Wisdom Warehouse


A Vivid History of an 'Unimagined' Victory

Here’s one of the wisest books I’ve read in a very long time: Like Dreamers – The Story of the Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation by Yossi Klein Halevi. Wise because it combines sharp analysis of Israelis’ continual wrestling with one another over what the nation is all about with a deep compassion for all of the players in the region’s ongoing conflict. Notably that includes those who have differing opinions – particularly, on the Israeli side, those who are ardently anti-Zionist. If you care about Israel, Palestine or......

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What Our Kids Learn From Us

What is great education all about? I don’t simply mean how do we get kids to achieve better grades. I mean, how do we get our children, or anyone else we’d like to have a positive influence on for that matter, to seriously engage in what we deem to be important? How do we effectively transmit our values, our traditions, our sense of what life is all about – you know, the stuff about which we care most – to our children? In fact, even if you don’t have kids or grandkids,......

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The Year of the Selfie

Drum roll! What is Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year for 2013?? SELFIE! The term describes photos that people take of themselves to post on social media sites or similar platforms. The use of the word has gone up a staggering 17,000% in the past year. Not only have we had expected celebrity selfies from the likes of Beyonce, Justin Bieber, and Kim Kardashian but, also we had an ill-advised political selfie of President Obama with the PM’s from Great Britain and Denmark that made big news. And our first Papal selfie.......

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Crossing Borders: Jews and Christmas in America 2013

Over the past few days there has been a series of social media threads around the question what “we” make of the number of Jews and Jewish professionals who posted photos of themselves / their families on Facebook in front of a Christmas tree or who wrote posts on personal and public platforms about the wisdom of Christmas. I was one of those who posted – Christmas and Our Children. The tone of the threads were uniformly of “concern” “worry” “anxiety” “annoyance” and even “anger” about the blurring of boundaries and the......

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Top Faith Stories Of The Year

While no list can capture a full year, these are my top 3. ?Each reminds us that faith is more alive than ever, even as it comes in new and surprising ways — some good, some less so. Number 3 has got to be the complicated struggle for religious freedom, from violent conflicts in Syria and Egypt, to the cultural struggles here at home. ?What all share is the fact that the struggle for religious freedom is only healthy, when those struggling do so not only for their own religious freedom, but......

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The Story of You

How would you begin the story of you? Where or when does it begin? Imagine that you are about to tell your story. You know, “Once upon a time there was this person, and her story begins…”? What comes next? All stories have beginnings, and all people have stories. All families and nations have them too. In fact, not only do we all have them, they may be the essence of who we are. So how would you choose to begin yours? Once you have an answer (and feel free to have......

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The Holiness of Every Child

About fifteen years ago, I had an experience that transformed Christmas for me.? My wife and I were sitting with a couple – he was well into his 60’s and Jewish and she a good twenty years younger and from a traditional Christian home. This was his second marriage and they had two young children.? We were guests at their ski home for a few days during winter break. Sitting after dinner at the dining room table, with their kids and our kids playing in the den, we wound up having a......

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Happy Birthday Jesus and Isaac Newton

The title may appear glib or snarky to some, but that is not how it is intended.? It simply reflects the desire to see us all open our hearts and minds not only to an ever wider understanding of wisdom, but also to seeing the deep inter-relatedness of various wisdom systems and teachers. According to tradition, both Jesus and Isaac Newton were born on December 25th, something I find quite interesting and even inspiring.? For me, each are world-transforming teachers who shaped the world for the better, no matter what faith we......

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Patriotism and Protest in Song

Did you know that folk singer Woody Guthrie wrote “This Land Is Your Land” in 1940 as a reaction to Irving Berlin’s classic anthem “God Bless America” (originally written in 1918)? It’s one of the many fascinating facts about the beloved tunes found in John Shaw’s book This Land That I Love. Guthrie reportedly found “God Bless America” jingoistic and uncritical; using a melody borrowed from the old Baptist hymn “Oh My Lovin’ Brother” he wrote a six-verse protest song. The final three verses of “This Land Is Your Land” (which are......

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"What If?": Inside Llewyn Davis

I walked out of the theater after seeing?Inside Llewyn Davis,?the Coen brother’s phenomenal new film feeling as I always do after seeing a Coen brother’s film: humbled, dazed, out of breath at the mysterious, subtle, and unpredictable relationship between our own individual stories and dramas with all their twists and turns and the cosmic, metaphysical reality which we have absolutely no control over. With their unique attention to detail, aesthetic, and character, the Coen brothers invite us to reflect upon the meaning of life in general and of our own life in......

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