts are in the work — who do care for the result. Abraham Lincoln


+ 312 I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it. Abraham Lincoln


+ 300 There is another old poet whose name I do not now remember who said, 'Truth is the daughter of Time.' Abraham Lincoln


+ 380 I am oppressed with a sense of the impropriety of uttering words on this occasion. If silence is ever golden, it must be here, beside the graves of fifteen thousand men, whose lives were more significant than speech, and whose death was a poem, the music of which can never be sung. With words we make promises, plight faith, praise virtue. Promises may not be kept, plighted faith may be broken, and vaunted virtue be only the cunning mask of vice. We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke: but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue. James A. Garfield


+ 351 We want a man whose life and opinions embody all the achievements of which I have spoken. We want a man who, standing on a mountain height, traces the victorious footsteps of our party in the past, and, carrying in his heart the memory of its glorious deeds, looks forward prepared to meet the dangers to come. We want one who will act in no spirit of unkindness toward those we lately met in battle. James A. Garfield


+ 323 The trusts and combinations—the communism of pelf—whose machinations have prevented us from reaching the success we deserved, should not be forgotten nor forgiven. Grover Cleveland


+ 399 There is no constitutional or legal requirement that the President shall take the oath of office in the presence of the people, but there is so manifest an appropriateness in the public induction to office of the chief executive officer of the nation that from the beginning of the Government the people, to whose service the official oath consecrates the officer, have been called to witness the solemn ceremonial. The oath taken in the presence of the people becomes a mutual covenant. The officer covenants to serve the whole body of the people by a faithful execution of the laws, so that they may be the unfailing defense and security of those who respect and observe them, and that neither wealth, station, nor the power of combinations shall be able to evade their just penalties or to wrest them from a beneficent public purpose to serve the ends of cruelty or selfishness. Benjamin Harrison


+ 382 We need to make our political representatives more quickly and sensitively responsive to the people whose servants they are. ... One of the fundamental necessities in a representative government such as ours is to make certain that the men to whom the people delegate their power shall serve the people by whom they are elected, and not the special interests. Theodore Roosevelt


+ 417 We demand that big business give the people a square deal; in return we must insist that when any one engaged in big business honestly endeavors to do right he shall himself be given a square deal; and the first, and most elementary, kind of square deal is to give him in advance full information as to just what he can, and what he cannot, legally and properly do. It is absurd, and much worse than absurd, to treat the deliberate lawbreaker as on an exact par with the man eager to obey the law, whose only desire is to find out from some competent Governmental authority what the law is, and then to live up to it. Moreover, it is absurd to treat the size of a corporation as in itself a crime. Theodore Roosevelt


+ 231 True enthusiasm is a fine feeling whose flash I admire where-ever I see it. Charlotte Bronte


+ 336 Until he announced his immigration policy last week, Obama had the support of most Hispanic voters - but not the enthusiasm they had shown for him in 2008. That may be changing in part because of the decision not to deport young immigrants whose undocumented parents brought them here as children. Mara Liasson


+ 352 There are, broadly speaking, two types of drinkers. There is the man whom we all know, stupid, unimaginative, whose brain is bitten numbly by numb maggots; who walks generously with wide-spread, tentative legs, falls frequently in the gutter, and who sees, in the extremity of his ecstasy, blue mice and pink elephants.... The other type of drinker has imagination, vision. Even when most pleasantly jingled he walks straight and naturally, never staggers nor falls, and knows just where he is and what he is doing. It is not his body but his brain that is drunken. Jack London


+ 411 A man reserves his true and deepest love not for the species of woman in whose company he finds himself electrified and enkindled, but for that one in whose company he may feel tenderly drowsy. George Jean Nathan


+ 345 Woe to the man whose heart has not learned while young to hope, to love - and to put its trust in life. Joseph Conrad


+ 337 I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being. Albert Einstein


+ 460 The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. … For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them. Albert Einstein


+ 368 I am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza's Pantheism. I admire even more his contributions to modern thought. Spinoza is the greatest of modern philosophers, because he is the first philosopher who deals with the soul and the body as one, not as two separate things. Albert Einstein


+ 363 The religious geniuses of all times have been distinguished by this cosmic religious sense, which recognizes neither dogmas nor God made in man's image. Consequently there cannot be a church whose chief doctrines are based on the cosmic religious experience. It comes about, therefore, that we find precisely among the heretics of all ages men who were inspired by this highest religious experience; often they appeared to their contemporaries as atheists, but sometimes also as saints. Viewed from this angle, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are near to one another. Albert Einstein


