Year: 2011

Lucy, Lucy and Herman Cain

This time of year, cartoonist Charles Schultz used to present a recurring theme in his Peanuts© comic strip. Lucy (van Pelt) would offer to hold a football for Charlie Brown, and as he ran towards her for the kick-off she would yank the ball away. Charlie Brown always ended up falling on his back. Year...

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Soul Snatchers

When I was a teenager, my parents sent me to study Torah in Israel with my great-uncle, Rabbi Elya Lopian. Watching and listening to a man who was a giant of ancient Jewish wisdom opened my eyes to spiritual reality. Large numbers of young men from around the world flocked to study with him at...

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No Turning Back

Several of our children have brought joy to my wife by skydiving. For you sane readers who know nothing about this activity, it is the peculiar habit of jumping out of perfectly serviceable aircraft. Of course, once you’ve leaped out into the vast blue void there is no going back. I am sure that as...

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Fairy-Tale Elections

In company with past presidents, President Obama has discovered that one can get elected by making glorious promises. Fulfilling them is quite another story. Whether it is classified security concerns that one only finds out about once in office or the reality that a president does not have dictatorial powers, campaigning and governing are completely...

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Art? Don’t Be Naive

Frankly, I can’t imagine how one makes a living peddling the maudlin outpourings of one’s diseased ego but that is precisely what many so-called artists amazingly accomplish. Back in 1987, one of these ‘artists’ produced a notorious image of a crucifix immersed in what he proudly proclaimed to be his own urine. Since then, Andres...

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Dear O Magazine

A few years ago after visiting my daughter, I was heading to the airport to return home when I realized that I had no reading material. Rachelle’s roommate offered me her copy of O, Oprah’s monthly magazine. I probably would never have picked this magazine up on my own and I had never seen an...

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Speaking to Me?

While serving the remarkable congregation I planted in Southern California some years ago I discovered valuable insights. This one has saved me from many a serious mistake and might help you too. Here’s what happened: By chance, one day, I overheard a member addressing his wife with loud brusqueness. The following Shabbat, I devoted my...

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No Price Too High?(guest post)

Anyone who is neither evil nor wacky rejoiced at the return of Gilad Shalit to his family after five years in captivity. Anyone who is not naïve also felt emotions ranging from concern to trepidation, and even grief and anger at the release of terrorists which secured his freedom. One can wish the Shalit family...

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Jobs Well Done

“Death is very likely the single best invention of Life” said Steve Jobs during his 2005 Stanford Commencement address. I am not going to eulogize the recently deceased technical visionary. So many excellent celebrations of his life have been written. However, his quote is a segue linking him to the year’s most joyous Biblical festival...

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Duh! Moments

Every morning for the last few months, I gingerly sidled around my desk to reach the window blinds. Frequently, I knocked over one or two items on the way, since the path to the window is narrow. This morning I realized that if I moved my desk back by about an inch and a half,...

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