Author Archive

One for All

In November of 1947, Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States, lobbied for a United Nations resolution that would divide Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. Truman later expressed his faith in the reborn state of Israel saying, “I believe it has a glorious future before it—not just [as] another sovereign nation, […]

The Wisdom of the Dog Whisperer

Millions of television viewers around the world have watched a dog trainer by the name of Cesar Millan. Also known as the “dog whisperer,” Millan has the ability not only to rehabilitate troubled dogs, but to do so with a calmness that often amazes the animal’s owner. Whether a dog is overly aggressive, excitable, or […]

Fool’s Gold

The California Gold Rush of 1848 created its share of prospectors who thought they had struck it rich—until learning about a glittering rock that came to be known as fool’s gold. More than a few saw their dreams fade in the metallic luster and brass-yellow hue of a relatively worthless mineral called iron pyrite. Such […]

Camp Hope

Now that 33 miners have been lifted from 2000 feet below the surface of Chile’s Atacama desert, Camp Hope will soon be a memory. At one point the temporary tent city in the middle of a barren nowhere hosted between 2,500 and 3,000 family members, journalists, volunteers and rescue workers. Now 70 days after the […]

What is Jewish?

The Israeli Knesset and  Palestinian Authority remain in a deadlock. Mahmoud Abbas has not been able to get Hamas and Fatah, two factions of the Palestinians, to agree together to renounce violence, or to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist. Prime Minister, Netanyahu, at the same time is under enormous pressure from his political […]

ArtPrize 2010

While working through the jetlag of our return from an Israel production trip, I’ve had a chance to visit some of the 1700 artist exhibits that are being shown at over 190 different sites in the second annual Grand Rapids, ArtPrize event. It’s turning out be a gathering place for our community and a way […]

The Big If

Seems to me that the Snoopy 1 and 2 MetLife blimps that cover televised sporting events with the slogan “For the if in Life” are a pretty effective way of getting out an insurance company’s name and message. Could even get us thinking about the bigger “ifs in life”. If we make criticizing others our […]

Simchat Torah and Clarification

Yesterday was a day of Jewish celebration called Simchat Torah. During the day in the Jewish Quarter, and then after sundown at the Western Wall, we saw groups of Orthodox men enthusiastically dancing and singing around elaborate encased Torah scrolls. They were celebrating the end of their annual Torah readings and the beginning of a […]

Quoting God

In some circles, those who believe they have heard God speak to them are thought to be unstable. Other groups honor members who routinely quote what God has said to their hearts. Since so many of us think the practice has implications for either our sanity or spirituality, it might be worth thinking together about […]

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