+ 353 The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it. Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with this highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as atheists, sometimes also as saints. Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another. Albert Einstein


+ 466 It is therefore easy to see why the churches have always fought science and persecuted its devotees. On the other hand, I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research. Only those who realize the immense efforts and, above all, the devotion without which pioneer work in theoretical science cannot be achieved are able to grasp the strength of the emotion out of which alone such work, remote as it is from the immediate realities of life, can issue. What a deep conviction of the rationality of the universe and what a yearning to understand, were it but a feeble reflection of the mind revealed in this world, Kepler and Newton must have had to enable them to spend years of solitary labor in disentangling the principles of celestial mechanics! Those whose acquaintance with scientific research is derived chiefly from its practical results easily develop a completely false notion of the mentality of the men who, surrounded by a skeptical world, have shown the way to kindred spirits scattered wide through the world and through the centuries. Only one who has devoted his life to similar ends can have a vivid realization of what has inspired these men and given them the strength to remain true to their purpose in spite of countless failures. It is cosmic religious feeling that gives a man such strength. A contemporary has said, not unjustly, that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people. Albert Einstein


+ 439 How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people — first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving... Albert Einstein


+ 472 Our situation on this earth seems strange. Every one of us appears here involuntarily and uninvited for a short stay, without knowing the whys and the wherefore. In our daily lives we only feel that man is here for the sake of others, for those whom we love and for many other beings whose fate is connected with our own. I am often worried at the thought that my life is based to such a large extent on the work of my fellow human beings and I am aware of my great indebtedness to them. Albert Einstein


+ 380 The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as all serious endeavor in art and science. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our mind cannot grasp and whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly and as a feeble reflection, this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious. To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all that there is. Albert Einstein


+ 464 You will hardly find one among the profounder sort of scientific minds without a peculiar religious feeling of his own. But it is different from the religion of the naive man. For the latter God is a being from whose care one hopes to benefit and whose punishment one fears; a sublimation of a feeling similar to that of a child for its father, a being to whom one stands to some extent in a personal relation, however deeply it may be tinged with awe. But the scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation. The future, to him, is every whit as necessary and determined as the past. There is nothing divine about morality, it is a purely human affair. His religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection. This feeling is the guiding principle of his life and work, in so far as he succeeds in keeping himself from the shackles of selfish desire. It is beyond question closely akin to that which has possessed the religious geniuses of all ages. Albert Einstein


+ 351 The consciousness of this extraordinary state of affairs would be unbearable but for one great consoling thought: it is a welcome symptom in an age which is commonly denounced as materialistic, that it makes heroes of men whose ambitions lie wholly in the intellectual and moral sphere. This proves that knowledge and justice are ranked above wealth and power by a large section of the human race. Albert Einstein


+ 296 Politics is a pendulum whose swings between anarchy and tyranny are fueled by perpetually rejuvenated illusions. Albert Einstein


+ 297 Politics is a pendulum whose swings between anarchy and tyranny are fueled by perennially rejuvenated illusions. Albert Einstein


+ 283 Politics is a pendulum whose swings between anarchy and tyranny are fueled by perennially rejuvenated illusions. Albert Einstein


+ 399 Science is never finished because the human mind only uses a small portion of its capacity, and man's exploration of his world is also limited. If we look at this tree outside whose roots search beneath the pavement for water, or a flower which sends its sweet smell to the pollinating bees, or even our own selves and the inner forces that drive us to act, we can see that we all dance to a mysterious tune, and the piper who plays this melody from an inscrutable distance—whatever name we give him—Creative Force, or God—escapes all book knowledge. Albert Einstein


+ 395 My hair was pulled. I was hit with belts. So was the kid next door, and so was the kid next door. It was just the way it was. Many of the children I've seen were broken by their parents, which was the German-Austrian mentality. Break the will. They didn't want to create an individual.... It was all about conforming. I was one who did not conform and whose will could not be broken. Therefore I became a rebel. Every time I got hit, and every time someone said, 'You can't do this,' I said, 'This is not going to be for much longer, because I'm going to move out of here... of course, I had no plan how. Arnold Schwarzenegger


+ 332 We know these men are professionals whose services are up for bid and whose bags are packed, and yet we call them our own and take personal, even civic pride in their accomplishments. John Thorn


+ 337 The ideas I stand for are not mine. I borrowed them from Socrates. I swiped them from Chesterfield. I stole them from Jesus. And I put them in a book. If you don’t like their rules, whose would you use? Dale Carnegie


+ 278 There has never yet been a man in our history who led a life of ease whose name is worth remembering. Theodore Roosevelt


