The Bible predicted this kind of social darkness
Feb06

The Bible predicted this kind of social darkness

Like an advancing fog, this vanquished sense of security and peacefulness has pervaded many lives since the current regime ascended to power.   A range of health professionals, from psychotherapists to acupuncturists, are reporting a precipitous increase in patient visits.  People are complaining about anxiety and restlessness and struggling with bouts of depression.  It’s quite unprecedented—that the national and global situations...

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On Saturday, America marched back towards itself
Jan25

On Saturday, America marched back towards itself

This past Saturday, millions of Americans marched in concert together in civil disobedience and out of the most fervent patriotism there is—love.  I had the opportunity to participate in the Women’s March that filled the downtown streets, sidewalks, and storefronts of Los Angeles.  It was gratifying, cleansing, and edifying.  It made us all feel less lonely, less afraid. American democracy and goodwill are stronger than this...

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MLK led a short, troubled life that we embellish
Jan15

MLK led a short, troubled life that we embellish

HARLEM, N.Y.–Martin Luther King Jr. would have been 88 years old today, Sunday, January 15.  As a pastor’s son growing up in the “Sweet Auburn” section of central Atlanta, pranking his friends and mimicking preachers with wicked accuracy, he’d had never dreamed that the day of his birth would be designated a federal holiday.  Because now he is a legend when he would have preferred to be a grandfather. I’m here at New York’s...

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America betrayed its good friend Israel at the UN
Dec30

America betrayed its good friend Israel at the UN

Great heat has been generated by the recent American decision to abstain at the UN Security Council on Israel’s settlements in the West Bank (or Judea and Samaria, as some of us Jews call the area).  I have strong mixed feelings about the matter except in one category: an unconditional, unwavering commitment to the security and welfare of the State of Israel.  This also translates into American security because the two nations are...

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Maybe Christmas is the Christian Hanukkah
Dec22

Maybe Christmas is the Christian Hanukkah

Hanukkah, the quiet, little holiday that survives a noisier, bigger winter festival, begins with the lighting of the first candle against the darkness this Saturday night—which is also Christmas Eve.  Year after year, the assessments begin and the questions accumulate: Is Hanukkah the Jewish Christmas?  Which one came first and how are they related?  (Of course, the real inquiry every December should be: can the spiritual poetry of...

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Seeing Christmas through Jewish eyes
Dec15

Seeing Christmas through Jewish eyes

Even if we don’t theologically celebrate Christmas, we in the Jewish community honor and venerate the true meaning and implication of this national holiday season.  This year, there is a complete calendar intertwining; the first light of Hanukkah will be lit on Christmas Eve. As a Jew, I favor the resiliency and real meaning of Christmas. Though the December holiday season has been too often co-opted by commercial anxiety and...

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