Longform


And I Did Not Know...

“I GOT ONE!” With the recent announcement by the CDC that the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for children ages 5-11, my wife Lizzie scrambled to find available appointments for our two oldest children. She refreshed the browser each time the search came up empty, going through the painstaking process of inputting their information multiple times until – finally – she landed appointments for both of them. I can’t quite explain how cathartic it felt to see the confirmation screen with their names on it, to know that we would soon reach......

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Esau and Zero-Sum Thinking

The first question most of us ask about elections is, “Who won?” Whether it’s for President or Town Clerk, Senator or Mayor, Congressperson or School Board member, we often have a preferred candidate going in, and feel either excited or disappointed, depending on the result. In short, we view elections as a zero-sum game: there’s a winner, and there’s a loser, and that’s it. But elections are not the same as politics — in the words of former Governor Mario Cuomo, politicians campaign in poetry, but govern in prose. The goal of......

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Abraham's Conflicted Love

We live in an era of punditry. Everyone has an interpretation of events, yet few of us stop to understand what actually might have happened. Interpretation occludes understanding, as tenuously grand conclusions occlude more modest insights that are built upon a firmer footing. Similar critique might be applied to how many of us approach the founder of the Jewish people, Abraham. To venerate the origins of Judaism itself, we conclude at the outset that he was a moral superhero – all the while deemphasizing a personal life riddled with painful complexity. We......

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No Bow Without Rain

The Covenant between God and Noah, as a representative of humanity, is often seen as a beacon of hope and a universal connection between the Divine and human beings. After the great flood, which destroyed most life, God rebuilds with the promise never to destroy the earth through a great flood again. Genesis 9:13-15, God solemnizes the promise: I have set My bow in the clouds, and it shall serve as a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears......

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Bully Pulpits and Pulpit Bullies

When President Teddy Roosevelt coined the term “Bully Pulpit,” the term “bully” meant “outstanding” or “optimal,” not a pulpit from which one could use their office to bully their audience. New data from Pew Research indicates that a rather high percentage of American Christian religious leaders could take a lesson from the former president when it comes to how they use their own pulpits when addressing political issues. Pastors Often Discussed Election, Pandemic and Racism in Fall of 2020 The polling results, based on the content of sermons offered from the pulpits......

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