+ 367 He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it. Douglas Adams


+ 255 An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come. Victor Hugo, 'Histoire d'un crime,' 1852


+ 283 You despise books; you whose lives are absorbed in the vanities of ambition, the pursuit of pleasure or indolence; but remember that all the known world, excepting only savage nations, is governed by books. Voltaire


+ 246 God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere. Voltaire


+ 301 Out of thee Bethlehem shall Messiah go forth before me, to exercise dominion over Israel. Whose Name has been spoken from of old from the day of eternity. – Micah 5:2 Targum Jonathan


+ 368 It is with appreciation and gratefulness that I accept from you this scroll for the Los Alamos Laboratory, and for the men and women whose work and whose hearts have made it. It is our hope that in years to come we may look at the scroll and all that it signifies, with pride. Today that pride must be tempered by a profound concern. If atomic bombs are to be added as new weapons to the arsenals of a warring world, or to the arsenals of the nations preparing for war, then the time will come when mankind will curse the names of Los Alamos and Hiroshima. The people of this world must unite or they will perish. This war that has ravaged so much of the earth, has written these words. The atomic bomb has spelled them out for all men to understand. Other men have spoken them in other times, and of other wars, of other weapons. They have not prevailed. There are some misled by a false sense of human history, who hold that they will not prevail today. It is not for us to believe that. By our minds we are committed, committed to a world united, before the common peril, in law and in humanity. Robert Oppenheimer


+ 246 There are some women whose pregnancy would make some sly bachelor smile. Honore de Balzac


+ 264 The man whose action habitually bears the stamp of his mind is a genius, but the greatest genius is not always equal to himself, or he would cease to be human. Honore de Balzac


+ 270 Rabbi Chanina the son of Dosa would say: One whose fear of sin takes precedence to his wisdom, his wisdom endures. But one whose wisdom takes precedence to his fear of sin, his wisdom does not endure. Pirkei Avot 3:9


+ 285 He would also say: One whose deeds exceed his wisdom, his wisdom endures. But one whose wisdom exceeds his deeds, his wisdom does not endure. He would also say: One who is pleasing to his fellow men, is pleasing to G-d. But one who is not pleasing to his fellow men, is not pleasing to G-d. Rabbi Dosa the son of Hurkinas would say: Morning sleep, noontime wine, children's talk and sitting at the meeting places of the ignoramus, drive a person from the world. Pirkei Avot 3:10


+ 347 Rabbi Eliezer the son of Azariah would say: If there is no Torah, there is no common decency; if there is no common decency, there is no Torah. If there is no wisdom, there is no fear of God; if there is no fear of God, there is no wisdom. If there is no applied knowledge, there is no analytical knowledge; if there is no analytical knowledge, there is no applied knowledge. If there is no flour, there is no Torah; if there is no Torah, there is no flour. He would also say: One whose wisdom is greater than his deeds, what is he comparable to? To a tree with many branches and few roots; comes a storm and uproots it, and turns it on its face. As is stated, "He shall be as a lone tree in a wasteland, and shall not see when good comes; he shall dwell parched in the desert, a salt land, uninhabited" (Jeremiah 17:6). But one whose deeds are greater than his wisdom, to what is he compared? To a tree with many roots and few branches, whom all the storms in the world cannot budge from its place. As is stated: "He shall be as a tree planted upon water, who spreads his roots by the river; who fears not when comes heat, whose leaf is ever lush; who worries not in a year of drought, and ceases not to yield fruit" (ibid., v. 8). Pirkei Avot 3:18


+ 248 It will keep you from the wicked, from those whose words are bad, Mishlei 2:12


+ 262 A person with an evil heart will find no success, and the person whose words are evil will get into trouble. Mishlei 17:20


+ 212 Those who do not control themselves are like a city whose walls are broken down. Mishlei 25:28


+ 433 Long before it was known to me as a place where my ancestry was even remotely involved, the idea of a state for Jews (or a Jewish state; not quite the same thing, as I failed at first to see) had been 'sold' to me as an essentially secular and democratic one. The idea was a haven for the persecuted and the survivors, a democracy in a region where the idea was poorly understood, and a place where—as Philip Roth had put it in a one-handed novel that I read when I was about nineteen—even the traffic cops and soldiers were Jews. This, like the other emphases of that novel, I could grasp. Indeed, my first visit was sponsored by a group in London called the Friends of Israel. They offered to pay my expenses, that is, if on my return I would come and speak to one of their meetings.

