Year: 2011

Eighteen and Pregnant

Shortly after hearing the news that four of our friends became great-grandparents, I came across a news item about an upcoming reality show. The producers are seeking women in their thirties who are grandmothers. Well, the daughter of one of our friends fits that description. It seems though, that the grandmother in this case won’t …

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Light Up the World with Torah

National Geographic Magazine’s final issue for 2011 featured—wait for it—the Bible! That’s right; the publication whose motto is “Inspiring people to care about the planet” put the Bible on its cover. Well, it is nice to have National Geographic confirm my view–the Bible is crucial for the well-being of the planet after all. Their story …

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Successful Siblings

Why is it that right now 80 million Germans are financing the siestas, supermarkets, railways and retirements of 120 million Greeks, Spaniards, Portuguese, and Italians? Germany is by far the largest contributor to the budget of the European Economic Community. In 2010, Germany exported double the total of Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy all put …

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Bigots Anonymous

There are meetings of Overeaters Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Clutterers Anonymous and, of course, the granddaddy of them all, Alcoholics Anonymous. I would like to suggest a new addition – Bigots Anonymous, and Rabbi Joshua Hammerman should head the effort to get it off the ground. Rabbi Hammerman has apologized for his twisted remarks about those …

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Of Parcels and People

Between them, Fedex and UPS deliver about twenty million packages a day. If they operated with 99.5% reliability, each day one hundred thousand packages would go missing. That does not happen. If they operated with 99.95% reliability, each day ten thousand packages would vanish. Now 99.95% is pretty good, but that doesn’t happen either. In …

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Darkness to Light

Before dawn that Sunday, Jerry Westfield and his two excited boys boarded their runabout at Ala Wai Harbor. Stowing the fishing gear along with their lunch, Jerry yanked the cord and started the Evinrude while his sons tossed the mooring lines onto the dock. The black sky turned to cloudless cobalt as they slipped out …

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With Charity from All

Many years ago, my mother-in-law asked a friend to pick up four strawberry jellies for her at the store. When her friend returned with four jars of strawberry jam, she was dumbfounded. It turns out that they weren’t speaking the same language, though English was both their native tongues. As they discovered, British English and …

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Worth Their Weight

It is entrapment, pure and simple. My local bookstore has beautiful, hard-cover, classic books for sale for under $5 (using my 30% off coupon). Titles like Swiss Family Robinson and Little Women coquettishly peek from the shelf, enticing me to come closer. A quick calculation tells me that my eldest grandson won’t appreciate the Wyss …

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Triumph of Will

Late in the afternoon, April 30, 1945, the corpse of Adolf Hitler, who had just poisoned and shot himself, was burned in the garden behind the Reich Chancellery. The setting sun signaled the start of the joyful Jewish holiday of Lag B’Omer (see Thought Tool Volume IV issue #20). The war had gone badly for …

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The Reel Romney?

During the golden age of Hollywood, movie studios ‘owned’ various actors. The studios picked the vehicles for their stars guaranteeing that Mickey Rooney would no sooner be cast as the sophisticated man about town than Mae West would be as a nun. Even the stars’ personal lives were subject to manipulation with contrived romances covering …

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