September 2014

Five Star Cooking

To the uninitiated, the scene would have looked strange. I presented first one and then another daughter with a gift for the upcoming holidays, causing their eyes to light up with joy. The gift came in a plastic container rather than a velvet lined jewelry box. It was ‘one size fits all,’ clearly not a […]

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Food and Faith

A four-week window of Jewish holy days is approaching. I understand why we will spend more time in synagogue than usual. However, we will also spend more time at the dining room table. This isn’t a concession to human frailty; it is recognition of human greatness. Ever since the start of our lives as babes

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The Eyes (Don’t) Have It

I have not watched the recent ISIS beheadings. Each time I come across links to the too frequent gruesome videos, I hover my mouse over them—and move on. The hovering is less a function of making a decision as much as a sign to myself that even though I am not going to click, neither

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Back to the Future

Two of the books I read this summer made me simultaneously feel a bit better and a lot worse about current events. Bill Bryson’s One Summer: America, 1927, and Daniel James Brown’s The Boys in the Boat, both brought to life a fascinating period in history. What amazed me about Bryson’s book was how dismal

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Built to Give

Do you know what a “men’s room” is?  When I first heard the phrase soon after I immigrated to the U.S. from England where I’d been studying, my mind conjured up a big screen television, a comfortable couch, and a BBQ emitting wonderful smells of cooked meat.  That’s my men’s room!  Instead, I discovered that

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A Sailor’s Life for Me

You don’t need the power of command in order to be a leader.  You don’t have to be able to fire, fine or imprison people in order to lead them. It is possible to influence others by evoking admiration. Let’s survey the first chapter of the book of Jonah, focusing on the interaction between Jonah

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Defending Richard Dawkins

I don’t usually defend Richard Dawkins. My views almost always are polar opposites of the evolutionary biologist and atheism promoter. However, I feel that the recent attacks on Dr. Dawkins not only were unfair but they also represented muddled thinking. If you missed the brouhaha, Dr. Dawkins, who is well known for his opinions, was

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