I still haven't submitted that expenses claim. The misgivings I had were of two types, both of them ineradicable. The first and the simplest was the encounter with everyday injustice: by all means the traffic cops were Jews but so, it turned out, were the colonists and ethnic cleansers and even the torturers. It was Jewish leftist friends who insisted that I go and see towns and villages under occupation, and sit down with Palestinian Arabs who were living under house arrest—if they were lucky—or who were squatting in the ruins of their demolished homes if they were less fortunate. In Ramallah I spent the day with the beguiling Raimonda Tawil, confined to her home for committing no known crime save that of expressing her opinions. (For some reason, what I most remember is a sudden exclamation from her very restrained and respectable husband, a manager of the local bank: 'I would prefer living under a Bedouin muktar to another day of Israeli rule!' He had obviously spent some time thinking about the most revolting possible Arab alternative.) In Jerusalem I visited the Tutungi family, who could produce title deeds going back generations but who were being evicted from their apartment in the old city to make way for an expansion of the Jewish quarter. Jerusalem: that place of blood since remote antiquity. Jerusalem, over which the British and French and Russians had fought a foul war in the Crimea, and in the mid-nineteenth century, on the matter of which Christian Church could command the keys to some 'holy sepulcher.' Jerusalem, where the anti-Semite Balfour had tried to bribe the Jews with the territory of another people in order to seduce them from Bolshevism and continue the diplomacy of the Great War. Jerusalem: that pest-house in whose environs all zealots hope that an even greater and final war can be provoked. It certainly made a warped appeal to my sense of history.
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir


+ 320 One of the questions asked by al-Balkhi, and often repeated to this day, is this: Why do the children of Israel continue to suffer? My grandmother Dodo thought it was because the goyim were jealous. The seder for Passover (which is a shame-faced simulacrum of a Hellenic question-and-answer session, even including the wine) tells the children that it's one of those things that happens to every Jewish generation. After the Shoah or Endl?sung or Holocaust, many rabbis tried to tell the survivors that the immolation had been a punishment for 'exile,' or for insufficient attention to the Covenant. This explanation was something of a flop with those whose parents or children had been the raw material for the 'proof,' so for a time the professional interpreters of god's will went decently quiet. This interval of ambivalence lasted until the war of 1967, when it was announced that the divine purpose could be discerned after all. How wrong, how foolish, to have announced its discovery prematurely! The exile and the Shoah could now both be understood, as part of a heavenly if somewhat roundabout scheme to recover the Western Wall in Jerusalem and other pieces of biblically mandated real estate.

I regard it as a matter of self-respect to spit in public on rationalizations of this kind. (They are almost as repellent, in their combination of arrogance, masochism, and affected false modesty, as Edith Stein's 'offer' of her life to expiate the regrettable unbelief in Jesus of her former fellow Jews.) The sage Jews are those who have put religion behind them and become in so many societies the leaven of the secular and the atheist. Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir


+ 362 One of the questions asked by al-Balkhi, and often repeated to this day, is this: Why do the children of Israel continue to suffer? My grandmother Dodo thought it was because the goyim were jealous. The seder for Passover (which is a shame-faced simulacrum of a Hellenic question-and-answer session, even including the wine) tells the children that it's one of those things that happens to every Jewish generation. After the Shoah or Endl?sung or Holocaust, many rabbis tried to tell the survivors that the immolation had been a punishment for 'exile,' or for insufficient attention to the Covenant. This explanation was something of a flop with those whose parents or children had been the raw material for the 'proof,' so for a time the professional interpreters of god's will went decently quiet. This interval of ambivalence lasted until the war of 1967, when it was announced that the divine purpose could be discerned after all. How wrong, how foolish, to have announced its discovery prematurely! The exile and the Shoah could now both be understood, as part of a heavenly if somewhat roundabout scheme to recover the Western Wall in Jerusalem and other pieces of biblically mandated real estate.

I regard it as a matter of self-respect to spit in public on rationalizations of this kind. (They are almost as repellent, in their combination of arrogance, masochism, and affected false modesty, as Edith Stein's 'offer' of her life to expiate the regrettable unbelief in Jesus of her former fellow Jews.) The sage Jews are those who have put religion behind them and become in so many societies the leaven of the secular and the atheist. Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir


+ 213 Jerusalem is the only ancient city I’ve ever seen whose antiquities are not on display as relics, but are in daily use. Saul Bellow, author


+ 294 Every day of our lives and in every season of the year (not just at Easter time), Jesus asks each of us, as he did following his triumphant entry into Jerusalem those many years ago, ‘What think ye of Christ? whose son is he?’ (Matt. 22:42.) We declare that he is the Son of God, and the reality of that fact should stir our souls more frequently. I pray that it will, this Easter season and always. Howard W. Hunter


