religion

Politics, Misery, and Strange Bedfellows

Does misery make strange bedfellows or is it politics that do so? In Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest, “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows,” makes its appearance in a very literal way as the king’s jester crawls under a cloak and finds himself with an unusual bedmate. In 1850, an American essayist massaged those words...

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Must You Talk about Politics?

I found you and your teachings/explanation of biblical messages more than a decade ago. I looked forward to finding Thought Tools in my inbox because I knew I would learn something new, or relearn something old from a new, informative vantage point – as that was your expertise. As you and Mrs. Lapin seemed to...

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Should Religious People Steer Clear of Politics?

Should religious people be involved in politics? Isn’t it better to stay above activities that are so sordid and filled with corruption?∼ Mitch R. Dear Mitch, Ancient Jewish wisdom puts a lot of emphasis on the damage we can do with our ability to speak. We can hurt people badly, destroy livelihoods, damage communities and...

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Keep the Good, Leave Out God

While driving to my exercise class the other day, I was listening to a religiously agnostic podcast host grapple with the challenge of filling the void left behind when taking God and faith out of life’s equation. Recognizing the benefits of community and support that often stem from religious affiliation and acknowledging the increase in...

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What Are You Really Teaching?

Each parent cares more about some areas of learning than others. If I want my child to be at home in many places, I may emphasize languages. Maybe I care more about English skills than science fluency or the other way around. Sports, dance, music and art are examples of other sectors that some of...

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How can you and Dave Ramsey be friends?

I know we Jews are taught tolerance, etc., but I’m curious about something. As you’ve probably heard, your friend Dave Ramsey signs off his radio show with “…there’s ultimately only one way to financial peace, and that’s to walk daily with the Prince of Peace, Christ Jesus.” If I’m interpreting Dave correctly, he seems to...

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An Honest Man

Sometimes, what I start out thinking I am going to write about and what I end up saying are entirely different. Last week was a case in point. I intended to write about the book I had just read, Will and Ariel Durant: A Dual Autobiography, but from an entirely different perspective than I ended...

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Moral in the Eye of the Beholder

Sometimes, living in today’s world can make one dizzier than a sped up roller coaster. A few times recently, newspaper articles starkly contrasted with one  another. A short while ago, Gene Klein wrote a thoughtful article for the Wall Street Journal explaining why 94 year old Oskar Gröning, who was a paper-pusher at Auschwitz, correctly received...

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Good without God?

Can you be a good person without being God-fearing? The immediate and obvious answer seems to be yes. There are self-described irreligious individuals, agnostics and atheists who live upstanding lives filled with hard work, strong marriages, volunteer activities and other honorable undertakings. But recently, I began to wonder about the validity of my question. What...

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