+ 291 For there is a man whose toil is with wisdom and with knowledge and with honesty and to a man who did not toil for it he will give it as his portion; this too is vanity and a great evil. Kohelet 2:21


+ 282 And I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, her hands are bonds; whoever is good in God's sight will escape from her, and a sinner will be taken by her. Kohelet 7:26


+ 218 Woe to you, O land whose king is a lad, and your princes eat in the morning. Kohelet 10:16


+ 248 Fortunate are you, O land, whose king is the son of nobles, and your princes eat at the proper time, in might and not in drinking. Kohelet 10:17


+ 256 Become friends with people who aren't your age. Hang out with people whose first language isn't the same as yours. Get to know someone who doesn't come from your social class. This is how you see the world. This is how you grow.


+ 311 The rabbi is often the regular preacher in the synagogue, the man whose sermons offer his community more general theological and moral guidance. David Novak


+ 285 The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept. George Carlin


+ 298 It is more than their land that you take away from the people whose native land you take. It is their past as well, their roots and their identity. If you take away the things that they have been used to see, and will be expecting to see, you may, in a way, as well take out their eyes. Karen Blixen


+ 258 The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic spiritual evolution, spiritual, evolution, Spirituality, Albert Einstein, religion, spirit, quotes, Albert, Einsteinemotion. Herein lies the germ of all art and all true science. Anyone to whom this feeling is alien, who is no longer capable of wonderment and lives in a state of fear is a dead man. To know that what is impenatrable for us really exists and manifests itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, whose gross forms alone are intelligible to our poor faculties – this knowledge, this feeling … that is the core of the true religious sentiment. In this sense, and in this sense alone, I rank myself amoung profoundly religious men. Albert Einstein


+ 174 But he whose inborn worth his acts commend, Of gentle soul, to human race a friend. Homer, The Odyssey


+ 172 But he whose inborn worth his acts commend, Of gentle soul, to human race a friend. Homer, The Odyssey


+ 180 But he whose inborn worth his acts commend, Of gentle soul, to human race a friend. Homer, The Odyssey


+ 175 And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, had also given birth to Tebah and Gaham and Tahash and Maacah. Bereshit 22:24


+ 193 And I will adjure you by the Lord, the God of the heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose midst I dwell. Bereshit 24:3


+ 177 And he said, Whose daughter are you? Please tell me. Is there place for us for lodging in your father's house? Bereshit 24:23


+ 166 Now Rebecca had a brother whose name was Laban, and Laban ran to the man outside, to the fountain. Bereshit 24:29


+ 206 And my master adjured me, saying, You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell. Bereshit 24:37


+ 214 And I asked her, and I said, Whose daughter are you? And she replied, The daughter of Bethuel the son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to him. And I placed the nose ring on her nose and the bracelets on her hands. Bereshit 24:47


+ 183 She was taken out, and she sent to her father in law, saying, From the man to whom these belong I am pregnant, and she said, Please recognize whose signet ring, cloak, and staff are these? Bereshit 38:25


+ 173 Afterwards, his brother emerged, the one upon whose hand was the crimson thread, and he named him Zerah. Bereshit 38:30


+ 184 And Judah said, What shall we say to my master? What shall we speak, and how shall we exonerate ourselves? God has found your servants iniquity both we and the one in whose possession the goblet has been found. Bereshit 44:16


+ 165 But he said, Far be it from me to do this! The man in whose possession the goblet was found he shall be my slave, but as for you go up in peace to your father. Bereshit 44:17


+ 156 Speak to the children of Israel, and have them take for Me an offering; from every person whose heart inspires him to generosity, you shall take My offering. Shemot 25:2


+ 153 And, behold, with him I have placed Oholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, and all the wise hearted into whose hearts I have instilled wisdom, and they shall make everything I have commanded you: Shemot 31:6


+ 169 And He said: Behold! I will form a covenant; in the presence of all your people, I will make distinctions such as have not been created upon all the earth and among all the nations, and all the people in whose midst you are shall see the work of the Lord how awe inspiring it is that which I will perform with you. Shemot 34:10


+ 115 For you shall not prostrate yourself before another god, because the Lord, Whose Name is Jealous One, is a jealous God. Shemot 34:14


+ 143 Every man whose heart uplifted him came, and everyone whose spirit inspired him to generosity brought the offering of the Lord for the work of the Tent of Meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments. Shemot 35:21


+ 178 And Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every wise hearted man into whose heart the Lord had given wisdom, everyone whose heart lifted him up to approach the work to do it. Shemot 36:2


+ 124 But any sin offering some of whose blood was brought into the Tent of Meeting to make atonement in the Holy, shall not be eaten; it shall be burned in fire. Vayikra 6:23


+ 131 But any earthenware vessel, into whose interior any of them falls, whatever is inside it shall become unclean, and you shall break the vessel itself. Vayikra 11:33


+ 126 And a woman whose flow of blood flows for many days, outside of the time of her menstrual separation, or she has a discharge after her menstrual separation, then all the days she has her unclean discharge, she shall be unclean just like the days of her menstrual separation. Vayikra 15:25


+ 132 And the sin offering bull and he goat of the sin offering, both of whose blood was brought to effect atonement in the Holy, he shall take outside the camp, and they shall burn in fire their hides, their flesh, and their waste. Vayikra 16:27


+ 151 And the kohen who is elevated above his brothers, upon whose head the anointment oil has been poured or who has been inaugurated to wear the garments he shall not leave his hair unshorn or rend his garments. Vayikra 21:10


+ 147 Any animal whose testicles were squashed, crushed, pulled out, or severed, you shall not offer up to the Lord, and in your land, you shall not do it. Vayikra 22:24


+ 116 Now, if an animal of whose type is fit to be brought as an offering to the Lord, whatever part of it the person donates to the Lord, shall become holy. Vayikra 27:9


+ 88 And if it is any unclean animal, of whose type shall not be brought as an offering to the Lord, then he shall stand up the animal before the kohen. Vayikra 27:11


+ 100 In the Jubilee year, the field shall return to the one from whom he bought it namely, the one whose inherited land it was. Vayikra 27:24


+ 110 Moses said, Six hundred thousand people on foot are the people in whose midst I am, and You say, I will give them meat, and they will eat it for a full month? Bamidbar 11:21


+ 106 A land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, you will lack nothing in it, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose mountains you will hew copper. Devarim 8:9


+ 99 When the Lord, your God, cuts off the nations, whose land the Lord, your God, is giving you, and you inherit them, and dwell in their cities and in their houses, Devarim 19:1


+ 89 A man with injured testicles or whose member is cut, may not enter the assembly of the Lord. Devarim 23:2


+ 88 And that family shall be called in Israel, "The family of the one whose shoe was removed." Devarim 25:10


+ 109 The Lord will bring upon you a nation from afar, from the end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you will not understand, Devarim 28:49


+ 121 Perhaps there is among you a man, woman, family, or tribe, whose heart strays this day from the Lord, our God, to go and worship the deities of those nations. Perhaps there is among you a root that produces hemlock and wormwood. Devarim 29:17


+ 118 Fortunate are you, O Israel! Who is like you, O people whose salvation is through the Lord, the Shield Who helps you, your majestic Sword! Your enemies will lie to you, but you will tread upon their heights." Devarim 33:29


+ 120 I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death. Leonardo da Vinci


+ 158 Protestations of happiness could sound almost boasting to those whose happiness is incomplete. One did not boast of perfect skin to one affected by dermatitis; for the same reason, perhaps, one should take care in proclaiming one's happiness. Alexander McCall Smith, The Right Attitude to Rain


+ 125 After that fateful day, our Sages understood that the memory of a Jewish Holy Temple in the heart of our sacred city would not necessarily remain in the hearts of our people living in exile from the Land of Israel. Therefore, they took care to introduce a number of practices whose purpose is to remind us of Yerushalayim and the Beit Hamikdash. Dr. Elana Yael Heideman


+ 146 The Plain of Halachah and Aggadah

When we begin to take steps upon the plain of halachah and aggadah, a multitude beyond number of unions and harmonies beyond number is drawn out. The universes of heaven and earth, humanity of the flesh and humanity of ideas, with all the wealth hidden in each of them, are then unified. They bring each other to the wished?for action that leads toward complete growth and perfection.

This connection is nothing less than the revelation of the unity that had been hidden within them from the very beginning.

Whoever has not tasted the flavor of halachah has not tasted the flavor of Torah. And whoever has not tasted the flavor of aggadah has not tasted the flavor of­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ fear of sin.

Torah and fear of sin must always accompany one another. The service of Torah learning must be methodically revealed, in an active form, upon this unifying basis—one whose results are very great.

In truth, aggadah always contains a halachic essence. Similarly, halachah contains an inner agaddic content. In the main, the content of aggadah is found in the qualitative form of halachah. And the content of halachah is found in the quantitative form of aggadah. Even without any particular search or awareness, when we learn halachah, we are touched by its hidden content of aggadah; and, when we learn aggadah, we are touched by the pulse of halachah that is folded into the content of the aggadah.

However, not everyone has a properly keen awareness of these two streams—each of which is constantly filled with the content of the other. An alienation between these worlds, which are in essence so joined and twinned together, leads to an unhealthy separation in the nature of deep study and its broadening. It constricts these two areas—halachic and the aggadic—to a narrow arena.

We must clearly bring forth the meeting of these two forces in a rectified form, when each will make the other_s content exceedingly fragrant. Each will profoundly aid the other to bring forth its details and to shine a more brilliant light upon its own general appearance and upon the depth of its own internal logic and what that embraces. The scent of aggadah must make halachah fragrant, in a measure that is well?reasoned and fitting. And aggadah must be given its worth within a framework, with set laws and a clear, defined logic—like the form of a strengthened halachah. With this, the power and freshness of both will be multiplied.

The need that brought the masters of pilpul in previous generations to at times attempt to integrate aggadah and halachah welled forth from this demand for a unification of these forces, which so much act in unison.

We are already called upon to gather together talents and knowledge in order to clarify our learning and all the paths of our lives. In particular, the essence of halachic learning must be broad, composed of the various approaches of the early and later authorities who have grown to be so many over the generations—we very much need that depth and breadth. And we must approach with complete breadth the unity of the contents of halachah and aggadah—which includes the categories of logic and history, ethics and faith, feeling and civility.

And resting upon all of them is a pure phenomenon, one soaked with the dew of the life of the totality of the light of Torah, ready to rest like a beautiful ornament upon all those who learn Torah for its own sake, giving them a special sensitivity and satisfaction of the heart?inspiring joy of Torah.

Orot Hakodesh I, pp. 26?27


+ 111 The Well of Mystical Hints

Mystical hints are similar to works of abstract art. Just as abstract art fulfills a certain role in secular matters, these hints fulfill a similar role in matters of holiness.

The more that the well of genius is filled with the liquid of life, the more does it cause the created object to branch out in varied, rich images. If the well is very great, it creates structures that are far from reality and that no eye has seen nor ear heard. It is precisely in these images that the wondrous life based on creation is revealed; they represent the testimony of the soul of their creator.

The more that the great satisfaction of the light and faith-filled life wells forth, so do the mystical hints skip logical steps in an increasingly greater and mightier fashion. Beneath every tendril of these mystical hints are hidden a full wealth and treasure of ethics and faith, beauty of holiness, powerful radiance and Godly, inner trust. These comprise the strength and desire of Israel, the joy of all whose hearts are straight, those who seek God and His strength.

Orot Hakodesh I, p. 109


+ 135 Torah Scholars Whose Learning Is Their Occupation

Torah scholars whose learning is their occupation must see to it that their path lies correctly before them and that their goal is clear, so that their spirit may be strong and their mind quiet, calm and settled.

How great is the exalted principle, “You are not required to finish, yet neither are you absolved of the work.” Therefore, there is not such a great need to visualize self-encouragement in your Torah-learning service that involves embracing the totality of its knowledge.

This can calm your heart, so that you may learn every topic with a confident and quiet spirit, undisturbed by other things or by worrying in general about attaining total knowledge, which is impossible. Instead, you find your own personal service acceptable.

Nevertheless, you must pave a path for yourself upon which you can still see the complete circumference of the Torah.

In ideology, you must gain clarity about your purpose and the purpose of your desire in your Torah-learning service of God. Also, in practical learning, you must yearn to encompass and incorporate the complete sum of the entire practical teachings that are in the Torah’s practical aspect—as far as you can.

People customarily say that the Torah has no end. In regard to its practical aspect, that is true only within certain parameters—for really, it is possible, when a person goes on a straight path, to attain a total and clear embrace of the entire practical aspect of the Torah.

Those who are great need no explanation for this. But those of middle rank need help, after they arrive at the measure of competent understanding of the depth of halachah, in knowing the form of halachah in a straight and proper way, [which they gain] by serving Torah scholars in correct measure, until they know how to study any Talmudic discussion properly, and how to question and answer in accordance with the path of Torah in the give and take of halachah. Then their main effort must be, first and foremost, to encompass all the halachos of the Rif in their simple meaning, with competent breadth of knowledge. The attainment of this is made much easier by a calm steadfastness.

This service is very sweet in itself, as well as a pleasurable vision that is close to the goal of total encompassing , knowing the complete sum of all the halachos—according to how very close [their study is] to their source in the Talmud in general. Only through the gathering of all the details will the great beauty of the glorious building of the entire practical Torah stand before your eyes.

When you proceed in this fashion every day, continuously, you will add study-times dedicated to an overall mastery of the written Torah, and you will spend set aside times every day for acquiring the wisdom of the aggadah, midrash, ethical works, philosophy and Kabbalah, in proper proportion, and a breadth of time for independent thought, in order to broaden good sensibilities, as well as your set time for learning Talmud quickly every day, and as well as occasional times for clarifying the depth of halachah broadly and engaging in sharp analysis of various topics, in order to broaden your mind and study in-depth, which is crucial for all those who seek the Torah.

When you acquire an encompassing expertise in the halachos of the Rif, there will be born within you the desire to know the halachos clearly. You will learn a great deal of Talmud (Babylonian and Jerusalem), Toseftas and all the words of the Sages, out of an inner recognition of the need for breadth and clarity. The essence of your service must always be in broad learning of the foundations of the halachos and the essentials of the words of Torah, until the perfection of knowledge in all the areas and details will make your awareness whole in all other matters that a person needs. And at that point, people will be inspired by your advice and counsel.

When you proceed in this way, you will also be able to set fixed times for acquiring the wisdom and knowledge that are useful to a person in this world, which broaden the circumference of your knowledge and give you the courage to face the necessities of life. Then you will be pleasing to others and you will find grace in the eyes of God and man.

Orot Hatorah 9:3


+ 142 The Prayerbook and the Villager

by Shai Agnon

Shai Agnon (winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature) told:

One time, a number of us—myself, Chaim Nachman Bialik, Eliezer Meir Lifshitz, Rabbi Simchah Asaf, Binyamin and others—entered the presence of the great Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Hacohen Kook and discussed the problems of the generation and how to rectify it.

One of the group made a speech in praise of the Torah, which ended by criticizing the many additional laws enacted by the rabbis in every generation. Rabbi Nachman rose in pain, and appeared angry. But he immediately overcame his anger, as was his holy way, and answered quietly: Hearing this has brought to mind a story.

There was once a great rabbi who happened to pass through a village. Night fell, and he had to stay there overnight. He asked the villager at whose house he was staying for a volume of the Talmud, but the villager didn’t have one. He asked for a mishnah—the villager didn’t have. He asked for an Ein Yaakov—the villager didn’t have that either.

Finally, he asked the villager, “Do you have a prayerbook?” The villager brought him an old prayerbook, which contained a commentary that the rabbi read the entire night, and which he enjoyed greatly.

The next day, the rabbi offered to pay a good price for the prayerbook, but the villager refused. The rabbi persisted: “I’ll trade it for a new prayerbook with a fine binding.” But the villager still refused.

“Why?” asked the rabbi.

The villager replied, “Rabbi, every morning when I get up I like to drink something hot, and I warm up the kettle. To make the fire catch quickly, I light a piece of paper and put it under the tinder. Since I don’t have much paper in the house, I rip a page out of the prayerbook and light that. And also, every time I want to smoke my pipe, I rip a page out of the prayerbook to light it.

“I am already an old man, but because there is so much commentary, I still haven’t come to the prayers. All the pages I’ve ripped out really aren’t the prayerbook.”

Malachim Kivnei Adam, pp. 363-65


+ 111 The Root of the Torah

When a person rises to elevated thoughts and arranges his paths in accordance with them in the depths of his spirit, he comes to the root of the Torah in its elevated form, whose goal is to raise the world to its intended elevation.

Then of itself, all that he learns of the details of the Torah is not something new to him. Rather, it is like a remembrance of something that already exists in his potential.

And this is the inner meaning of the statement that “since they are pious, their Torah lasts.”

Orot Hatorah 6:4


+ 124 Yossi and Yitzhak are on a train across Poland, each on his way to meet a prospective bride on the other side of the country. Halfway there, Yitzhak turns to Yossi and says, "Forget about this whole marriage thing. I just don't like the idea." So he gets off at the next stop and makes his way back home. Meanwhile, Yossi continues on and is met at the final destination by the mothers of the two prospective brides. When the mothers realize what has happened, they instantly begin to fight over whose daughter should wed this precious little boychik. "He's mine!" cries one. "Not on your life," cries the other, "He will marry my daughter!" After bickering for a while, Yossi and the two mothers decide to go the rebbe and ask him to resolve the situation. In the grand tradition of the ancients, the rebbe replies, "Well, there is only one solution to this problem. Cut the boy in half, and you each take half home with you." At this, the first mother looks shocked, while the second mother grins and cries emphatically, "Yah! Cut him in half!!" The rebbe points to the second mother and says, "THAT is the real mother-in-law. Case closed."